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."|
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.
As you can see, this is a helpful strategy for our English Language Learners.
NAEYC - 2.B.01 & 2.D.04
Head Start - VI.A. & IX.A.