Teaching Prepositions of Time and Place – the Easy Way

In this post, we’ll discuss teaching prepositions – specifically prepositions with time and place. Prepositions can be a bit tricky to teach because they are often one of the more confusing subjects to grasp for new English learners. However, it doesn’t have to be painful! We will share two ready-to-teach lesson plans that will make your next online or in-person ESL lesson enjoyable for everyone! If prepositions are next on your list of topics to teach, continue reading to find out more about our lesson plans!

What is a preposition?

A preposition is a word that connects a noun phrase with another part of a sentence. It usually comes before a noun.  It’s a part of speech that tells us about the relationship between the noun phrase and the rest of the sentence.. A preposition can tell us about many times of relationships but for this blog post, we’ll talk about place and time.

How to teach prepositions

He is in the train.
He is on the train.

Which sentence is correct?

For a new English language learner, prepositions can be really difficult. For new English language teachers, it is a subject that leaves us with a blank stare on our faces! Let’s be honest – most native English speakers wouldn’t be able to tell you why the second sentence is correct, so don’t feel bad!! It’s really important for language teachers to be armed with the right resources to help their students grasp this tricky subject. Off2Class has prepared two introductory lesson plans to help you, the teachers, introduce this subject in your ESL classroom.

Teaching Prepositions with Time – at, on, in

This introductory lesson plan, part of a six-part series, introduces the three most common prepositions of time – at, on, and in. As well, it talks about other fixed prepositions like at the moment, at night, and others. This lesson plan begins with an explanation of these prepositions. Then, students will complete various exercises to put these prepositions to use. It also briefly discusses how prepositions are used differently in the UK versus the USA. For this lesson, students must already be comfortable using beginner vocabulary like days of the week, months, and time expressions.

teaching prepositions

Download the lesson plan Prepositions With Time – at, on, in here:

Teaching Prepositions of Place – in, at, on

This lesson plan is part of an eight-part series and it discusses how to use prepositions with place. It starts with an explanation and moves into communicative activities that will allow the student plenty of time to practice. You’ll also discuss how to use prepositions when discussing vehicles (as noted in the example above).

These lesson plans are guaranteed to clear up any questions students have regarding how to use these tricky words! With both, it’s important to note that using in/at/on with time and place are totally different, and students should treat them as new prepositions with each lesson.

Download the lesson plan Prepositions Of Place – in, at, on here:

Wait! There’s more…

Take your ESL lesson to the next level. Assign homework with the click of a button and access the helpful teacher notes with your FREE Off2Class teacher account. Additionally, if you found these lesson plans helpful, you must check out the Off2Class ESL Lesson Library. Off2Class has been providing communicative, teacher-led lesson plans to teachers like you since 2015. Off2Class has amassed a library of over 800 lesson plans that are ready-to-teach at a moment’s notice. Take the guesswork (and hard work) out of teaching – leave the lesson planning to Off2Class!

If you like these lesson plans, please comment below and share them with your fellow teachers! We love to hear from experts like you!


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