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Imagine UP #1 - Graphics for a Lesson Plan

Updated: Nov 17, 2020

If you want to create a graphic for the classroom you have two choices: abstract image, or descriptive image. The abstract image is an image-schema, which we've discussed in other posts. But you could also create a more realistic image. My daughter and I used both to represent the different meanings of the particle up.

All of the phrasal verbs that we use are taken from the PHaVe dictionary of most commonly used phrasal verbs

Lesson Plan: Phrasal Verbs with UP

Purpose: To raise student's metaphorical awareness and learn to categorize phrasal verbs with UP into meaning categories


  • Laminated graphics (see PDF below)

  • An adhesive (tape, putty) for putting the graphics on the wall

  • Index cards with phrasal verbs taken from the PHaVe Dictionary. Here we focus only on phrasal verbs with UP

  • A whiteboard marker for writing on the graphics


1. Begin with the core meaning: UP is movement to a higher place

This is a great time to mime jumping up, walking up the stairs, picking up a pencil etc. You can also use the pompom prop from another post to show this visually.

2. Show the next meaning graphic: UP is higher on a vertical axis

Draw a vertical axis on the graphic or on a whiteboard. Have the students brainstorm some vertical axes with you: Small - Big; Short - Tall; Less - More. Put up the graphics when they mention them, and then add additional graphics that they haven't mentioned. Then, go over the graphics and write the metaphor:

Up is north, down is south; up is vertical, down is horizontal; up is more, down is less; up is forward on a path (down can mean forward too, while back is reverse); up is happy, down is sad; up is higher, down is lower; up is complete (as in full, like fully grown)

3. Now it's time to categorize! As you place the word cards on the graphic, do some movements either with your body or with props.

  • More-Less: build up (stack blocks); go up (mime being hot and cold);

  • Here you might include forward and backward, which I did not make a graphic of: move up (move the pompom forward); pull up (move the pompom forward in a car) come up (to the front of the class), bring up, back up (move forward towards your goal, but in reverse)

  • High-Low: pick up, hold up, look up, come up (as in, the sun) -these are relatively easy to mime

  • North-South: move up, go up (a map might help)

  • Old-Young: Bring up (a child to adulthood), grow up (like a plant!)

  • Happy-Sad: Thumbs up (not from the PHaVe Dictionary, but visually fun!), cheer up, be up

  • Horizontal-Vertical: get up, stand up, put up, sit up, wake up - all easy to mime. Back up here can also mean "support," like putting your back against a fence to prevent it from falling down

4. Mix up the cards and play a game: divide the class into two teams. A student from each team faces off at a table near the wall graphic. When the teacher turns over a card on the table, the first student to slap it tries to place it in the category on the wall. If they miss, the student from the other team tries. If no one gets it, the card is placed back in the pile. Continue with members of each team until all the cards are categorized.

Fun, right? But there's more....see my next post for more categories for UP

Download PDF • 2.39MB

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