Routines and habits

The pupils will have already learned the days of the week and how to tell the time. See worksheet 13 a/b in the Ciep 'mallette pédagogique' This worksheet should be done as an introduction if it has not been covered yet.


  • To revise telling the time (7 o'clock, half past seven, quarter past seven)
  • To teach the vocabulary of daily routines
  • To practise the present simple, 1st and 3rd person singular
  • To understand and ask questions with 'When?'; 'What time?'


  • Simple flash cards representing the routines you decide to teach.
    I suggest the following routine actions and illustrations, but you can of course adapt them to suit the needs of your learners.

    get up draw an alarm clock or a stick figure getting out of bed
    have a shower draw a shower
    have breakfast draw a steaming bowl or mug of hot chocolate and a packet of cereal
    go to school draw a stick figure next to a sign pointing to 'school'
    go home draw a stick figure next to a sign pointing to 'home'
    do my homework draw some books and pens
    watch TV draw a TV
    go to bed draw a bed
  • Word cards for these routine activities.
  • Flash cards with clock times in digital format OR clocks made by the children if you have done worksheet 13a from the Ciep 'mallettte pédagogique'.
  • Magnets or blutak to fix the cards to the board.

Stage 1:

Revise telling the time and the days of the week.

Stage 2: Talking about daily routines.

  • Present the 'get up' flash card in one hand, the 7 o'clock flashcard in the other hand and say very clearly 'I get up at 7 o'clock'. You may also like to mime the action.
  • Encourage choral repetition, then individual repetition. You made need to say the model sentence a few times before getting them to repeat it.
  • Ask different students 'What about you?' 'What time do you get up?' Elicit answers from different students in the class. Shyer children could come to the board to choose the appropriate flash card and stick it next to the 'get up' flash card.
  • Ask 'What time do you get up on Sunday?' and get answers.
    Present the other flash cards in the same way. Stick them on the board as you present and mime each one so that there is a time flash card opposite each activity card. The children will by now have exchanged quite a lot of information about their daily routines and they will have discovered each other's bedtimes as well as how late some of them get up on Sunday! There is usually quite a lot of variation which generates real interest.

Stage 3: Matching word cards and flash cards.

This can be done on the board if the class needs a quiet activity or the cards can be handed out to different children if a more stirring activity is appropriate.

  • Arrange the flash cards on the board in random order and hold up a word card, for example 'have a shower' which you read and place next to the appropriate flash card.
  • Hold up a second word card which you present in the same way and ask for a volunteer to come and place it next to the appropriate flash card on the board. Continue until all the word cards are on the board.
  • Next distribute the flash cards and word cards among the students and put some time cards on the board. Say 'I get up at quarter past seven' and ask the two children with the matching cards to stand up and put the cards on the board next to the appropriate time card.
  • Continue until all the cards are on the board. This activity can be made more challenging if you do not follow a chronological order.

This activity can be repeated several times so that as many children as possible participate. The children can also take over the oral production involved.

Stage 4: Talking about other people's daily routines.

  • Draw a grid on the board with five lines and two columns. In column one, write one of the pupil's names. Ask this pupil what time he or she gets up. Stick the 'get up' flash card on the board to remind the pupils that this grid gives information about what time pupils get up.
  • On line 1, column two of the grid, next to the pupil's name, write up the time he or she gets up.
  • Read the first line of information 'Hélène gets up at half past seven.' Ask a second pupil, then a third pupil, filling in the lines in the same way and elicit full sentences from the class. If appropriate, you can write the sentence on the board, adding the final 's' of the third person singular in a different colour.

This sentence-building activity can be repeated with other flash cards such as 'have a shower' and 'watch TV'. The children can take over filling in the grid on the board from the information given by class members.

Stage 5: Memory review game

  • Demonstrate the game with a group of six children first. The first player says, for example 'I watch TV at six o'clock.' The second player repeats the information in the third person 'Arnaud watches TV at six o'clock. I watch TV at half past six.' The third player repeats the information given by the first two and adds his personal information.
  • If one of the players forgets any of the information, the game has to start again. This can be played by several groups at the same time if you have a large class, or you can monitor one group at a time, while the other children draw their daily routine in their notebook, for example.


  • Ask for a volunteer to come and mime one of the actions for the others to guess. You can leave the word cards on the board to begin with, and gradually remove them.
  • Each child can illustrate their daily routine with a simple comic strip. Fold an A4 sheet of paper into 8 and open it up again so that there are eight squares. Ask the children to do one drawing in each square and write the appropriate sentence underneath, if writing is appropriate for your learners. The comic strips can then be displayed in the classroom.
  • Photocopy a simple grid with six lines and two columns, with the first column containing simple line drawings that represent six of the routine activities studied. Dictate simple sentences about a typical day : 'I get up at quarter past seven.' 'I have a shower at half past seven.' 'I have breakfast at 8 o'clock.' Tell the children to write the time in digital format opposite the appropriate drawing.

By Angela Ferarre

First published August 2008

Average: 3.5 (22 votes)