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# understand and use prepositions behind in front

Description:

The child will understand and use the words "behind" and "in front"

 Early years skill: Shape, space and measure Early years typical range: 30-50m P-scales/Nat. Curriculum skill: Maths Shape Space and Measures P-scales/Nat. Curriculum level: P7 TAP skill: Language TAP level: TAP42
 Section: Early Years (0-5yrs); Primary (5-11yrs)
Activity/strategy name and materials required How to do the activity Key principles for doing the activity and comments
Behind with easily available objects

Cup,

box,

pencil,

ruler

(you could substitute different objects if you prefer)

prompt cards showing the required positions of the items (optional)

1. Tell the child that you are going to put the pencil behind the cup - put the objects in the right places.

2. Next tell them that you are going to put the pencil behind the box.

3. Put the pencil and ruler in different places, describing what you are doing.

Repeat a number of times as necessary putting different objects behind other objects.

4. Then explain it's the child's turn to put the object in the right place. Say "put the pencil behind the box". If the child gets it right, say, "well done, the pencil is behind the box". If s/he gets it wrong, show them where the pencil goes.

5. Carry on giving the child instructions.

6. Let the child have a turn to give the instructions so s/he practices use the words. If the child finds it difficult to think of what to say, make a set of prompt cards.

Make sure that you sit next to the child when you work on these prepositions - this will make sure that what's "behind" for you will also be behind for the child

Each time you describe what you are doing or you ask the child to carry out an action, stress the preposition word so they can hear what the important word in that sentence is.

At first you should usually work on contrasting prepositions, such as "behind" and "in front" separately, as working on them together when they are both new to the child can cause the child to be confused between the two.

"In front" with easily available objects

Materials as above

Carry out the activity as above, this time working on "in front of"

Behind and "in front" with easily available objects

1. Tell the child that you are going to put the pencil behind the cup - put the objects in the right places.

2. Next tell them that you are going to put the ruler in front of the box.

3. Put the pencil and ruler in different places, describing what you are doing.

4. Then explain it's the child's turn to put the object in the right place. Say "put the pencil behind the box". If the child gets it right, say, "well done, the pencil is behind the box". If s/he gets it wrong, show them where the pencil goes.

5. Carry on giving the child instructions.

6. Let the child have a turn to give the instructions so s/he practices use the words. If the child finds it difficult to think of what to say, make a set of prompt cards.

Make sure that you sit next to the child when you work on these prepositions - this will make sure that what's "behind" for you will also be behind for the child

Each time you describe what you are doing or you ask the child to carry out an action, stress the preposition word so they can hear what the important word in that sentence is.

Do this activity only after you have worked on the prepositions separately.

Hide and seek with miniatures

Miniature people (such as Playmobil) or Teddy, Doll

Places for the miniature people to hide, for example toy furniture, bricks, toy car, book etc.

Act out a hide and seek game with the miniatures. For example, one animal goes out whilst the other one hides (for example "in front of" or "behind" something from the perspective of the children). The animal comes back in - make the animal act like he can't find the other one. The children have to tell him where to look - make the animal do what the children tell it to do (though maybe he might sometimes not hear very well - for example looking behind the book rather than the cup).

The more enthusiastically you act his out the better.

This game can be highly motivating.

Picture description

Several paired pictures showing the same person, animal or object behind and in front of an object (e.g. a cat behind a bin and a cat in front of a bin; a person behind a chair and a person in front of a chair, etc.)

Pencil and paper or white board and pen

1. Explain to the child that you are going to play a guessing game. Explain that you will take it in turns to talk about a picture and to listen to the description and to draw a picture based on what they hear.

2. Give the child the pencil and paper/ whiteboard and pen.

3. Shuffle the pictures and select one without showing the child.

4. Tell the child what the picture shows, stressing the word 'behind or in front (e.g. "the boots are behind the umbrella".

5. Once the child has completed their drawing, compare it to the picture. Encourage the child to focus on whether they have represented the preposition correctly.

6. Swap roles so that the child has a chance to describe.

This activity is particularly useful for children who are mixing up the words "behind" and "in front".

Make sure that the child understands that you are expecting a quick sketch, rather than a very careful drawing that would take a long time to execute.

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