Here are fun games to drill prepositions of place intermediate students, who in theory should already know them, so it’s a dense, revision lesson. Include as many prepositions of place as you need.
(Listening / speaking)
Use physical objects for this. Take objects and place them around the room, in, on, under, in front of, next to and so on. Call out a sentence such as “The red book is under the table.” Students race to spot the red book under the table and when they have found it call out, “The red book is under the table.” The first student to call this out wins a point for his or her team. Write this student’s name up on the board. Continue with another sentence. All students who have answered first, and consequently have their names written up on the board, are not allowed to answer first again – this way you avoid having one student answer everything because he or she is quicker than the rest of the class. However the student may, to keep them involved in the game, silently signal the whereabouts of the item to another team member who answers.
FIND A FRIEND (writing, speaking)
Next stick up words around the walls such as “chemist, cinema, swimming pool, pencil, Jane” and so on. Every student writes out three sentences relating to any of the words on the walls. These three sentences must contain a preposition of place. For example: ‘Jane is next to Peter. I am at the cinema. Denise is front of the chemists in the high street.’ Students then write out three QUESTIONS relating to the sentences. For example: ‘Where are you? Who is next to Peter? Where is Denise?’
Collect these in and check them for errors, or have students do this directly in class by handing their paper to another student. Walk around checking questions and sentences randomly and be on hand to answer queries from students. Chop them into strips, shuffle and distribute one slip of paper to each student. Students walk around class looking for any matching question and answer. This is done by approaching another student and reading out the sentence or question in hand and listening to the reply from the other student. If there is a match it is stored at the front of class and those students collect another strip from you. Continue for five minutes, stop the game and go through the answers using a different game.
One student comes to the front who will read out all the question and answer matches put together during the Find a Friend game just played. Let your best student do this so as to keep him or her challenged. The other students are divided into teams with six students or so per team. Let a shy student be at the board keeping the score as the game progresses. The student at the front reads out a question and answer. Teams listen and slap the desk if the question and answer are grammatically correct and match. The first one to slap the desk wins the point UNLESS the question or answer contains an error, or does not match, in which case TWO points are deducted! This forces students to listen and think carefully before slapping the desk since there is a bigger penalty for making a mistake than for getting it right.
Then do a gap fill game like this one: http://www.teachingenglishgames.com/adults/fillindrill.htm
Include all the prespositions of place in your text. This game includes EVERYONE and is a fantastic speaking drill for whatever specific language you need to work on.
Shelley Ann Vernon