Teaching prepositional concepts is difficult. I’m always working on this skill and often have many students with goals including working on following 1-2 step directions involving basic concepts or linguistic concepts. To target this goal I use different activities in therapy. Sometimes I use manipulatives/toys to target specific prepositions, structured games, or books to practice those prepositional concepts. I wanted to take these next few weeks to really focus on prepositional concepts with several groups of my students so I create a set of adapted books involving different prepositional concepts. The series includes – “Where is the Kitten?”, “Where is the Puppy?”, and “Where is the butterfly?” Each week I’m going to be using a different book in therapy and pairing it with an activity/craft. For these adapted books, the student either has to place the animal in the given location or find the correct prepositional concept to match where the animal is in the book. I’ll go through the different books each week.
The focus this week is “Where is the Kitten?” I wanted to start with this book because I think it might be slightly easier than the other 2 books. For this book the students have to select the matching kitten and place it in the correct location on each page. I used a different kitten on each page so the students can work on those visual discrimination skills! The book targets 6 different prepositions which include – “in”, “between”, “under”, “on”, “next to”, and “in front of”.
For my verbal students, I have them take turns pointing to the word boxes on each page and try reading/saying the words along with me. Since the book is repetitive the students usually can help read/repeat some of the words especially the words along the top – “where is the kitten?” Then I often have to help with the different prepositional concepts targeted on each page.
I used each preposition twice in the book. For example, one kitten is “under the desk” and another is “under the table”.
After we read the book I just played a game with my students which also included working on the “where” question and the preposition “in”. The game is called “Where Do I Live?”
Even though the game only really focuses on the preposition “in” I thought it paired well with the book. For this activity, the students have to match the animal to where that animal lives/sleeps. For example, the cow in the field, the chicken in the nest, and the kitten in the basket. It is still is great practice for that “in” prepositional concept.
There are several different ways I used this activity/game with my students depending on their skill level. There are 12 different animals/one person which are round shaped and each have a corresponding home on a square shaped tile. For my higher functioning student I placed all the round cards face down on one side and all the square cards face down on the other side.
Then the student gets to turn over one round card and one square card to see if they got a match. If the animal/person and the home match then the student gets to keep the match and I have the next student request his/her turn and do the same thing. Same as memory if the cards don’t match just turn them over and move on to the next person’s turn. I try to help the students remember where the animals are when they turn them over. After they turn over the card I might point to it and say which animal it was again to help practice those memory skills.
The game continues until the students find all the matches. Even though there are only 12 matches this can be challenging for the students to have to remember the animals and the animal homes because they are not just matching like pictures. After the student gets a match we practice saying the animal name and “where” they live in a complete phrase. For example “the bird lives in the cage” or “the dog lives in the dog house”. This is great to practice expanding those utterances.
To make it easier you could use only 6 matches at a time. For some of my students I lay out all the animal homes so they can see them.
Then I hand the student an animal and see if the student can verbally name the animal or find it on their AAC system. I just have the student work on matching the given animal/person to their home. I model simple phrases such as “fish in water” or “in water” as the student puts the fish on the fish tank.
You can find the “Where” series of adapted books on TPT with the link – “Where is the Animal?”
I got the “Where Do I Live” game a while ago but you can still find it online or in some stores. It says Carson-Dellosa Publishing Group on the box so if you are interested in the game you can google it to see where it is available.