Phrasal Verb Dominoes: An activity for intransitive phrasal verbs

Here’s a fun way to study 20 phrasal verbs in a meaningful context. Multiple encounters with the 20 key verbs found throughout the entire activity will help students retain the meaning and use of each verb.

View Intransitive phrasal verbs_handout.

Step 1 – Hand out Quiz 1. Have students complete the quiz solo. Then ask them to pair up to compare their answers. Finally, correct the quiz as a class. [Definitions based on the Longman Dictionary of American English.]

Step 2 – Copy enough sets of dominoes for students to play in groups of 4 (5 is also possible).  Cut horizontally to create 20 slips of paper. Hand each group a set. Shuffle the “dominoes” (slips of paper) and distribute evenly. Note: This game must be played around a flat surface (either a small table or a few desks pushed together to create a central area). 

Step 3 – Playing the game: The student with the first birthday in a calendar year will start by placing any domino in the center of the table. Moving clockwise, each student will have a chance to make a match. Matches are made when a sentence opener (one right side of “domino”) can be placed alongside a particle (one left side of “domino”). Two dominoes can be placed to make a horizontal line or to create an L-shaped pattern. The player who makes a match must read the sentence aloud. If no match can be made, the next student takes his or her turn. If a match is made, the other players must confirm it’s correct by looking at Quiz 1 answers.

IMPORTANT: The first player to use all his or her dominoes wins, but the game must be played until all dominoes are used.

Step 4 – Suggestion: It’s ideal to play 2-3 rounds of dominoes so that students learn to make different matches and the model sentences are read aloud by the group more than once. After the game is over, have students take Quiz 2. Correct answers as a class.

8 Comments Add yours

  1. ardicad says:

    I tried this lesson with my class and they loved it! Thank you so much for all your hard work and ideas!

    1. I’m so happy to hear that! Thank you for letting me know.🙂
      Warm regards to you and your students!

  2. I am trying doing the quizes but when I look for the answers to check my results,I dont find that.Could you please help me ?

    1. Hello Ivelisse. Do you mean the answers to the handout? Here you go:

      1. give up = quit, lose hope
      2. eat out = eat at a restaurant
      3. get up = get out of bed
      4. come in = enter (a room or house)
      5. go off = start to make a loud noise
      6. close down = stop operating as a business
      7. pay off = be successful, result in success
      8. go away = leave
      9. come out = appear
      10. dress up = wear special clothes (usually very formal)
      11. run out = use all of something
      12. keep away = avoid going near somewhere or someone
      13. fit in = be accepted into a group, to adjust to a social group
      14. play around = not be serious and just have fun
      15. break down = stop working (said of machines)
      16. slip up = make a mistake
      17. break up = stop being a couple
      18. work out = stop being a problem, resolve itself
      19. get together = meet and spend time with
      20. pick up = increase or get faster

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