Contributor: Kristen Gardiner. Lesson ID: 10496

Dive INTO this lesson WITH your teacher and get INTO prepositions! Learn FROM Schoolhouse Rock, online games and tests, and write your own poetry to deepen your understanding OF prepositional phrases!


Grammar, Grammar

English / Language Arts
learning style
Auditory, Visual
personality style
Otter, Golden Retriever
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!


You may think this is an ordinary box... 

Where could you hide if you had that box? 
Could you hide in the box? How about behind the box?  

Where could you sit or stand if you had that box?
Maybe you would like to stand beside the box. You could sit and place the box over your head, so you would be under the box. 

Where would you go if that box could magically travel anywhere? 
Did you go to the city and visit family? Go to the park? See a friend at the mall?  

Oh, I forgot to mention that this box can travel through time, so when would you like to leave? 
Before dinner would be a fine time (we're having meatloaf).  

See, It's Not an Ordinary Box - It's a Preposition Box! 

Just think about how many places you could be in relation to a box. You could be on it, in it, behind it, beside it, or under it. If we had two boxes you could be between them. You could even go over, across, or around the box. You could also go into the box!  

Prepositions of time tell us when we did all these things in relation to the box. You could have climbed onto the box at two o’clock. You could have crawled into it after lunch. You could have been playing with it during playtime. 

Finally, prepositions sometimes come in twos and threes. Can you think of one place we didn’t talk about in relation to the box? Yes, we could have stood in front of it! We could also have climbed out of it or walked up to it. We could also be at the box instead of somewhere else. Aren’t prepositions fun?

We're about to learn all about these nifty little words called prepositions. 

What is a Preposition? 
A preposition is a part of speech that shows a relationship between two things.  

  • Location (on, under, in) 
  • Timing (before, after, during) 
  • Direction (from, toward, to)  

Prepositions are used to link words like nouns and pronouns to other words in a sentence. These other nouns and pronouns are the object of the preposition. This is a good clue for recognizing prepositions. Pre means before, and position means place – so the preposition is placed before the object! 

Here is an Example: 
The mouse is on the table. 
Two things: mouse + table
Relationship: one is on the other 

Mouse is being linked to table by the preposition on, making table the object of the preposition. Can you imagine a mouse on the table! Eeek!

Let's try another so we fully understand how the preposition shows a location, direction, or time relationship between the subject or other noun in a sentence to the noun that follows the preposition. 

Remember: The object of a preposition 

  • must be a noun or a pronoun 
  • always comes at the end of a prepositional phrase 

Also, we call the words from the preposition to its object a prepositional phrase. A standard prepositional phrase follows this formula: 

preposition + article (a, an, the) + noun or pronoun = prepositional phrase  

The cookies are in the oven 

Here we can ask, "Where are the cookies?" 
This question can be answered with the prepositional phrase, "in the oven."

Based on our formula above, in is the preposition and oven is the object is the preposition. 
The two nouns being linked are cookies and oven - the preposition in tells us that the cookies can be found in the oven. 

Once you begin to recognize prepositions, finding the object of the preposition becomes much easier.  

The One Golden Rule! 

The function of a preposition is to link two nouns together to answer a question about location, direction, or time. Since the object of the preposition, one of the nouns being linked, comes AFTER the preposition in a sentence it is never correct to end a sentence with a preposition. Ending a sentence with a preposition just does not make sense, so don't do it! 

Time to Review with a Video 

It's time again for Schoolhouse Rock. This time we are going to hear about some common Prepositions and review the material we just learned:

Elephango's Philosophy

We help prepare learners for a future that cannot yet be defined. They must be ready for change, willing to learn and able to think critically. Elephango is designed to create lifelong learners who are ready for that rapidly changing future.