Alexis has taught grades 1 through 6, and has a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction.
After this lesson, students will be able to:
- Use 'will' to describe the future
- Use 'be going to' to describe the future
- Use 'be' + a verb + ing to describe the future
An ELL can make accurate use of standard English to communicate in grade-appropriate speech and writing.
Use verbs to convey a sense of past, present, and future (e.g., Yesterday I walked home; Today I walk home; Tomorrow I will walk home).
Materials and Preparation
For this lesson, prepare a poster displaying a description using three forms of future tense:
- 'will' + a verb
- 'be going to' + a verb
- 'be' + a verb + ing
The following is an example description you might use for your future tense poster. (The parenthetical numbers indicate which form is being used and are for teacher reference; be sure to exclude them from your poster.)
- This weekend, I will take (1) a trip with my family. I am going (3) to Chicago so that we can see Lake Michigan. When we get there, I will go (1) on the Ferris wheel at Navy Pier, and I am going to ride it (2) around and around several times! We are also going to see (2) a play. We are planning (3) many fun things on this trip, and I am so excited.
This lesson involves introducing students to three ways of describing the future. To prepare students for their work during this lesson, it would be helpful to talk to students about their goals for the future (what they want to be when they grow up, what they want to learn in school this year, etc.). In this way, you'll not only get an idea of their language abilities concerning the future tense, but you'll also give them a chance to practice speaking about the future in an informal way.
'Will' + a Verb
- To begin, model for students how you talk about the future. You can describe what you are going to do over the upcoming weekend or what you're planning for your next vacation.
- Next, display the future tense poster for the class. Pick one color to underline where you used 'will' plus a verb in your writing.
- Then, ask your students to talk to each other using the simplest form of the future tense, 'will' plus a verb. Move around the classroom to listen to the ways your students are using this form of future tense.
'Be Going To' + a Verb
- This part of the lesson gets a little more difficult. To begin, choose a second color of marker to underline where you used 'be going to' plus a verb on your future tense poster.
- Now, ask students to talk to a peer about what they are going to do at the following times, using 'going to' plus a verb.
- Next week
- After school
- Over the summer
'Be' + Verb + Ing
- Explain to students that, while technically the present progressive tense, 'be' + a verb + ing can be used to describe the future. For example:
- My friend is going to California over spring break.
- I am texting him directions tomorrow.
- Using a third color, underline where you have used 'be' + a verb + ing ion your future tense poster.
- Give students the following forms of 'be' + a verb + ing, and challenge students to use these in future tense sentences with a peer:
- is going. . .tomorrow
- am writing. . .tomorrow
- is singing. . .next week
- am traveling. . .over the summer
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