There are approximately 150 prepositions in English. The prepositions of, to and in are among the ten most frequent words in English. The name “preposition” (pre + position) means “place before”. Prepositions usually come before another word, such as a:

  • noun
  • pronoun
  • noun phrase
  • gerund (participle of verb – ends in –ing – but used as a noun, e.g., The dancing was enjoyed by all.)

Activities to support the strategy

Activity 1: preposition quiz

Teachers download free PDF file “English Prepositions List”, available at

This e-book is not a “dictionary of prepositions.” It provides access to virtually all the English prepositions in one place with examples of their use in context. It also tests understanding of prepositions with 200 quiz questions (20 ten question quizzes) (with answers). Joint construction of answers could be quick lesson breaks.

Download a PDF that can be saved and used on the IWB with a writing overlay.

Activity 2: preposition hangman

Ask students either independently or with a partner to play preposition hangman

Activity 2: preposition of place game

Students drag objects from underneath the main illustration. Once clicked on the instructions tell you where to put it. Drawers, cupboards etc. open.

Activity 4: preposition desert

Students play independently. Reading required

Activity 5: prepositional grammar wheel

Students play independently. Reading required.

Activity 6: outside prepositional play

Download and print the cards. In a group outside and around the  fixed equipment (playground equipment) students follow the picture directions (PDF 635KB)

Activity 7: preposition website

Using the preposition website below use this as a quick stimulus material for IWB

Activity 8

Use previous NAPLAN strategies


Australian curriculum reference

ACELA1493: Understand that the meaning of sentences can be enriched through the use of noun groups/phrases and verb groups/phrases and prepositional phrases.

NSW literacy continuum reference

COMC9M8: Comprehension, Cluster 9, Marker 8: Builds understanding about the meaning of a text by identifying and discussing text organisation and features, e.g. cohesive links.

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