How To Teach Spatial Concepts
Do you need ideas for how to teach spatial concepts and practice prepositions in special education? Let’s chat about this because these are important concepts for our students to learn in special education.
How Do You Practice Prepositions in Special Education?
Prepositions and basic spatial concepts are concepts that students in special education need to understand clearly. Typically students work on basic spatial concepts with the speech therapist but in my room we always worked on practicing prepositions too. To practice prepositions with my students and teach this skill clearly, I actually first used an empty box to help them visualize. I would just use an old shoe box and sometimes cover it in paper to jazz it up a bit.
I would then use a simple object that many of my students were interested in such as a toy car or favorite character figure to teach this. I would hold the object in the box, outside of the box, inside of the box, on top and under the box to practice different spatial concepts. We would practice this over and over and then I would let students take turns coming up to hold the object and move it around for their classmates to practice prepositions and spatial concepts.
Books That Teach Spatial Concepts
After the activity above, I knew I had to use picture books for how to teach spatial concepts and prepositions to my students. My students are typically engaged when reading picture books. Here are some of my favorite books for how to teach spatial concepts:
After students had a better understanding of what exactly spatial concepts and prepositions were, then it was time to have some fun using adapted books! I have two books specifically created for how to teach spatial concepts and prepositions. First up is an adapted book called Where is the Monster? Each page has a colored picture and shows the monster somewhere around the object. The students then use the preposition choices at the bottom of the page to complete each sentence.
For example, the sentence might read: The monster is ___ the bed. The student would then look at the picture and find the word under and place it on the Velcro space in the sentence. For differentiation purposes, for students that are able to, there are separate worksheets that go with each page in which the student can then write down their answer for written practice as well. Another level of worksheets is simply circling the correct word in each sentence instead of writing it. There are 4 levels of differentiation total with this product: circle the picture, circle the word, fill in the blank or trace the answer.
Bonus – I’ve included a digital version in Google Slides to use as a whole class interactive teaching lesson together. You can also use those separately on iPads or devices with students individually if you prefer.
My next favorite tool for how to teach spatial concepts and prepositions is with this Transportation Prepositions Adapted Book. This adapted book focuses on spatial concepts with various vehicles because I’d be surprised if cars or trucks aren’t a fan favorite for at least one of your students!
Students choose the correct preposition based on the picture. This activity could be used as an independent work task or for direct instruction in your special education classroom. It includes examples such as: The airplane is __ the clouds. The students would then find the word above to complete the sentence on the page. The Transportation Prepositions Adapted Book includes both print and digital books. There are also seven pages of corresponding worksheets: circle the picture, circle the word, fill in the blank and trace the answer.
More Ideas for How To Teach Spatial Concepts and Prepositions
SLP Jenna over at The Speech Room News has ideas for How to Teach Spatial Concepts Using 7 Hands-On Activities that you should definitely check out!
Besides this, check out these other adapted books from my store on how to teach spatial concepts:
- Christmas Prepositions Adapted Book
- Penguin Prepositions Adapted Book
- Princess Prepositions Adapted Book
- Summer Prepositions Adapted Book
- Fall Prepositions Adapted Book
- Turkey Prepositions Adapted Book
How do you teach spatial concepts to your special education students?