Sometimes classroom teachers struggle to make our work enticing and also to engage students. With my students, we collected data. Finding out the different ways students had started their sentences. What we found out by tallying the different ways students started their writing was interesting.
We established that most of them started their sentences in similar ways. Whilst researching other ways to start sentences, I remembered the acronym ISPACE, which I had used before (I am not sure where or who developed it) for creating variation in our sentence starters. This is what it stands for: I is for ing words, S is for Similes, P is for Prepositions, A is for adjectives, C is for Conjunctions and E is for words with ed.
As soon as I realized my students did not know the P in the acronym, I decided to teach them about prepositions in an innovative way. Groups of students were given a cup and a dice, they were asked to place the dice with the cup in different ways and to talk about what they had done. They could talk about where they placed their dice and cup. The aim was to use their work for a class display. They talked about where they had placed the dice and the cup, prepositions where noted and listed on the white board.
I read a book by Ruth Heller, World of language, Behind The Mask, A Book About Prepositions to the students and shared more prepositions.
The students really enjoyed the tactile and visual way they were learning. Those new to English could refer to the display when needed.