Lesson plan

Wacky Paragraphs with Prepositional Phrases!

Want to help your students write more juicy details in their stories? This lesson will teach your class to identify and form prepositional phrases in their own writing while reinforcing the importance of prepositions.
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Students will be able to identify and form prepositional phrases in their writing.

(5 minutes)
  • Gather students and show them two versions of a paragraph they are currently reading in class:
    • One version with the prepositional phrases left out.
    • Another version unedited, as is.
  • Ask students to compare the two paragraphs and share their thoughts with a partner regarding the differences.
  • Have a few students share their thinking with the class.
  • Explain to students that, in one paragraph, the prepositional phrases were deleted.
  • Underline the prepositional phrases in each sentence, and point them out explicitly to your class.
  • Tell your students that today they will discover the importance of prepositional phrases in their writing and that of their peers.
(10 minutes)
  • Remind students that prepositions are parts of speech that express the relationship between a noun, pronoun, and other words in the sentence. They are often used to demonstrate time, location, or direction.
  • Brainstorm with your class as many prepositions as possible, and write these on chart paper for all to see.
  • Take care to note the most common prepositions: with, in, on, at, over, through, before, after, since, during, from, of, beside, inside, under, and across.
  • Show The Prepositions Song video.
  • Remind your students that prepositional phrases always begin with a preposition and end with a noun or pronoun. They often tell us the where and the which of a sentence (e.g. The girl with pitch black hair ran into the store. Which girl? The girl with the pitch black hair. Where did she run? Into the store.)
(15 minutes)
  • Ask students to take out their writing journals or samples and ask for a volunteer to share a piece of writing.
  • Model how to underline the prepositional phrases with a colored pencil to help students realize how essential they are in writing and how much they naturally use them in their stories.
  • Have students work with a partner to go hunting for prepositional phrases in each others' writing.
  • From their own writing or their partner's, have students jot down three of their favorite prepositional phrases on a sticky note and add 2–3 more prepositional phrases to their list.
  • Show students how to create a wacky paragraph using some of the phrases on the sticky notes, such as up the tree, under the stars, during the night, with a big smile, and inside a cave.
    • Example: There once was a bear who lived inside a cave. She woke up one morning with a big smile and plenty of energy, so she decided to climb up the tree to have her breakfast. She stayed there all day. Later on, she met a lemur during the night and they ended up becoming friends under the stars.
  • If needed, add a quick sketch to the paragraph.
(15 minutes)
  • Collect the sticky notes and redistribute them to the students. Make sure no one gets their own list.
  • Ask students to independently write their own wacky paragraph using the prepositional phrases on the sticky note.
  • Encourage students to add an illustration to their paragraph if time permits. Walk around the room to support students with guiding questions and posted lesson resources.


  • Demonstrate the concept of prepositions using a concrete objects, such as a stuffed animal and a box, while sharing statements like, "The stuffie is beside the box. The stuffie is in the box."


  • Encourage students who finish early to find and add more prepositional phrases to their list from their independent reading and share them with a partner. Check to make sure they are indeed prepositional phrases.
(5 minutes)
  • Have students turn in their wacky paragraphs.
  • Check both the sticky notes and their paragraphs to assess for ability to form a prepositional phrase and use it correctly.
(5 minutes)
  • Ask for a few student volunteers to read their paragraphs aloud to the class. Ask the students who are listening to name the prepositional phrases they hear in the paragraph.
  • Remind your class that prepositional phrases are important in writing because:
    • They are parts of speech that express the relationship between a noun or pronoun and other words in the sentence.
    • Their form is often used to demonstrate time, location or direction.
    • Prepositional phrases add detail and further enrich their writing.

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