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Fun with Prepositions and Describing Objects

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This activity worked very well in my class (ESL speaking/listening for international
teaching assistants) and I think it can be adapted to all kinds of contexts.
In order to practice prepositions like on top of, at the bottom of, next to, in, etc,
I prepared cards with simple drawings. It is completely up to the teacher what he/she
wants to include. I had card with imaginary flags, object consisting of different triangles,
diamonds, and rectangles, simple maps, landscapes with stick figures, and a few very basic graphs
or flow charts.
The students got together in pairs. Each pair received one card. One of them
took a card and the other had a pen and some scrap paper. Then, the student who had
the card had exactly 90 second to describe as much of the card as possible without
showing it to his/her partner. The partner had to draw a picture according to the
description. After time was up, they compared the results.
Then, the roles were switched. After each of these "rounds", I rotated the students
so that they were working with somebody else.
My students had a lot of fun with this activity,and they soon found out
by themselves how they could optimize the results (using advance organizers,
paying attention to pronunciation, etc). Besides practicing prepositions,
they actually got a lot of practice in speaking and listening in general.

Waltraud Roithmeier
State College, PA

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