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Prepositions are a word that starts a phrase or it may refer to position, place, time, manner and there are a number of great picture books that feature the overuse of prepositions which make them ideal to use in your teaching of this part of speech.
Like Where's the Gold? by Pamela Allen - a story of three friends and a rather loud and annoying parrot searching for treasure down a tunnel, around rock, deep underground until something scares them and they rush back up to the surface past all the obstacles again. It's predictable text making it a great read aloud and is reminiscent of We're Going on a Bear Hunt (Classic Board Books)- another great picture book and group activity to get everyone moving their bodies.
Or Along a Long Road by Frank Viva. A beautifully illustrated text that follows a cyclist on his journey around a small town (great one for maps too). Going up, going down, around, through a tunnel, in, out, over a bridge - all to do it all over again. A fun read!
One of the first books I bought my own family was Where Is the Green Sheep? by Mem Fox. A simple text, perfect for the preschool set. It's not as rich as some in prepositions but is a great introduction. 'Here is the up sheep, here is the down sheep' but the illustrations by Judy Horacek lend themselves to lots of talk about where the sheep are - Who is on the seesaw? Whose up? Whose down? The sheep is under the umbrella. The kite is high up in the sky. Who else is in the train with the sheep? It also lends itself to a real life game of hide and seek - a universal favourite no-one ever seems to tire of.
Another childhood favourite Guess How Much I Love You is full of prepositions too. The classic story of a Little Nutbrown Hare and a Big Nutbrown Hare who try to out-do each other with their declarations of love for the other.
'He tumbled upside down and reached up the tree trunk with his feet.
"I love you all the way up to my toes!" he said.
"I love you across the river and over the hills," said Big Nutbrown Hare.
Follow the Line by Laura Ljungkvist is, as the title suggests, an invitation to follow the line that makes its way through the entire book from front to back cover, 'through the noisy traffic... across the wide ocean... up, up high in the sky... into the big forest'. Another great read to get everyone up and moving. A preschool I work at has three different lines on the floor, one straight, one curvy and one zigzag, for the children to balance on or line up along. As an aside, I loved this recent post by Ms Jessi.
Or one I'd forgotten about - Where's Spot? by Eric Hill. Great for early readers and everyone loves lift-the-flap books. It was a sure way of keeping one of mine seated until the end of the book and sturdy enough to survive a preschooler. A great book which sees Spot's mum searching behind doors, under the stairs, inside clocks and in the piano for Spot. A definite favourite!
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Of course working with prepositions lends itself to both map making and book creating. I've taken photos of students in, behind, on, under, next to and put them together as a book. Students can make their own books easily either by drawing or taking photos themselves. Always interesting seeing photos taken by children! I've also used the free Collins Big Cat ebook app 'Bike Ride' on the IWB which also has the option of using the illustrations to create your own book that you can add you voice too.
The kids loved that or Puppet Pals HD would work well too. Well worth spending the extra to get the directors pass which allows you to take and use your own photos in the play.
So many songs with movement provide children with adjectival phrases - Incy Wincy went up... Jack came down and Jill came tumbling after. That's why nursery rhymes are still so valuable in early childhood. Picture books provide great exposure too and whilst I have shared a few here, I'm sure there are many more. Leave your suggestions in the comments, I look forward to reading them.
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