Lesson plan

Get Down with Prepositional Phrases

Let's get down with grammar! Use this advanced preposition lesson plan to introduce your students to the parts of a prepositional phrase.
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Students will be able to identify a preposition and its object in a prepositional phrase.

(5 minutes)
  • To review, remind your students that a PrepositionIs a word that expresses the relationship between a noun and another word.
  • Ask students to volunteer examples of prepositions (i.e. under, above, across). Record the list of words that students generate on a sheet of chart paper.
  • Use one of the words from the list in a sentence (i.e. The dog sits UnderThe table.) Write the example on the board to refer to later.
  • Call on students to use other words from the list in a sentence.
(10 minutes)
  • Explain that a Prepositional phraseIs a modifying phrase consisting of a preposition and its object.
  • Refer to your earlier example (i.e. The dog sits under the table.) Underline the prepositional phrase—under the table. Tell students that this underlined part of the sentence is the prepositional phrase.
  • Circle the preposition—under—and remind students that this is the preposition.
  • Draw an arrow from the preposition to the object—the table—and tell students that this is the object of the preposition.
  • Explain that the ObjectIs the noun that follows the preposition. In this example (the dog sits under the table) we can ask ourselves, "The dog sits under what?" The answer (the table) is the object of the preposition.
  • Write another example on the board (i.e. A monkey eats at noon.)
  • Have students turn to a neighbour and whisper the prepositional phrase. Call on a student to share the answer (At noon).
  • Invite a student to come up and circle the preposition (At).
  • Then ask, "The monkey eats at what time?"
  • Have students shout out the answer (Noon). Draw an arrow from the preposition to the object (Noon) and say, "This is the object of the preposition."
  • Point out that the phrase contains a preposition but does not end with a preposition. The object should follow the preposition, so a sentence will never end in a preposition.
  • Provide additional examples as needed. Underline the prepositional phrase, circle the preposition, and draw an arrow to the object in each example.
(10 minutes)
  • Write a sentence on the board (i.e. The bird in the tree sings a tune.) Invite a student to come underline the prepositional phrase in the sentence (In the tree).
  • Have students talk with a partner and identify the preposition in the underlined phrase (In), then circle it.
  • Ask students, "The bird InWhat?" to prompt them to think about the object.
  • Then, draw an arrow from the circled preposition to its object (The tree).
  • Hand out the top half of the Language Arts Review Part 2 worksheet. (Note: You will not use the bottom half of the worksheet in this lesson).
  • Go through the first example with the class. In addition to underlining the prepositional phrase, circle the preposition and draw an arrow to the object.
  • Instruct students to work with a partner to identify the prepositional phrase, preposition, and object in each of the remaining sentences.
  • When finished, invite a few students to share their work with the class.
(10 minutes)
  • Hand out the Preposition Examples worksheet.
  • Modify the instructions on the page by telling students that, in each sentence, they will need to underline the prepositional phrase, circle the preposition, and draw an arrow to the object.
  • Have students complete the worksheet independently.
  • Circulate and offer support as needed.


  • Teach an introductory preposition lesson plan prior to this lesson, such as the What's Up, Prepositions? lesson plan.
  • Provide students with a list of prepositions as a tool while they work independently, such as the List of Prepositions worksheet.
  • Complete some examples on the worksheet with the class before having students work independently.
  • Offer students additional practise with prepositions before having them identify prepositional phrases, such as the Preposition Sentence Examples worksheet.


  • Have students add their own prepositional phrases to simple sentences (see the Add a Prepositional Phrase to a Sentence worksheet).
  • Provide examples of more complex sentences in which an object is modified by an adjective (i.e. The dog sits under the old, blue table.) Explain that a prepositional phrase may contain additional descriptive words to make them more interesting or specific. Have students add descriptive words to the simple sentences they used in the lesson.
  • Follow up this preposition lesson plan by talking about modifiers: Refer back to the definition of a prepositional phrase (a modifying phrase consisting of a preposition and its object) and emphasize the fact that the prepositional phrase is a modifier. A modifier describes something. Explain that a prepositional phrase can act as an adjective to modify a noun (i.e. the student next to me is Victor) or as an adverb to modify a verb, adverb, or adjective (i.e. Tracy runs around the track.) A prepositional phrase comes immediately after the word it is modifying (i.e. student, runs). Have students identify the word being modified in a series of sentences. Ask students whether the prepositional phrase is functioning as an adjective or adverb in each example.
(10 minutes)
  • Hand out three blank index cards to each student.
  • Have students label each card with one of the following words (in large print): prepositional phrase, preposition, object.
  • Write a sentence on the board (i.e. The dog next to Henry is friendly.)
  • Then, say a part of the sentence aloud (i.e. Henry), and instruct students to hold up the card that shows what part of the sentence you identified.
  • Repeat with different sentences and different parts. Observe student responses to gauge understanding.
  • As a challenge, include other parts of the sentence in the assessment (i.e. friendly or dog) which are none of the three options on student response cards. In this situation, the correct response would be to not raise a card.
(5 minutes)
  • Close the lesson using a 3–2–1 protocol.
  • In a notebook, or on a piece of scratch paper, have students write:
    • Three vocabulary words learned during the lesson,
    • Two examples of what they learned, and
    • One question they have.

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