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Games with prepositions



Procedure: 1. On the board, write a list of prepositions of place that the students have studied. Divide the students into groups of three or four and give each group several magazines. You may want to ask students to bring in their own. If you are supplying them, be sure that they have full-page ads or other large pictures.

Give the groups a time limit and have them search through their magazines to find a picture that contains situations illustrating prepositions of place.

When the time is up, each group goes to the front of the class, holds up its picture, and explains (in sentences) the contents of the picture, using prepositions of place.

Example: The dog is under the table.

The table is next to the man.

The table is in front of the window.

The group that found a picture allowing them to correctly use the most prepositions of place from the list on the board wins.

NOTE: With an intermediate group, choose a wider range of prepositions that they have already reviewed.


Materials: Worksheet 1.1, objects filled in various objects provided by instructor[5]

Procedure: 1. Before students come into the classroom, distribute various objects around the room, placing them in visible positions that students can describe using their prepositions of place. List the objects on the worksheet.

Divide the class into pairs and give each pair a copy of the worksheet.

The students look around the room for each object listed on the worksheet and write a complete sentence describing its location. The first group to finish brings their worksheet to you to be checked. If the answers are correct, that group wins.


Take a small object, such as a pen, and do something with it, then describe your action. (Put the pen on the desk and say, "I put the pen on the desk.")

Give the pen to a student and ask him/her, "What did I do with the pen?"

The student answers and then does something different with the object that involves a different preposition of place.

The student then passes the object to the next student and asks, "What did we do with the pen?" That student repeats what the teacher did and what the first student did with the object. The second student then does something different with the object before passing it to the third student.

Teacher: I put the pen on the desk. What did I do with the pen?

Alfredo: You put the pen on the desk. (to the next student, Damian) I put the pen above my head. What did we do with the pen?

Damian: The teacher put the pen on the desk. Alfredo put the pen above his head. I put the pen under my book. (to the next student) What did we do with the pen? etc.

This activity continues until no one can do something different with the pen that can be described using a preposition of place.

NOTE: You may want to write the prepositions that have been used on the board to help the students remember.

Variation: Give each student a card to use with a preposition of place on it.


Materials: Worksheet 1.2 or other similar picture[6]

Dynamic: Pairs

Time: 1. Divide the class into pairs. Give each pair a copy of the worksheet or other similar picture.

NOTE: If you are using your own picture, also give the pairs several sentences you have written about the picture, as on the worksheet. Some sentences should be accurate, and others incorrect.


2. The pairs read the sentences about the picture and decide if they are correct or incorrect in their preposition usage. If they are incorrect, they must correct them.

3. When a pair is finished, check their work. If this is a competition, the first pair to finish the worksheet correctly wins. If using this activity as a review activity, go over the answers together when everyone has finished.

SUGGESTION: As a follow-up activity, have each pair write 10 True/False sentences with which to challenge another pair.


Procedure: 1. Divide the class into two teams. Have them line up along opposite walls, or arrange their desks in two lines.

2. The first student from Team A steps to the front of the class. Read a sentence, omitting the preposition. The student must fill in the blank. Several answers will probably be possible; give the team a point for any appropriate answer.

3. Alternate students from the two teams until everyone has had a turn or you are out of time. The team with the most points wins.

SUGGESTION: Instead of reading the sentences, use an overhead and reveal one sentence at a time. This avoids repetition and helps the students to focus on the sentence.

NOTE: You may want to make your own sentences based on the prepositions your class has covered. This activity could also be done at a higher level with sentences using phrasal verbs.



Procedure: 1. Draw a grid on the board with just the numbers. On a paper, your grid will have the answers written in.

In the example below, the phrasal verbs have been taken from the list in Fundamentals of English Grammar. Several of the verbs in the chart below can take more than one particle, but the list is usually limited to one or two combinations. It is important to choose combinations you have studied and to limit entries so that three or even four matches are not possible. If you have studied more than one combination (such as ask out, ask over, and ask around,) and you want to review them using this activity, you will need to use some particles more than once. That way, the students will be able to make matches such as ask out, drop out, and so on. This chart is intended only as a model to help you explain the game; your own chart will be geared to the lessons in your class.

On the board: 1 2 3 4 5

6 7 8 9 10

11 12 13 14 15

16 17 18 19 20

Instructor's grid: 1 ask 2 back 3 drop 4 up 5 through

6 around 7 out 8 off 9 down 10 fill

11 in 12 get 13 write 14 start 15 throw

16 over 17 away 18 put 19 fool 20 call

Divide the class into groups of about five. Tell them that this is a memory game and no writing is allowed. Explain that they are looking for matches and will get a point for each match. They can confer as a team, but you will accept an answer only from the student whose turn it is. They can call out two numbers together the first time since no one knows where any of the words are. In subsequent turns, they should wait for you to write the first answer before they call out their second number.

As the first student calls out numbers, write the words that correspond to these numbers in the blanks. Ask the class if it is a match. If not, erase the words. If so, leave them there and cross them out (see below).

On the board: 1 2 3 4 up 5

6 around 7 8 9 10

11 12 13 14 15

16 17 18 19 fool 20 call


Variation: Instead of matching the verb with an appropriate preposition, you can set up the grid to review meaning. Your instructor's grid might then look like this model. Follow the same rules for the game above.

Instructor's grid:1 call back 2 give back 3 stop sleeping 4 stop a machine/ light

5 get through


6 return 7 invent 8 return a call 9 start a machine/light 10 throw out

11 make up 12 shut off 13 be careful 14 put off 15 discard

16 wake up 17 postpone 18 turn on 19 watch out for 20 finish



. Draw a tic tac toe grid on the board with the first word of the phrasal verbs written in. Divide the class into two groups.

A student from Team X comes to the board and writes in the corresponding particle for the verb he/she selects. If correct, he/she draws his/her mark in the square (an X). (You may choose to accept only combinations you have studied in class or that are listed in the students' books, or you may decide to accept any correct combination. Whichever you decide to accept, make your decision clear to the students before playing the game.)

. A student from Team then comes to the board and does the same. If an answer is incorrect, the student cannot draw his/her mark and erases the answer. The next player on the other team may choose that same square or another square.

The first team with three marks in a row wins.

NOTE: You will probably want to explain game strategy such as blocking, but often the student's choice is based on which verb he/she knows.

As a follow-up, divide the class into groups of three and use the worksheet. One student is X, one is 0, and the other is in charge and can have his/her book open to the verb page to judge whether an answer is correct. After the first game, the students should rotate roles so that the judge is now one of the players. Continue until all students have had a chance to be the judge. As you will see, some of the verbs on the handout take several different prepositions. As long as the students make an acceptable phrasal verb, the answer is correct.

NOTE: The items on the worksheet come from the list in Fundamentals of English Grammar. If this worksheet is not appropriate to your class, modify i

Variation: On the grid on the board (or on a modified worksheet), fill in the squares with both parts of phrasal verbs. When a student selects a certain square, he/she must use the phrasal verb in a complete sentence


ask out do over fill up

get off give up try on

turn off make up hang up

A student from Team X chooses "give up." The student then makes a sentence orally: I couldn't understand the assignment, so I gave up. The sentence must reflect the student's understanding of the meaning of the phrasal verb. A sentence such as I gave up or Don't give up is not acceptable. If a sentence is accepted as being correct, the student writes an X over the square. A student from Team then chooses a square and makes a meaningful sentence using that phrasal verb. Alternate turns until one team has three in a row or the game is a draw.


See the directions for the Preposition Bee on Worksheet 1.5 or a similar list of your own sentences

Date: 2016-01-14; view: 2019

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