In order to become stellar readers, children need practice finding prepositional phrases in text. One reason for this is to help them read more fluently. Think about the phrasing fluent readers practice that make their reading fluid and easy to understand. When you come to a paragraph like the following one, learning to recognize prepositional phrases will help with this fluency and even with reading comprehension.
“I live on a dairy which my mom and dad own. They own many cows which we milk before the sun comes up. We take much of the milk into the city to sell.
One time when I worked in the dairy, I lost a tooth. It just came out! I took the tooth into the house. I put my tooth under my pillow for the tooth fairy to find.”
Your student can either read a section like this one word at a time, or you can take advantage of prepositional phrases to help him learn to read with fluency and flow. Please refer to Easy-for-Me Books for age and skill appropriate text.
Let's take the same excerpt and mark the prepositions
“I live on a farm which my mom and dad own. They own many cows which we milk before the sun comes up. We take much of the milkinto the city to sell.
One time when I worked in the dairy, I lost a tooth. It just came out! I took the tooth into the house. I put my tooth under my pillowfor the tooth fairy to find.”
Passages for practicing reading fluency/ phrasing
Try this on for size:
“My dog loves to run. He ran out the door, down the path, under the tree, around the bench, by the sandbox, over the log, and across the bridge.”
As the child reads each time, increase his focus on phrasing, starting each phrase with a red word. Over time, he will gain expertise with instantly recognizing these prepositions that herald the arrival of a lovely phrase.
Try this one:
“My little brother was so busy today! He climbed on the table, crawled behind the couch, scooted under the bed, into the toy box, under the coats, over the toilet, and plopped into the bathtub!”
Ask your students to notice which little word seems to frequently follow a preposition (the). This little clue might help them spot those lovely prepositional phrases also!
These last two passages would make a really cute poster. In the dog poster, the children could collaborate to draw the various landmarks in the yard and then have a roving dog that they draw and cut out of paper. The same goes for the baby in the house.
Make it a full body exercise
Go outside and call out directions that help your children work off steam.
Yell, “Run AROUND the tree, BY the bush, UP the ladder, DOWN the slide, BEHIND the swings, and then come back to me!”