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Prepositions Activity for ESL

Updated on April 9, 2015


This article contains:

  • An infograph you can print out and put on the wall.
  • Prepositions of place games for young students. It's noisy, but a lot of fun! Good for pre-intermediate.
  • A catchy song and video for young learners. Beginners and elementary will enjoy this.
  • A puzzle about animals at the zoo. Students need to follow the clues and place the animals in their boxes. This would suit pre-intermediate.
  • A speaking activity with prompts. Useful for elementary and pre-intermediate.
  • A prepositions quiz for intermediate and upper-intermediate.

Prepositions - On, In, At


Prepositions of Place Game – For young students

This is a wonderful activity to test prepositions and the students really enjoy playing this game. Place the class into two teams. Have them stand in two lines. You read out instructions to students from team A and B. The team to perform the action first gets a point.

  • Put your left hand over your right eye.
  • Take off your shoe and put it behind your chair.
  • Stand between two chairs.
  • Put your pencil between your nose and your lips.
  • Put your notebook on your chair.
  • Sit near the window.
  • Put your notebook inside your bag.
  • Stand behind a classmate.
  • Put your rubber in your pencil case.
  • Turn around three times
  • Write ‘I love English’ on the board.
  • Stand up and sit down five times.
  • Pick up a book and put it on your head for three seconds.
  • Stand in front of the whiteboard.
  • Walk around your chair three times.
  • Pick up your book and go to page 53.
  • Put your hands on your knees.
  • Roll your eyes upwards and downwards.
  • Give a pen to your best friend.
  • Dance between two tables for five seconds.
  • Put your hands on the wall.

Lovely Song for Children

Prepositions of Place Puzzle- At the Zoo

This is an appealing puzzle that will keep your class quiet. Draw out a grid on the board with four columns and four rows, like below, but leaving the animals out. Print out the clues and give them to your students. They must follow the clues and place the zoo animals in the correct cage.

Answers below.

At The Zoo

  1. The pigs are in the column below the horses.
  2. The monkeys are to the left of the dolphins.
  3. The dolphins are on top of the seals.
  4. The goats are next to the lizards.
  5. The lions are next to the penguins
  6. The rhinos are in the same column as the lions.
  7. The lizards are 2 cages below the crocodiles.
  8. The piranhas are in between the penguins and the dolphins.
  9. The lizards are above the snakes.
  10. The crocodiles are in the top right cage.
  11. The seals are in the bottom row between the sheep and the rhinos.
  12. The giraffes are above the monkeys.
  13. The horses are in the top row between the crocodiles and the penguins.
  14. Where are the turtles?



It Snows in December


Speaking Activity for Elementary – Prepositions of Time

Give your students these question prompts and put them in pairs. Write these prepositions of time on the board and encourage them to use them.


Weekdays - On Monday

Dates - On 31st December 1924

Special Days - On St Patrick's Days


Months - In April

Years - In 2001

Periods of the Day - In the morning/evening/afternoon


Clock Times - At midnight/at 4pm

Festivals - At Easter/Christmas

Periods of the Day - At night/at lunchtime

Student B


When/have a shower?

When/shop for clothes?


When/build snowmen?

What’s/favourite day?

When/give presents?

Student A

When/have breakfast?

When/meet friends?

When/drink alcohol?


When/plant vegetables?

When/have a special meal?

What’s/favourite month?

The Girl is on the Jar


Prepositions Quiz for Upper Intermediate Levels

  1. He was sentenced ........... life in prison.
  2. The new nightclub will be open ........... two weeks.
  3. Can you pick up some milk ........ the way home?
  4. I was lucky; I found the shop ....... accident.
  5. Does your dad approve ....... your new boyfiriend?
  6. The relationship ................. China and North Korea is strong.
  7. Without Jimmy the team have no chance ......... winning.
  8. The robbery occurred .......... the interval.
  9. We went to Spain. It was different ......... our normal holidays.
  10. I’m sick and tired ......... listening to you!
  11. Apart ........... the airline company losing our bags, the trip was fantastic.
  12. The train left ........ time.
  13. She suffers ........ vertigo.
  14. You remind me ......... someone else.
  15. You can’t rely .......... Maria. She’s very forgetful.
  16. He’s always been obsessed ......... Madonna.
  17. He wasn’t wearing a seatbelt and went straight ................. the windscreen.
  18. If we don’t hurry we won’t make it ......... time.
  19. That house is ........ the market again.
  20. She did it .......... purpose!

Answers: 1-to, 2-in, 3-on, 4-by, 5-of, 6-between, 7-of, 8-during, 9-to, 10-of, 11-from, 12-on, 13-from, 14-of, 15-on, 16-with, 17-through, 18-in, 19-on, 20-on.

Other Teaching Hubs

Teaching English – Fun Puzzles for ESL Kids

Two great puzzles for ESL students. They focus on reading comprehension, vocabulary and problem solving. Suitable for Pre-intermediate and Upper intermediate. Fun to do!

Teaching English – 3 Great Vocabulary Activities

Here are 3 great vocabulary activities. They are suitable for different levels and they are very handy fillers, motivational exercises or just for a bit of fun.


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    • Muttface profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Portugal

      Wow! Thanks Billie. A coveted back link! Be sure to send me the address when it's up and running.

    • Billie Kelpin profile image

      Billie Kelpin 

      5 years ago from Newport Beach

      Excellent. I'm going to feature links to all your hubs on my "language rocks" website. I'm converting our 20 year old site where I have activities I created with hot potatoes software out of the U of Victoria and software of our own for deaf/hard of hearing. Great overlap in ESL and deaf ed. (the new website is STILL under construction)

      Thanks for all your work. It will provide great links for my visitors to go to when we have the new site up. I especially like the exercises that involve two prepositions. My little four year old deaf kids years ago had trouble when there were two objects and two prepositions. They knew "on" and "under" but in a sentence, it was confusing as to what was where! Exercises like the place game really helps.


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