by Rachel Stepp
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Are you looking for ways to incorporate action into your reading lessons? Sometimes reading and grammar can be dull subjects for students…especially when we ask them to sit and listen to us talk. Here’s an idea to mix it up a bit!
Recently, I did an activity with a book called Rosie’s Walk by Pat Hutchins. This clever book is about a hen that outsmarts a fox by trickily walking around her farm. The book is filled with prepositions and scenarios that are hidden in the pictures. Your students will enjoy acting out the scenes and looking closely at the pictures to find out how the hen is tricking the fox. The book is fun all by its lonesome, but want to know what’s even more fun? Acting it out!
To act out the book, you are going to need to set up your classroom so that students have room to move around. Here is a list of some of the prepositions in the book and a couple of ideas for how students could demonstrate them:
Put a tape line down on the floor and ask your students to “walk across the tape.”
Give a student a pencil and ask her to “pass the pencil across your desk” to another student.
Have your students “walk across the sidewalk” on the way to the playground.
Put a book on the floor and “walk across” the book.
Now, scatter books around on your floor and ask your students to “walk around the books.”
Ask half of your class to pick places on the floor to sit, and then ask the other half of your class to “walk around your classmates.”
Once again, place something on the floor such as a textbook and ask your students to “step over the textbooks.”
Create several parallel tape lines on the floor and ask your students to “hop over the lines.”
Expand student learning even ask you travel around the school building by asking your students to “form a line past the cafeteria” on their way to lunch.
Before your students can start playing at recess, ask them to “walk past the swings” before they start talking or running.
Invite your students to use their brains and ask them things that they can “walk through.” They should come up with ideas such as walking through the door to get into the classroom.
The students will really enjoy “under” if you allow them to “crawl under their desks/tables.” This is something that we usually discourage students from doing, but they will be able to remember prepositions if they are able to act them out!
Your classroom might end up looking like an obstacle course and your students might feel like they are in P.E., but they will really enjoy being active during reading and grammar! And, they’ll be prepared to outsmart a fox…lest they ever meet one.
For more help teaching prepositions, check out these charts and games from The School Box.
Rachel Stepp is a graduate student at The University of Georgia.