Language Unit: Adverbial (prepositional) phrases (on, under, in)
This unit was written for young children, however, if you have older students who need to develop these concepts, you can use a similar format with age-appropriate materials and activities.
Have a table in front of the room. In a large box on the floor, have the objects that you will use, e.g., plate, bowl, glass, cup. Use objects that are already in their vocabulary.
- Point to the table. Ask the children if they remember what it is called.
- After they respond, say/sign the word, fingerspell it, and then have the children do the same.
- Write the word on the board.
- Pick up the plate and show it to the children.
- Have them identify it, sign and/or say, and fingerspell the word.
- Write the word on the board.
- Put the plate on the table.
- Ask: Where is the plate? (Some of the responses may be “table;” some may be “on table.”)
- Confirm: Yes, the plate is on the table. Write the phrase on the table on the board and read it.
- Tell the children that you will write an English sentence on the board that tells about the plate. Write: The plate is on the table.
- Say/sign the sentence, then have the children say/sign the sentence. Make sure they link the signs/speech to the printed words.
- Repeat the steps with the bowl, glass, and cup.
Tell students what they will learn and why
- Tell the children they will learn about the little word on, that the word on tells them where something is. It answers the question Where…?
- Write the word on on the board.
- Have the students sign/say and fingerspell the word.
- If you are using sign and/or speech, encourage the children to notice the shape and duration of the word as you say it for speechreading and the duration and sound of the word for auditory discrimination.
If your student(s) have some functional hearing, in all guided practice activities, encourage them to notice how the words/sentences look when speechreading and how they sound. If appropriate, present speechreading and auditory discrimination activities using the words and sentences in the unit.
- Show the children the bowl and ask them what it is.
- Elicit response bowl.
- Put the bowl on the table and ask: Where is the bowl?
- Elicit response on the table.
- Write the phrase on the table on the board.
- Students sign/say the phrase. Link the signs/speech to the printed words.
- Tell the children that you will write an English sentence that tells about the bowl. Write: The bowl is on the table.
- Say/sign the sentence and then have the children say/sign the sentence with you making sure they link the signs/speech to the printed words.
- Do the same steps with the other objects (glass, cup).
- Put a chair and a box by the table. Make sure the students can identify each object and say/sign the word.
- Give each student an object they are familiar with (e.g., plate, bowl, glass, cup, ball, doll). Tell them they will all play a game to see how much they learned and remembered.
- Tell one child: Put the (plate) on the table.
- After the child has performed the action, ask, “Where is the plate?”
- Elicit the response on the table and write the phrase on the board.
- Have all of the children say/sign the phrase. Ask who can tell you the English sentence. Provide the support needed to get the response The plate is on the table.
- Write the sentence on the board. Have the children “read” (say/sign) the sentence.
- Repeat the same steps with each child, sometimes asking them to put their objects on the table, on the chair, or on the box.
- Give each child a paper with drawings of a table, a chair, and a box.
- Children draw something (their choice) on the table, on the chair, and on the box. When finished, each child tells and shows their friends what she/he has drawn.
- Encourage students to use English sentences. Write each sentence on the board.
- In math class, reinforce combinations of a number (e.g., 5).
- Give each child 5 small blocks.
- Ask one child to put 2 blocks on the table. Ask another child to put 3 blocks on the table. Ask the class, “How many blocks are on the table?”
- Write the math sentence on the board: 2 + 3 = 5. Ask them to give you an English sentence and elicit the response, 5 blocks are on the table.
- Continue with other combinations such as 4 + 1, 3 + 2, 1 + 4.
- Whenever an opportunity arises during the day, use the new language structure and hold the children responsible for understanding it and using it.
- For example, if you say/sign, “Please put that book on your desk,” expect the child to perform the correct action.
- Or if you ask, “Where did you put your book?” expect them to respond with the correct phrase or sentence.
- Reinforce the children when they respond correctly.
- If they have difficulty, give them the support they need to be successful.
Concept development of under
Use steps and procedures similar to those described for the preposition on.
Discrimination activities for on and under
- Tell the children they will need to think fast for this game. Show them two word cards—one with on and the other with under written on it.
- Lay one pair of the cards on each desk making sure each child can read the words.
- Children may not pick up a card until they see what the teacher does.
- Put an object (a ball) on the table.
- The children must pick up the correct card (on) and hold it in the air. Check the cards to make sure they are right and then have the students put the cards back on their desks.
- Put the ball under the table; students select the correct card (under) and hold it up as fast as they can.
- Continue putting the ball on or under various objects in the room (tables, chairs, desks) speeding up the game with each object.
- Let a student take the teacher’s role and you sit at the child’s desk and take the student’s role.
- Repeat until several children have had a turn as “teacher.”
- Tell the children that they will play a game. The game will help them remember the words
on and under.
- Write the English sentences the children have been learning on small strips of paper. Fold the strips and put them in a jar.
- Put the objects you have been using to develop the concepts of on and under in a box.
- Divide the children into two teams. Give each captain a small bag.
- Each team takes turns sending one member to draw a sentence strip out of the jar. Student reads the sentence and performs the action indicated. (For example, if the student’s sentence says, Put the cup under the chair, the student must select the cup from the box and put it under the chair.)
- Student reads the sentence to the class and the class decides if the action performed was correct.
- If correct, give the student a marble that the student takes to the team captain who puts the marble into the team bag. Continue until everyone has had 2 or 3 turns.
- When finished, each team counts their marbles. The team that wins selects from a menu of choices such as: The teacher will read one extra story today. The children will get 5 extra minutes of recess today, etc. Their “prize” is that they get to make the choice; everyone participates in the activity.
Develop concept of in using similar steps and procedures.
- Use steps and procedures similar to those described for on and under.
- Use steps and procedures similar to those described previously for discrimination activities (on, under, and in).
- Have each child draw and color two pictures of each of the 3 new concepts (on, under, in).
- When completed, have each child, working individually with you, say/sign an English sentence for each picture. If appropriate, have the child write or copy the sentence under the picture.
- Children make their drawings into a book to take home to show their parents. Encourage them to tell or read the English sentences to their families.
- Use the new concepts in language experience stories.