Present Continuous - ESL EFL Activities, Games and Worksheets
Doing it Right
ESL EFL Writing and Speaking Activity - Elementary - 30 Minutes
This enjoyable worksheet is perfect for teaching your students about the present continuous tense. To begin, the students are presented with twelve pictures of people doing everyday activities. The students write sentences describing what the people in the pictures are doing on their worksheet using the present continuous tense. After that, the students work with a partner and practice asking and answering questions about what the people are doing. Finally, students take it in turns to describe to the rest of the class what other people in the class are doing.
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Fun Memory Game
ESL EFL Matching and Speaking Activity - Elementary - 25 Minutes
Here is a fun memory game that students can play to practice the present continuous for actions happening now. The class is divided into pairs and each pair is given a set of cards. The students shuffle the cards and spread them out face down on the desk. The pair then plays a memory game where they have to turn over picture cards and make sentences in the present continuous tense about what’s happening in the pictures. The aim of the game is to turn over two matching activity cards. The first student turns over a card and makes a sentence about the picture in the present continuous tense, e.g. He’s riding a bike. The student then turns over another card. If the activity on the second card matches with the first card, the student makes a sentence about the second picture, e.g. She’s riding a bike. If both sentences are grammatically correct, the student keeps the pair of cards as a trick. Play then passes to the other student and so on. The student with the most cards at the end of the game is the winner.
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Get the Picture
ESL EFL Speaking Activity - Elementary - 25 Minutes
In this fun teaching activity, students play a card game where they practice asking and answering present continuous yes/no questions and making present continuous negative statements. The class is divided into groups of four. Each student is given a game board and each group is given a set of picture cards. The students shuffle the picture cards and place them face down in a pile. The aim of the game is to be the first player to match the pictures on their game board with the pictures from the pile. The first player begins by taking the top picture card from the pile without showing it to anyone. The player then says three things that aren’t happening in the picture by making three negative present continuous statements, e.g. He isn't studying. He isn't walking a dog. He isn't playing football. The other players then ask present continuous yes/no questions to find out if the picture matches with one on their boards, e.g. Is he surfing? Is he writing? Is he skiing? The player who receives the answer ‘Yes, he is’, takes the picture card and places it on the matching picture on their board. Then the next player picks up a picture card and so on. The first player to complete their board with matching pictures wins the game.
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Guess what I'm doing
ESL EFL Speaking and Miming Activity - Elementary - 25 Minutes
You can use this entertaining miming game to teach or review the present continuous tense. Begin the teaching activity by asking the students to watch you and guess what you are doing. Mime a simple activity and encourage the students to call out their answers. Make sure they answer using the present continuous tense. Next, separate the students into two teams. The objective is for the students in the teams to guess a mime using the present continuous. Teams take it in turns to play. A student comes up and asks the class 'What am I doing?' The student then does the mime on the card. When a member on either team thinks they know, they respond 'You are verb+ing…' The students must guess the exact words on the mime card to win. The first team to guess the sentence wins a point. When a team gets ten points, they win the game.
ESL EFL Speaking Activity - Elementary - 20 Minutes
In this challenging speaking activity, students use present continuous yes/no questions to guess who their partner is thinking about. The class is divided into pairs and each student is given a copy of the worksheet. Students take it in turns to choose one person from a chart on their worksheet. Their partner asks present continuous yes/no questions to try to find out which person they are thinking about. The student can ask up to five questions and then they must guess who the person is. A correct answer wins one point. The student with the most points at the end of the game is the winner.
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ESL EFL Drawing and Speaking Activity - Elementary - 25 Minutes
Here is a creative ESL activity for practicing the present continuous. The class is divided into two teams (A and B). Teams play in turn. One student from Team A comes up to the board and is handed a present continuous card. The student then draws the present continuous sentence on the board, without writing words or letters and without speaking. Team A has one minute to try to guess the sentence. They must guess exactly what’s on the card. If they haven't guessed correctly after one minute, Team B can try to answer. One point is awarded for each correct sentence. The first team to ten points wins the game.
