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Thursday, 9 May 2013

Prepositional List Poem

After I put up the last post (Prepositional Phrases, 7th May) I started thinking about ways to create prepositional phrases with children.  The prepositions indicating 'where' are the easiest to start with and I thought it would be fun to try a list poem about their journey to school, or another favourite destination that they know well.  The idea really is to help them understand that a prepositional phrase can be created by starting with a preposition and then adding a noun or noun phrase.  Once children know how to create 'where' prepositional phrases, they can develop their use in the adverbial positions in sentences, to give readers information about where the 'action' is taking place.

Preposition - Year 3 terminology in the proposed new curriculum
Provide an example of prepositions (this would be a useful addition to your literacy working walls) and discuss what they mean.  Elicit that they can be used to say where things are. 

Ask the children to make a list of the things they see on their journey and explain these are the nouns (or noun phrases if more than one word is used, e.g. the church).

Model putting a preposition with a noun/noun phrase and discuss how it informs the reader where you are while you are walking or driving.

Children can then experiment with creating their own prepositional phrases and writing each one on a strip of paper.  You could order these, with children holding their phrase, so that a poem is created physically around the classroom.  Children could re-order themselves to create different effects in their poem.

After this practical experience, children could develop their own poem, either listing phrases sequentially along their route to school, on a school trip, or creating an imaginary route.  The latter would give chance for their phrases to be ordered to create some rhythm or rhyme in their poem.

Here's my example of a sequential journey.  Not finely crafted, but it gives the idea!

My journey to work
Down the lane,
Across the bridge,
Along the road,
Into the village.
Through the lights,
Past the church,
At the roundabout,
Out of the village.
Up the hill,
Under branches of trees,
Over the top
on Woodbury Common.
Between farm shop and fields
Beyond pubs, parks and houses,

One more idea!  As the journey is sequential, it acts like a map and children could fairly easily learn this for performance.  Different ways of performing it could also give opportunity for communicating speed of the journey to listeners.


  1. What a great idea Sandra. I love it! Another way this idea could work would be to use the book The Paperbag Prince by Colin Thompson. The second page whcih shows the rubbish dump would be a great image to use to create a preposition list poem as a warming up the word activity. Will link and tweet in all the approriate places!

  2. Yes, am planning to use that on some training soon!