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Lesson Plan

Playing with Prepositions through Poetry

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Playing with Prepositions through Poetry

Grades 3 – 5
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Three 30-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Sharon Roth

Sharon Roth

Urbana, Illinois


National Council of Teachers of English



Featured Resources

From Theory to Practice



Students play with words as they explore how prepositions work in Ruth Heller's picture book Behind the Mask. They first explore the use of language in the text and identify how prepositions are used. They then read and identify prepositions used in a poem. Finally, students compose their own original prepositional poems, which they publish in a multimodal format modeled on Heller's text.

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  • Multigenre Mapper: Students use this online tool to map and publish a written piece that includes a drawing and up to three text genres.
  • Word Mover: Using this online tool, students can create original poetry by manipulating words on the screen. Completed work can be printed.

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"Grammar worksheets and grammar textbooks have their place and their purposes, but their limitations are serious," cautions Brock Haussamen in his chapter "Discovering Grammar" from Grammar Alive! A Guide for Teachers (16). As an alternative, he suggests that "we should teach grammar from authentic texts as much as possible. You can use the literature students are reading. . . to demonstrate any grammar lesson. You can also use the students' own writing to illustrate points of grammar-to illustrate not just errors but effective grammar as well" (17).

This lesson takes Haussamen's advice to heart and provides a series of activities that explores the dynamic connections that occur in a reading and writing workshop, experiences that flow seamlessly between students playing with language in an authentic shared text to building meaning in their own writing.

Further Reading

Haussamen, Brock, et al. 2003. Grammar Alive! A Guide for Teachers. Urbana, IL: NCTE.

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