The Paper Plate Game

hand holding a paper plate

Purpose:  This popular party game helps learners build familiarity with prepositions of place while having lots of laughs

Preparation Time:  10 minutes

Materials Needed:  pencils or markers, paper plates (preferably the ones without a coating), a list of instructions


  1. Prepare a list of drawing instructions that involve prepositions of place. They can also include simple vocabulary words.

Example: Draw a table in the middle of the plate.

Draw an apple on the table.

Draw a banana under the table.

Draw a bunch of grapes to the right of the table.

Draw a watermelon to the left of the table.

  1. Review the vocabulary and the prepositions as needed before beginning the activity.
  2. Pass out a paper plate to each of the learners. Have them place the paper plates on top of their heads. Tell them that the plates must stay on their heads during the entire time they are drawing the picture.
  3. Read each instruction out loud. Repeat it several times as needed. As the learners hear each instruction, they must draw what they hear on the plate that is on top of their head. Be prepared for a lot of laughter!
  4. At the end of the instructions, have the learners take the plates off of their heads and exchange them with a partner.
  5. Read the instructions out loud, and have the learners score their partner’s drawing. They will award their partner one point if they followed each of the instructions in their drawing.

Expansion 1: Post the plates on a wall and give each learner two post-it notes that are different colors. They will use the post-it notes to vote on the plate drawings. The learners put one color of post-it note next to the plate that they think is the best drawing, and the other color of post-it note next to the drawing that they think is the most creative.

Expansion 2: After the learners give the plates with the scores back to their partner, they can use the vocabulary to explain the score. For example, You got three points. Your table was in the middle of your plate, there was an apple on the table, and there was a watermelon to the left of the table. The grapes were under the table, and the banana was over the table, so you did not get points for them.

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