Phrasal Verbs Dominoes

The aim of this dominoes game is to revise various phrasal verbs and use them in context. Aimed at FCE/CAE and Upper-Intermediate/Advanced levels. It might be used a warm-up activity, a filler, or as a pre-test revision activity. It works great as a contest between groups too.

The Task

Students work in pairs or small groups and try to match phrasal verbs with their meanings using the dominoes cards. This might require pretty close monitoring to make sure appropriate cards get matched.

Once your students have completed the task it is time to use the verbs in context. In pairs / groups, students write 5 sentences using green definitions. Then they exchange their sentences with other groups so that everybody has a new set. Now they should rewrite the sentences using phrasal verbs. Example: When Tom was 5 he discovered he was adopted. –> When Tom was 5 he found out he was adopted. Students may slightly change the wording to get their meaning across. Example: John thought Mary was not as clever as him. –> John looked down on Mary.

For more phrasal verbs practice see this Connect 4 game.

Personal Experience

Teaching phrasal verbs has always been pretty tough, but making my students use them on their own, in speech or writing, has been even more challenging, mostly because they have always treated this topic as something impossible to learn. I have been resorting to a number of games to tame these despised phrasal verbs and dominoes is a classic.

Another possible follow-up activity involves writing a phrasal verb story with groups competing to come up with a coherent text where no other verbs but phrasal verbs from the given set are used ( the longest I have seen was 8 sentences long, not bad!) Another idea is to have students mime some of the phrasal verbs at the very end of class for the others to guess (or for you to mime and for them to guess if the group are very shy. I have tried it both ways and I recommend it, nothing like trying to mime “run out of” in order to finish the class on a positive note!)


Phrasal verbs dominoes

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