How to Teach Prepositions Using Books for Kids

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How to Teach Prepositions Using Books for Kids
The actions of squirrels can demonstrate prepositions. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Prepositions are words that link nouns, pronouns and phrases to other words. They show placement and duration of an item or activity. An old teaching catchphrase states that a preposition is anywhere a squirrel can go--over, under, around, up and down--until you run out of prepositions. Unfortunately this device has a limited application; prepositions also show placement in time, such as "during a rainstorm." Picture books stories provide enjoyable practice in finding prepositions.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Picture books for children
  • Paper
  • Pencils
  • White board
  • List of common prepositions

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  1. 1

    Ask your school or public librarian to help select a variety of books with bright pictures and one or two sentences per page that contain prepositions. Some good titles are: "Bears in the Night" by Stan Berenstain; "All About Where" by Tana Hoban; "We're Going on a Bear Hunt" by Michael Rosen. "Bears in the Night" is excellent for this purpose because it is written almost entirely in prepositions.

  2. 2

    Define the word "preposition," then display a list of prepositions on a white board, smart board or an overhead projector. You may also use a using an already made chart. Share some example sentences from the picture books.

  3. 3

    Hand out the picture books. Tell the children to first read them for enjoyment and give them time to familiarise themselves with the books. After they have read the books, ask for volunteers to raise their hands and share sentences that have prepositions. Ask the rest of the class to raise their hands, after the volunteer has read, to pick out the preposition in the sentence. At the end of the discussion, define what a preposition is again.

  4. 4

    Explain that the next goal is to make your own preposition picture book. This part may extend into another class session. Have the students write a simple story incorporating many prepositions.

  5. 5

    Share the project with your school's art teacher. Ask if she would be willing for the students to illustrate their stories during art class, and if she would help with turning the stories into handmade picture books.

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