In seventh grade I had an English class where we had to memorize an alphabetical list of prepositions. All I can recall is “above, below, between, betwixt”. Betwixt was my favorite : ) Prepositions help with directions–whether it is giving directions (as in where to locate something), or following directions.
I also remembered this comical activity I did when I was in fifth grade. The assignment was to write down step by step instructions on your choice of 1.) how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or 2.) brushing your teeth. The following day the teacher demonstrated how to follow the instructions exactly, and then students could try. Some kids got toothpaste all over, and others had the funniest looking peanut butter sandwiches I saw (bread with a jar of peanut butter in between).
They really needed to be detailed–the kids who made 30 or more instructions had the most successful outcome. This is a sample of what a good set of instructions started out with…
How to brush your teeth
- Locate your toothbrush.
- Pick it up in your right hand.
- Move your right hand (with the toothbrush) 2 inches below the faucet spout.
- Put your left hand on the faucet control.
- Twist the faucet control counterclockwise until the desired amount of water is flowing and gets your toothbrush bristles wet.
- Turn off the water with your left hand, twisting the faucet control clockwise until it is turned off.
- With your left hand grab the toothpaste tube.
- Put the toothbrush in your right hand onto the sink counter.
- With your right hand, unscrew or pop open the toothpaste lid.
- Squeeze gently until the toothpaste is overflowing from the top about 1/2 a cm.
- Take two steps forward…
- Move your right hand up to eye level…
- Reach your hand outward a foot and a half…