Spatial concepts are typically a struggle all my students have in common. Understanding positional words (such as on, in, under, between, behind, and next to) enhance a child’s ability to give and follow directions within activities of their everyday life.
A few years ago, I wanted to incorporate practicing positional concepts into my classroom’s daily routine, so I created an activity to go along with our classroom Elf, Buddy, during the month of December. We played this Positional Word Game each morning during calendar time and my students really enjoyed it. AND… I started to notice they were beginning to demonstrate a better understanding for positional words when following directions around the classroom. BUT THEN… Christmas was over, Buddy the Elf went back to the North Pole, and we needed something new. SO… for the rest of the year I created different characters to locate in the classroom each morning during calendar time, and we continued to play the game the rest of the year. My students looked forward to this part of the daily routine each day!
What you need:
Dry Erase Markers
Laminate the game boards or put them in Dry Erase Pockets.
How to set up the game:
Print the elves on cardstock, cut apart, and laminate for durability.
Print the ”Where is the Elf?” Page and the “The Elf is…” page double-sided and laminate for durability. This is the Positional Word Game Board. Make one board for each student.
Hide the elf cards around the room each morning before students come into the room. Be sure to hide them in different locations to encourage the students to use the words on the Game Board. (on, in, under, behind, next to, between)
How to play Where is the Elf?
Ask students to get out of their seats and look around the room for an elf.
When students find an elf, they circle the positional word that describes it’s location on the front of the Game Board. Then, students write a sentence on the back of the Game Board describing the elf’s location. (For students with limited fine motor skills you can skip writing a sentence, and just use the front of the board to circle the location of the elf.)
Have students return to their seats when they are finished to wait for their classmates.
After each student has found an elf, they can take turns showing their classmates where they found the elf and reading their sentence.
You can also play “Write the room” style using the sentence boards. Students can get up and move around the room to find five elves in different locations.
Check out my other Positional Word Games in my TPT Shop!
Enjoy the game and thanks for reading!