Advanced English Grammar



Teaching Prepositions


When teaching prepositions, there are many tried and true methods. A combination of methods including a couple of the more popular forms mentioned below will probably produce the best results.

Of course, the classic method is to teach prepositions with a song which is always popular... probably because it works so well.

Prepositions set to the tune of 'Jingle Bells,' 'Row Your Boat, or 'Yankee Doodle' are easy and fun plus, most importantly, memorable.

Other ways work really well too -- depending on how much time and energy you're willing to spend -- like a preposition walk. This includes physically walking around, through, over, under, etc., objects and can be limited in a classroom setting so it works best for those who can take their kids on a short walk around the school yard.

Or, you might want to try teaching prepositions with a game of preposition charades. As the name implies, it involves acting out the meaning of a preposition and having the class guess which preposition it is.


Teaching Prepositions

Let's not forget that prepositions take their meaning from the phrase or sentence in which they are used; so some prepositions have more than one meaning depending on how they are used in the sentence.


"The clock is over the door." "Over," here, shows location.
"The bird flew over the river." "Over," here, shows direction.

When teaching prepositions, you need to be sure to maintain the meaning you want to communicate in the sentence.

Another way to teach prepositions effectively (and one of my favorites) is to write a sentence on the board and have your kids replace the prepositional phrase, thereby changing the sentence.


The jogger ran around the track. (down the road, over the bridge, through the park, along the river, etc.)

With each re-write have students point out what the object of the preposition is as well. (By making a game of it, the students will like it and remember the prepositions that much more ;-)

To go to the prepositions page and to learn more about teaching prepositions click on the preceding link.