phrasal verbs 2

This is the second post of the series on phrasal verbs and it builds on the activity I wrote about last week. Click here to read the first blog entry on phrasal verbs (also phrasal verbs 3, phrasal verbs 4).

I will be using the same list of phrasal verbs for an Upper-Intermediate class as an example. You will be creating your own list to revise phrasal verbs or use content from your textbook series or handouts.

  • run after: chase (police running after a thief)
  • run around: be busy with many activities (a waiter running around all night)
  • run away: escape (a thief running away from the police)
  • run into: meet or find accidentally (run into an old friend)
  • run off: print (run off 25 copies)
  • run out of: no more left (to run out of milk)
  • run over: hit (a car running over a pedestrian)
  • run through: practice, rehearse (run through a song)
  • run to: amount to (as in the bill ran to two hundred euros)
  • run up: gather (run up huge debts)

In the previous activity the students drew the phrasal verbs on pieces of papers as if they were playing a game of Pictionary.

Collect all the pieces of paper and keep about what you deem are the best half of all the drawings in terms of both artistic value and how clear it is to guess the phrasal verbs illustrated by them. If, on average, every student has produced five drawings, for a class of twenty students you should keep around 50 to 60. Number each drawing on the bottom right corner.

Now get an A-4 size piece of paper and list all phrasal verbs (the original list contains 10 so you will have to write the same phrasal verbs besides different numbers quite a few times). Make a few copies of this document (about a copy for every four or five students).

In class get your students in groups of 5. For a class of 20 there will be four groups. If the number of students is not divisible by 5, you can have some groups with 4 or 6 students. Give each group about 15 to 20 cards and ask them to place them face down on a desk in the middle forming a spiral shape as in the photo below.


Designate one student in each group as judge. Give this student a copy of the numbered list of phrasal verbs. The rest of the students will compete to collect cards from the tables. They will need a coin to flip. Heads move two spaces, tails move one. The students can use another coin or an eraser as a counter. The first student flips the coin and lands on the first or second card. She will have to pick the card, turn it over without showing it to the rest of the students in the group and read out the number on the bottom right corner. Now she has 5 seconds to guess the phrasal verb illustrated by the drawing. If she fails to say anything or it doesn’t match what is listed on the judge’s copy, she will have to put down the card again face down. If she is correct, she can keep the card. Then the student sitting to her right will flip the coin and follow the same procedure. The student that can collect the highest number of cards at the end of the game or within the time set up by the teacher wins the game. If the students want to play another game, they can switch cards with another group.IMG_20180108_123548

To run through (a song)

Variation: if you want to spice things up a bit, the students can create extra cards with instructions such as “flip coin again” or “change direction”.

3 thoughts on “phrasal verbs 2

  1. Pingback: phrasal verbs 3

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