Prepositions describe the relationship between words in a sentence and include words, such as "to," "by," "at," "across," "near" and "under," to indicate direction, place, time, manner and amount. Adults who are learning English can participate in fun activities to help them learn the proper way to use prepositions through activities in and outside of the classroom.
Adults can learn prepositions by drawing scenarios related to the prepositions. Distribute worksheets with simple sentences that use prepositions and have the students draw an image that matches the sentence. For example, they can draw a book on top of a table for a sentence that reads, "The book is on the table."
Another fun activity is to distribute worksheets with a picture of an office or a room in a home, such as a bedroom, living room or kitchen. Sentences are written below the image that describe certain things in the picture but a blank is left for the preposition. The student should fill in the blank with a preposition based on what they see in the picture.
Students can learn prepositions by playing fun games without having to divide them into teams. In one game, students have to guess what object you're referring to in a room based on your description. Say, "I am across from the computer" and the first student to figure out what that object is gets a point.
In another game, create a drill for each row of students seated in a classroom from left to right. Write a list of incomplete phrases on the blackboard in front of each row of students, with each row having the same list. The row in front begins and students can write "in" beside "the box," for example, and "over" beside "the fence." The first person from each row who completes the drill first and correctly by completing all of the phrases wins. The game ends when each row from front to back has had a chance to play.
Play group games to teach adults prepositions if you have a lot of students in a class. In one game, divide students into two groups and have each group form a line. Students in each row take turns by following different commands that you give, such as "Put your hand on the desk" and "Walk around me." The person who does it the fastest gets a point and the team with the most points wins.
Another idea is to divide students into groups of two or more. Instruct the students to look around the classroom. The object of the activity is for each group to write down as many sentences with prepositions based on things they see around the classroom. The team with the most correct number of sentences in a given time wins.
Take adults outside of the classroom to learn prepositions. Divide students into pairs and give each pair a map. Students have to find specific places based on your descriptions. For example, create a list with instructions, such as "It is on Eucalyptus Street," and "next to the Holiday Inn." Give students several places to locate within a specific vicinity and see if they come up with the correct list of places.
Bring the students outdoors and have them actually do the actions based on prepositions. For example, everyone can have a chance to jump over the puddle, stand between two parked cars, walk under the tree, lean against the wall or walk around the fire hydrant.
Veronica Romualdez has over 10 years of writing experience, which includes thousands of articles that have been published online as well as marketing copy for online stores. She's written e-learning/training material and technical and instructional manuals. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in communication and completed a course in interior design.