Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Position Words for Preschoolers

In, over, under, around, through...these are the types of words that can easily confuse preschoolers, especially those children who are learning to speak English. How can we help all of these children learn these key words that can often be confusing?

One of the best ideas is to use high leverage practices to model the meaning of the words for children. When we model, we are clear and concise in our choice of vocabulary. More importantly, we demonstrate the meaning of vocabulary using hand gestures or by moving our bodies. It is important to remember that we should ask children to quietly sit and watch us before having them engage in jumping over a book or walking around a chair. This is because often children get excited when moving around. By asking them to watch you first, this helps children to process the meaning of position words. 

In addition, there are several books that help children not only hear these words used in authentic texts but you can emphasize these as you read.  Two of our favorite books for this purpose are Rosie's Walk by Pat Hutchins and Inside, Outside, Upside Down by Stan Berenstain. Using high leverage practices, modeling, read a book the first time through using hand gestures to demonstrate the meaning of position words. Then read a second time for children to act out the key words. 

As children walk and play outside, encourage them to use this vocabulary in context. 

If your class goes for a walk, have them chant sentences like, "Walking over the bridge."

Intentionally ask children to practice position words. Make it a game by playing, "Teacher Says." This child has responded to, "Teacher says point UP." Either this variation of "Simon Says or a fun version of "Mother May I" are appropriate ways to engage young children with position words. 

Finally, you can assess the ability of children to use and understand position words by giving them a cup and plastic toy.  Have them tell you a story about how the toy is above the cup, under the cup, on the cup, etc. 

ELL Connection:
As you can see, this is a helpful strategy for our English Language Learners. 

Standards Alignment:
NAEYC - 2.B.01 & 2.D.04
Head Start - VI.A. & IX.A.

No comments:

Post a Comment