Education Technology

NCTE: Collaborating on Prepositional Phrases

Published on 07/19/2006

Activity Overview

Students work in groups of four to explore the lyrics to Don McLean's song, "Vincent, (Starry, Starry Night)" and the related painting by Vincent Van Gogh. Students brainstorm and list prepositional phrases related to the images in the painting.

Before the Activity

See the attached Activity PDF file for detailed instructions for this activity.

Print the appropriate pages from the Activity for your class.

Install the LearningCheck™ and NoteFolio™ Apps on the students' graphing calculators following the attached instructions.

Distribute the two resource files for this activity to the students. The first file, COLPREP.edc, provides the prompts for the analysis of "Vincent." The second file, PRPOEM.8xv, combines prompts for the second painting analysis as well as the instructions for creating the original poem. (See Activity 1 for instructions on opening a NoteFolio file.)

During the Activity

  • Distribute the appropriate pages from the Activity to your class
  • Distribute the LearningCheck and NoteFolio file(s) to your class using TI Connect™ and the appropriate TI Connectivity cable
  • Follow the procedures outlined in the Activity


  • Students will:
  • Explain what a prepositional phrase is.
  • Explore the ways these phrases are used.
  • Find examples of prepositional phrases in given excerpts and independently.
  • Analyze the purpose of the prepositional phrases in the pieces explored.
  • Compose a piece that relies on prepositional phrases to convey meaning.
  • Assess the usage of prepositional phrases and provide evidence of mastery of their usage in written compositions.
  • After the Activity

    Once the student groups have composed their own poems, the spokespersons will share them with the class. Lead a discussion of the original creations to discuss the use of prepositional phrases. The teacher can electronically collect each groups analysis and original poem files using either the TI Connect software or the TI-Navigator™ classroom network, if the latter is available.