ESL Future Tense Games & Activities

Instructor: Yolanda Reinoso Barzallo

Yolanda holds a CELTA Cambridge, a Juris Doctorate, and a Master of Public Administration. She is a published author of fiction in Spanish.

This lesson describes some games and activities for teaching your students the usage of the future verb forms of 'will' and 'going to.' All games and activities are based on guessing as a way to engage the class.

Predict the Future

What if you give your students the chance to predict the future? This is how you can introduce this lesson as a way to engage the class into learning how to use 'will' and 'going to.' The activities and games herein provided can be used to teach both forms together or one at the time. As per pedagogical principles, it is best to teach just one form at the time unless you are working with a class where the two forms have been previously taught and practiced. Thus, practicing the contrast between the two forms is probably best only with advanced levels. Similarly, the practice of the two forms works if your lesson's objective is to teach students the difference between 'will' and 'going to.'

Future Tense

The following are activities/games that look at predicting the future.

Using 'Going to'

For this activity, you need to have a PowerPoint presentation that alternates one slide with a specific setting (either an image or text) and the next slide with the result of the previous setting. After giving the instructions about what is expected to your students, model the practice with an example. For instance, say they will see an image of a student entering the library. Ask your students: 'What is going to happen next?' The answer can be, 'S/he is going to borrow a book.' Students only get to see the slide with the answer once they have made their predictions.

Students can work in pairs or individually. Either way, tell students that the correct usage of the form 'going to' will get them 1 point whereas guessing the correct answer on the next slide (along with correct sentence structure) will get them 2 points. The student/group with more assertions is the winner of this competition to predict the future.

Examples of slides you can prepare are as follows:

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