Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Teaching Prepositions through Clay

Once again, I am honoured to have Jennifer Kofin as a guest blogger on my site.  She is an ESL teacher at my school, and a damn good one at that!

Here is her engaging lesson:
Teaching Prepositions through the use of Clay

Last week I had to prepare a lesson on location prepositions for my ESL students. Knowing that teaching this particular topic could be quite boring, I searched for ways to make it more engaging.

I found a story that covered the prepositions that we were learning in class. I had the students read the story and then had them highlight all of the location prepositions that they could find. Students were then given clay and asked to sculpt the examples of prepositions from the story. Students took this task and thrived on it!

Every student had to represent the same prepositions, but there were no limits on how the students had to design their objects. Each student had a different interpretation of what to create. Students found meaning in the task and effectively learned how and when to use these prepositions.
Below are the prepositions that were used in the story:
  • Above
  • Below
  • Under
  • Over
  • On
  • In front of
  • Beside
  • Behind
Students were then asked to write a story using these prepositions. Once students understood the prepositions they were good to go! Each story was unique and used the prepositions properly. Their learning was extended because they had to create meaning from the stories that they wrote. Students were actually excited to write and did a great job!  Here is one of clay pictures:

Personally, I gave Jennifer a high five!  I am pleased to see another example where not every student needed to get the same answer to be correct!  True demonstration of creativity in the classroom.  GO JEN GO!

1 comment:

  1. That's a great idea Jenn! Teaching ESL is a lot like teaching FSL, we should chat more.