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Positional Words - Grade K

Lesson Plan

Social Studies Methods


Prepared By: Abby Caulkins

Collaborating Teacher: Amy Chavez

Date (lesson planned): 10/13/09

Length of Lesson:

Date (To be taught): TBA

Grade Level: Kindergarten


Part 1: Lesson Overview and Background Knowledge

A)    Lesson Title: Learning to Use Positional Words

B)     Lesson Abstract:

In this lesson students will become familiar with positional words (up/down, in/out, above/below, etc.) and be able to identify and actively use them to describe the world around them. This lesson will incorporate group a read-aloud, visual word cards, classroom exploration, and the creation of “small” books to help students master the subject area of positional words. As a whole group the students will also spend some time creating working with images on Google Docs. After this lesson students should be able to identify the position of objects in their environment in relation to the objects surrounding it. They should become familiar with using positional words in everyday speech and in a variety of contexts.


C)    Lesson Objectives:

a.       Recognize positional words – up/down, in/out, above/below, etc.

b.      Verbally provide examples of an objects position in the classroom using positional words

c.       Position objects in relation to another object based on positional words they are provided with

d.      Describe location of places in immediate environment in relation to other places


D)    GLCE:

a.       G1 – The World in Spatial Terms

                                                                           i.      K-G1.0.1: Use environmental directions or positional words (up/down, in/out, above/below) to identify significant locations in the classroom.

b.      G2 – Places and Regions

                                                                           i.      K-G2.0.1 Identify and describe places in the immediate environment (e.g., classroom, home, playground).


E)     Michigan Educational Technology Standards (METS):

a.       Know how to use a variety of productivity software (e.g., word processors, drawing tools, presentation software) to convey ideas and illustrate concepts

b.      Be aware of how to work with others when using technology tools (e.g., word processors, drawing tools, presentation software) to convey ideas or illustrate simple concepts relating to a specified project


F)     Rationale:

Students need to develop a spatial awareness of the environments around them. Students need to acquire this knowledge to be able to contribute meaningfully to conversations in their community. They need this skill as a prerequisite for later grades when they will study human interaction with their environment. These terms/concepts are a vital piece of knowledge that student will use to explore this topic and be able to conduct discussions about it.


G)    Social Studies Content:

Students will be able to identify the positional word that relates one object with another. They will also be able to identify relative location of an object to another object when provided with a directional word. Relative location is different from absolute location. Relative location can be defined as a way of expressing a location in relation to another site (Brophy & Alleman, 2007). This lesson will provide them with the knowledge that every object has a relative position to something else in its environment.

Through whole group discussions the use of visuals students will become familiar with using positional words to identify the relative location of places in their immediate environment. Visuals such as word cards, books, and pictures will help stimulate interest in the lesson and link to what the students already know (Brophy & Alleman, 2007).

Visuals such as word cards and pictures will help the students learn simple definitions of the positional words. For example the word card “in” paired with a picture of a slide in a park will help students learn that “in” means “within the limits or boundaries” of something (American Heritage Dictionary, 1983). They will also know that “in” means the opposite of “out”. For example a word card with the word “out” paired with a picture of a ball “out” of the bucket would help the students learn that “out” means “away from the inside” (American Heritage Dictionary, 1983).

This knowledge will be deepened by the inclusion of literature into this lesson. The students will read Inside, Outside, Upside Down by Stan Berenstain help further their understanding of positional words and provide them with examples of the use of positional words in a new context (Brophy & Alleman, 2007).

The most important understanding that students will need to develop from this lesson is that we use these positional words to help identify the location of various objects and places. They need to understand that by knowing and using these words we can communicate with others about the location of a place/object. People use positional words everyday for various uses. Students need to understand and identify how and why people use such words.


Part 2: Lesson Sequence

  1. Begin by reading aloud Inside, Outside, Upside Down. At this point read the book all the way through without stopping to discuss the positional words.
  2. Introduce the term “positional words” to the students. Provide examples and/or have the students brainstorm some words that they can think of. Show students flashcards with the positional words on them and have them discuss examples of each.
  3. Re-read the book stopping to discuss the positional words in the book.
  4. Explore the classroom. Identify objects that are up/down, in/out, above/below, and left/right of other objects. Use flash cards to help the students connect the word with the position.
  5. In the Library, using the smart board computer, work with the students to create images to insert into a PowerPoint presentation on Google Docs. These images should represent the words in, out, up, down, above, and below.
    1. Example: Screen Shots of Image Creating in Paint
    2. Example: Screen Shot of Presentation Creating in GoogleDocs
  6. Assessment: The students should be able to present the PowerPoint that they created to someone outside of the classroom. They should be able to use images in the presentation to show where the various places/objects are located using their positional words.
 Please View the Sample Presentation below!