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Which tense is used for talking about morning routines?

Answer: the present simple tense. 

When talking about everyday, habitual activities we use the present simple tense.  This shows that these are things we do on a regular basis.

The present simple tense for morning routines is formed as follows:

  • Use the present simple form of the verb, e.g. "I eat breakfast at 7 o' clock."
  • Use "s" or "es" for 3rd person singular form (he, she, it), e.g. "He puts on his shoes", "She brushes her teeth"
  • For negatives, use the present simple form of the verb "do" as follows: do/does + not + infinitive without to, e.g. "I don't go to school on Saturdays", "She doesn't drink tea in the morning"
  • For questions, use the present simple form of the verb "do" as follows: do/does + subject + infinitive without to, e.g. "Do you eat breakfast every morning?", "Does Freddy wake up early?"

This lesson introduces lots of nice daily routine verbs used in the present simple tense.

Lesson Procedure:

Warm Up and Maintenance:

See our "Warm Up & Wrap Up" page.


New Learning and Practice:

Teach the morning routines verbs1. Teach the morning routines verbs
Start with a guessing game. Before class print out the flashcards for morning routines. Start with an easy one – "brush my teeth" – look at the card but don’t show it to anyone. Do the action for brushing your teeth and ask "What am I doing?". It’s ok if the students answer in their first language – whoever answers first is the winner. Try and elicit the English or if not, teach "brush my teeth". For the next card, the winner can look at the card and do the action. Again, elicit / teach the English. Continue until all the cards / actions have been guessed.

2. Practice the morning routines verbs
Practice the morning routines verbsPut the cards randomly on the board (stick on with blue-tak or tape) and draw a circle around each card. Start by chorusing each card quickly (Teacher: "wake up", Students: "Wake up"). Go through chorusing all the cards at least three times, getting quicker and quicker as you go. Next, point to a card and say "What’s this?". Get everyone to say the card together. Point to each card and get the class to shout out the verbs together as you touch each card. Finally, remove one card from the board – the circle it was in will still be there. Point to the empty circle and again say "What’s this?" – get everyone to shout out together the missing card. Point to other cards and elicit them, slowly removing all the cards from the board leaving just their circles. See if everyone can remember the words without any cards being there!

Play "Flashcard touch" on the board3. Play "Flashcard touch" on the board
Put the cards back on the board, at a height that everyone can reach. Model the game first – select a student and say "Touch put on my shoes". The student should go to the board and touch the correct card. Then get the student to do the same for you. When everyone has got the idea put them in pairs and get each pair to stand at the other end of the room. In pairs, each student says a verb phrase as their partner runs to the board and touches the right card.

4. Do "Morning Routines" Drawings
Give out a large sheet of paper (e.g. A3) to each student and model the activity. Draw things you do in the morning (e.g. brush your teeth, eat toast, watch TV) – it doesn’t have to be just the activities from the flashcards / song, anything that you do is good. Then encourage each student to draw what they do. As they are drawing, go around the class asking questions (e.g. What’s this? Do you really eat chocolate for breakfast?, etc.). At the end, get everyone to stick their sheet of paper on the classroom walls. Pair up students and get them to try and guess what the pictures are.

Do "Morning Routines" Drawings

5. Sing "The Morning Routines" song
Put the morning routine flashcards up on the board in the order of the song, or alternatively, use our song poster. Get everyone to stand up and teach the actions and gestures for the song (see Gestures and activities to use with "The Morning Routines Song" below). Then play the song and get everyone to sing and do the actions along with you. Play twice so everyone gets the hang of it.

Sing "The Morning Routines" songLyrics for "The Morning Routines Song"

Good morning! Good Morning!
It’s time to wake up.
Good morning! Good Morning!
I have to get up.

Verse 1:
I wash my face (wash, wash, wash),
I brush my hair (brush, brush, brush),
I get dressed (dressed, dressed, dressed),
There’s such a lot to do!

