This lesson combines teaching phrasal verbs as a thematic set with teaching phrasal verbs using a text. Students listen to an oral text on morning routines, and use the original text to write their own morning routine.

Photo of a person doing any of these actions: getting up, putting clothes on, having breakfast.

Source: Dave and Les Jacobs,Dave and Les Jacobs/Blend Images, Getty Images/Blend Images


This approach combines teaching phrasal verbs as a thematic set and teaching phrasal verbs using a text. In this case the text is an oral text given by the teacher. The subject, a morning routine, is very likely to contain many phrasal verbs (get up, put on clothes …). The presentation of this text is through a simplified dictagloss. A dictagloss is an excellent way of practising grammar and vocabulary as learners work on a combination of meaning and form.

Lesson aim: To present a set of 12 phrasal verbs connected to a person’s daily morning routine.

Level: Pre-intermediate +

Teaching approach:

This is a simplified dictagloss, because students already have some words and gaps to help them remember. Again, it is not enough to just present a set of new phrasal verbs, even if they are more neatly organised into a category. As with other new items of vocabulary, learners should get a chance to use them. Students use the original text to either write one about their own morning routine, or a different kind of morning routine.

Preparation and materials:

Download the worksheet from the bottom of the page. This article is the teaching notes for the worksheet, so you may wish to print it out for reference during the lesson, if you don't have reliable access to the internet during class.

Stage one

Ask the students if they are 'morning people'. In English, if you like the morning and wake up easily you are a 'morning person'. If it is difficult for you to wake up and you hate the morning then you are not a morning person. Tell them if you are a morning person or not. Then ask students to give a show of hands as to who is a morning person. Explain that today they are going to hear about someone who is a 'morning person'.

Stage two

Tell students that they have to listen very carefully. At this stage they can’t write anything, so pens should be on the table. Later on they will be writing. They might want to put their heads down on the table or close their eyes the first time they hear the story. Read/tell the text below. When you have finished, repeat it once more. 


I’m a ‘morning person’

The alarm goes off at 7:00. I wake up, lean over and turn off the alarm. I get up quickly and go downstairs. I put on the coffee. I go back upstairs and have a shower. I sing a song in the shower. I put on my clothes. When I come downstairs again, I have my first cup of coffee. Mmmmm! Then I have some toast and a second cup of coffee. I wash my cup and tidy up the kitchen. I take my bag and set off to work. It is 8:00 am. I lock up the house before I go. Sometimes I run to catch the bus. I get on the bus and go for three or four stops. Then I get off the bus. I go into work and say 'GOOD MORNING!' to my first class. It is 8:45am. 

Stage three

Give out the worksheet and tell students they must complete as much of it as they can. Each line represents a word. They should try to reproduce the text as much as possible.  Give them plenty of time for this. They should work together in pairs or groups of three. Give out the completed text at the end for them to check their answers. Underline all the phrasal verbs and make sure you understand what they mean.

Stage four

Now instruct students to write their own morning routine OR write a similar routine entitled 'I’m NOT a morning person'. They should use as many phrasal verbs as they can. Have them share their routines in small groups, with each person reading it out loud. Then ask one or two students to read them out for the whole class.

Tips for understanding phrasal verbs with UP

Sometimes the particle in the phrasal verb can give you a clue to its meaning. There can be a literal meaning and a more idiomatic meaning. In some phrasal verbs, the particle UP has the idiomatic meaning of completion. Look at these examples:  

  • Tidy up the kitchen.
  • I finished up my coffee.
  • We gathered up all the papers.


Click link to download and view these files