Build a scene to demonstrate the use of prepositions
A preposition is a relationship word that connects a noun or pronoun (an antecedent) with another word or phrase (the object) in a sentence. Younger students studying the parts of speech are sometimes told that a preposition is any word that describes the relationship between a squirrel and a tree! This kind of explanation covers the common prepositions, such as '''in''', '''around''', and '''under''', but it omits some others, such as '''about''' and '''except''' For students who have mastered nouns and verbs, the next step is to learn about modifiers and prepositions. Simple examples of prepositions provided by the teacher can lead students to generate their own examples.
During the initial discussion of prepositions, it may be helpful to list as many prepositions as possible on the chalkboard or on a common list for the students to use in the activity. Students will need writing materials for their sentences.
The teacher provides a simple definition of a preposition and a prepositional phrase, followed by examples.
Students volunteer their own examples of prepositions and phrases as part of a classroom discussion (group activity).
Students use the Blocks to illustrate as many prepositions as possible (individual activity).
Students write sentences to describe each illustrated preposition (e.g., The pyramid is under the cube).
A hard preposition, such as within, can be done by putting the scene in Wire Frame mode, getting an object (e.g., a car) from one of the theme sets, and placing the object inside (within) the pyramid. Toggle the Wire Frame mode on and off to illustrate the car is within the pyramid.
Students are evaluated on their correct use of prepositions in both their illustrations and their sentences. Students should be able to identify both the preposition and its object in each case.
Students may want to exchange papers or share ideas and sentences in small groups. The teacher can then evaluate students individually or as a group.
The teacher may ask students to label other parts of speech in their sentences, such as nouns and verbs.
Students develop a short story, rather than a series of unrelated sentences, to illustrate their understanding of prepositions. Each story can be illustrated by one or several scenes using the Blocks.
Students are instructed to create a Blocks scene viewed from Camera 1 and describe the scene using prepositional phrases. Then, the students are asked to view the same scene from Camera 2 and describe it again. Students should explain how the prepositions have changed as a result of the changed views.
The Blocks are used by students to illustrate some of the more difficult prepositions, such as '''beyond''', '''aboard''', '''until''', '''during''', '''about''', '''after''', '''like''', '''since''', and '''throughout'''.