Good morning! Good Morning!
It’s time to wake up.
Good morning! Good Morning!
I have to get up.

Verse 2:
I eat my breakfast (eat, eat, eat),
I brush my teeth (brush, brush, brush),
I put on my shoes (put on, put on),
There’s such a lot to do!

It’s time to go to school.

(download MP3 here)

Gestures for "The Morning Routines Song"

As you sing the song, follow these actions:

  • "Good morning! Good Morning!" – stretch your arms up (as if just waking up)
  • "It’s time to wake up" – point at imaginary wrist watch for “It’s time to” and open your hands in front of your eyes for “wake up” (to gesture opening your eyes)
  • "I have to get up" – do an energetic star jump on “get up”.
  • "I wash my face (wash, wash, wash)" – gesture washing your face
  • "I brush my hair (brush, brush, brush)" – gesture brushing your hair
  • "I get dressed (dressed, dressed, dressed)" – gesture getting dressed
  • "There’s such a lot to do!" – gesture wiping your forehead and looking tired out
  • "I eat my breakfast (eat, eat, eat)" – gesture eating breakfast
  • "I brush my teeth (brush, brush, brush)" – gesture brushing your teeth
  • "I put on my shoes (put on, put on)" – gesture putting on your shoes
  • "It’s time to go to school." – point at imaginary wrist watch for "It’s time to" and wave goodbye for "go to school".

We also have a video that you can stream in class to sing along with (Internet connection required):

The Morning Routines Song

Read classroom reader "Monster Mornings"6. Read classroom reader "Monster Mornings"
This reader follows on perfectly from the song and helps to reinforce the new vocab with a fun story. Before class, download and print off the reader "Monster Mornings". As you go through each page, point to the different actions that each monster is doing and elicit what they are, for example:

Teacher: (point at page 2) What color is this monster?
Students: Blue!
Teacher: Yes, that's right. What a funny color! And what does he do every morning?
Students: Wash face!
Teacher: Yes, well done! (reading from page 2) “I wash my face”. Do you wash your face every morning (directing question to a student)?
Student: Yes!

Read classroom reader "Monster Mornings"Continue through the story, eliciting the key vocab. Get the students really involved in the story by asking lots of questions (e.g. about the colors on the monsters, asking yes/no questions, counting arms and legs, etc.).

After reading the story, give out a reader worksheet to each student and read through the story one more time (without stopping for questions, etc.) as students match the monsters to their morning activities on their sheets.  Then go through the answers as a class.


Alternatively, watch our video version of the reader (Internet connection required):

Monster Mornings reader video Level Starter

British English versionReader worksheet

Do the "My Morning 1" worksheet7. Do the "My Morning 1" worksheet
Give out the My Morning 1 worksheet to each student. Model the worksheet and then have everyone work on the sentences. As everyone is working on their worksheets go around the class and ask questions (e.g. What does that say? Do you take a shower in the morning?).

8. Play charades
To finish the class, get together the morning routines flashcards and also any other action verb flashcards you have used in previous lessons. Divide the class into 2 teams. One student comes to the front of the class and acts out the flashcard you show to him/her. The first person to shout out the correct answer wins a point for his/her team.

Play charades


Wrap Up:

1. Assign Homework: "My Morning 2" worksheet.
2. Wrap up the lesson with some ideas from our "Warm Up & Wrap Up" page.

Print Outs / Worksheets:


  • tag
    wake up

    wake up

  • get up

    get up

  • wash face

    wash face

  • brush hair

    brush hair

  • get dressed

    get dressed

  • eat breakfast

    eat breakfast

  • brush teeth

    brush teeth

  • put on shoes

    put on shoes

  • go to school

    go to school


Songs & Readers:

Additional materials:

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  1. To view and print a flashcard or worksheet click on the thumbnail image.
  2. For detailed printing instructions, click here.
  3. print= British English version - click the flag to open and print. Click the thumbnail image to see the US English version.
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