This lesson starts with a discussion about wind and flight, a science topic we have been learning about. Scholastic has a great springtime Let's Go Fly a Kite! lesson plan set and ready for anyone to use. I encourage you to start there.
To bring in a creative writing aspect to all this kite flying and wind learning, I wanted to present my students with the concept of prepositions. We started with all the places a kite can go. I wrote down student responses on the board, and circled the prepositions. I got responses such as: “in the air," "in a tree," "on the ground," and "in the clouds.”
With lots of “in” phrases showing up, I asked students to think about other words that could describe where the kite could be. I used my whiteboard marker as an example, and asked students to pretend it was the kite. I invited students one-by-one to come up and place the marker somewhere in the room. The rest of the class started to get different ideas as the students moving the "kite" came up with all sorts of places to put it. I allowed students to add these ideas to the board: “under the table, on top of the book, over the bench.”
My next step was to take a look at the phrases we wrote on the board, and talk about the words that were not the preposition itself, but were a part of the prepositional phrase. I explained the term "prepositional phase" as a group of words that contain a preposition and that have a noun or a pronoun as the object.
Using our examples, we looked at which word was the preposition, and which word was the noun or pronoun that the preposition was describing. To help with this task, I used these freebies that are offered on Scholastic's site.
I invited students to create a prepositional story about a kite and the many places they could find it. I set the parameters for their writing by asking students to come up with at least six to eight prepositional phrases about their kite’s whereabouts. Their seventh line (or last line if they chose to write more than six) needed to be a verb phrase.
I took a moment to ask students about what that term meant, asking: “If a prepositional phrase is a group of words that has a preposition and its object, a verb phrase must be a _____?” Students shared their thoughts, and I elaborated by saying: “It is a phrase with a verb and any other words that describe the object.”
Students got started either free-verse writing or using the Prepositional Poem Template I created. The template is really helpful for those who need a little bit more scaffolding and support.
After students created rough drafts, they had a partner check their work, and then I gave it a glance as well. (This is when I secretly assessed their understanding of prepositions and grammar.) Students were invited to create a final draft of their writing by using a Google slide, a paper creation using this kite-shaped template, or typed and printed version.
Do you have an idea for teaching grammar? I’d love to hear it! Please leave a comment below.
Thank you for reading!