Consider this your source for everything ESL prepositions. We have the best prepositions games and activities, along with worksheets, lesson plans, online practice recommendations and more! Keep on reading for all the details you need to know about prepositions of place for English learners.
Top 10 Activities and Games for ESL Prepositions
Let’s get to the top 10 preposition ESL activities.
#1: Let’s Talk about the Picture
A quick warmer or review activity you can do for prepositions of place is to find an interesting picture with lots of things going on in it. Then, elicit some answers from students about where things are. Students could say things like:
- The man is behind the tree.
- There’s a dog under the table.
#2: ESL Preposition Board Game
In my real life, I like to play board games. That’s why I also like to include them in my English classes as well! The good news is that it’s really easy to make your own in just a few minutes for just about any topic, vocabulary set or grammar point, including prepositions.
In this case, you’d want to fill your board with WH questions like this:
- Where’s the clock?
- Where are you sitting?
Then, students have to answer the questions using a preposition of place. Want to know more about it? Find out all the details here:
#3: Prepositions Memory Game
#4: Physical Activity in the TEFL Classroom
Whenever possible, I love to get students of all ages up and out of their seats moving around the classroom. For adults, this usually involves a survey or something similar. However, you have so many more choices with kids!
For prepositions of place, one simple activity is to get students to move or touch something based on what you say. For example:
- Touch something on your desk.
- Put your leg under your chair.
- Look to the left.
- Your right arm is behind your back.
Also have a look at this: Parts of the Body ESL.
#5: Flashcards Preposition Game ESL
There are just so many things you can do with flashcards in a TEFL classroom! With kids, I almost never go to class without them actually. As far as prepositions of place go, I almost can’t think of a better situation in which you’d want to use them.
If you want to find out some tips and tricks, check this out: Using Flashcards for Teaching English.
#6: The Disappearing Sentence for ESL Prepositions
If you teach beginners, they may struggle with word order in sentences that involve prepositions. I know from my own experience studying Korean that this indeed can be a bit confusing in another language.
One way to give students some practice with this is to write a sentence on the board that uses a preposition. But, make sure it’s relevant to real life and something that the students can actually see in front of them. For example:
- The teacher is in front of the whiteboard.
Then, students have to say the sentence together. After that, erase a word or two and students have to say it again. Eventually, they’ll say the entire thing but without any words on the board.
#7: Dialogue Substitution
#8: Memory Games with ESL Prepositions
I love to play memory games with my TEFL students. They’re fun, engaging and allow students to focus on English while challenging themselves as well. There are a number of options to consider for games that you can use with prepositions. Find out all the details here:
#9: Draw a Picture
One of the best preposition activities is this one that involves drawing a picture with a partner. The way it works is that student A is looking at a picture and had to explain to student B what to draw. But, student B can’t look at the picture.
In this case, a little bit of a messy desk or table might be perfect. There should be a variety of things on, in, under, etc.
#10: Vocab Auction
#11: My Dream Room
A fun preposition activity for kids or adults is think about what their dream bedroom would look like and write about it. For example:
- There are a big TV on the wall.
- I want a big plant in the corner next to my bed.
ESL Preposition Worksheets
If you want to give your ESL/EFL students some extra practice with prepositions of place then you’ll want to consider some of these worksheets. Why make your own when another teacher has already done all the hard work, right? Right. Here are some excellent resources for you:
Preposition ESL Lesson Plans
If you’re a busy teacher then you’ll know how awesome it is to find a nice ESL preposition lesson plan that’s ready to just print off and use! Here are some of our recommendations for just that thing:
Online Practice for ESL Prepositions
If your students want a little bit of extra practice with prepositions of place, I have some good news for you! There are a ton of great resources available online that you can recommend to them:
Did you Like these ESL Preposition Games?
- Amazon Kindle Edition
- Smith, Jennifer Booker (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 133 Pages - 03/31/2016 (Publication Date)
Yes? Thought so. Then you’re going to love this book over on Amazon: 101 ESL Activities for Kids. The key to better English classes with children (or adults too!) is a wide variety of interesting, engaging games and activities. This book will help you get through the entire semester in style.
The best part about the book? It’s well-organized into various sections so you should be able to find what you’re looking for in just a minute or two. It certainly beats wading around on the Internet trying to find an engaging, student-centred activity that you can actually use.
Pick up a copy of the book to keep on the bookshelf in your office to use as a handy reference guide. Or, consider taking the digital version with you to your favourite coffee shop for some serious lesson planning on the go. Either way, it’s some ESL teaching awesome that you’re not going to want to miss.
Head over to Amazon to pick up a copy for yourself:
Prepositions for ESL FAQs
There are a number of common questions that people have about this topic. Here are the answer to some of the most popular ones.
What are prepositions for ESL?
Prepositions for ESL are commonly found in 4-skills ESL textbooks for beginners to low-intermediates, especially for kids. A preposition is a word that shows the position or location or something relative to something else. For example, “in, on, at, between.”
How do you teach prepositions of place?
To teach prepositions of place, follow a few simple steps.
- Use a reading passage with lots of prepositions in it.
- Have students circle them.
- Students can draw the relationships between the things mentioned in the article and the teacher can check.
- Play a preposition game or activity to test understanding.
- Have students make some sentences of their own using classroom objects.
What are the five types of prepositions?
The five types of prepositions are simple, double, compound, participle and phrasal. They are used to show relationships between nouns, pronouns or phrases in an English sentence.
Why are prepositions difficult for ESL students?
Prepositions can sometimes be difficult for ESL students because there are so many of them and the words are similar to each other in many cases (in, on for example). There is also some confusion about word order (“The computer is in my bag” vs. “The bag is in my computer.”)
Have your Say about ESL Prepositions
What’s your top pick for a preposition game ESL? Is it one of the options from this list or do you have your eye on another one? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think. We’d love to hear from you.
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Last update on 2022-01-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API