Positives and Negatives
ESL EFL Writing Activity - Elementary - 15 Minutes
In this supplementary worksheet, students use 20 verbs to complete positive and negative present continuous sentences. Students begin by looking for 20 verbs in a word search. The students write down the verbs they find. After that, they use the verbs to complete ten present continuous sentences. The first part of each sentence is negative and the second part is positive.
Present Continuous Lesson
ESL EFL Lesson - Elementary - 1 Hour
This compelling lesson will help you to teach your students how to master the structure and use of the present continuous tense. The lesson starts with a grammar review of the present continuous. This is followed by some writing and speaking activities to ensure the students receive plenty of practice using the grammar structure.
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Right or Wrong
ESL EFL Reading, Writing and Speaking Activity - Elementary - 45 Minutes
This noteworthy teaching activity gives students practice at creating and recognizing present continuous sentences. Working alone, the students write four present continuous sentences. Two sentences should be grammatically correct and two should be incorrect. Students then work in groups of four. The four students put their sentences together to come up with a definitive set of 16 sentences, marked right and wrong. Students then regroup. A pair from one group is joined with a pair from another group to make a new group of four. Each group is given a copy of a number board. The first player throws the dice and moves along the board. The opposing pair reads one of their present continuous sentences and the player guesses whether it’s right or wrong. If the player guesses correctly, they stay on the square. If they guess incorrectly, they go back to their previous square. The second player from the same team then has a turn, followed by the players from the opposing team, and so on. The first pair to finish wins the game.
Right or Wrong.PDF Exclusive
ESL EFL Speaking Activity - Elementary - 25 Minutes
Here is a simple drawing game to help you teach your students present continuous yes/no questions and short answers. The teacher starts by drawing a picture of someone doing something on a piece of paper. Then, the teacher asks the class to try to guess what the person in the picture is doing using present continuous yes/no questions. When the students have guessed what the person in the picture is doing, the class is split into pairs. Students then take it in turns to draw a picture and their partner tries to guess what the person in the picture is doing by asking present continuous yes/no questions. The student who has drawn the picture replies using short answers. The students alternate the people in their sketches by drawing a man in one picture, a woman in the next picture, and two people in the following picture. This gives the students practice at using different subject-verb forms.
ESL EFL Speaking Activity - Elementary - 25 Minutes
Here is an entertaining board game to help students practice the present continuous tense. In pairs, students take it in turns to throw a dice and move their counter along the board. When a student lands on a picture square, their partner asks them a present continuous question about what is happening in the picture, e.g. What is the boy doing? The student must answer the question by making a sentence using the present continuous tense, e.g. He is eating a pizza. If the student does this successfully, they stay on the square. If the student makes a mistake, they go back to their previous square. If both students are unsure about the sentence, they ask the teacher. The first player to reach the finish is the winner. At the end of the game, the teacher goes through the squares with the class asking for their questions and answers.
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Where are we?
ESL EFL Speaking and Writing Activity - Elementary - 25 Minutes
In this fun class activity, students write sentences in the present continuous tense to describe what is happening in a particular place. The class then tries to guess where they are. Each student is given a card. Students complete two sentences (clues) by putting the verb into the present continuous and adding the correct form of the verb to be. They also have to think of two more clues to describe what is happening. Students then read their sentences aloud and the class tries to guess where they are.
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Man on the Roof
ESL EFL Writing Activity - Pre-intermediate - 25 minutes
In this enticing teaching activity, students write present continuous sentences and then try to find translations of what they have written. The students are asked to imagine that there is a man on the roof. The students then write ten different reasons why he is on the roof in the present continuous tense, e.g. He is repairing a broken TV antenna. The students write the first reason in English. The second reason is in the student's native language. The third is in English, and so on. When everybody has finished their sentences, the students cut their sentences into strips. Their task is to find either accurate translations of what they have written or semi-translations. The students move round the classroom showing their sentences to each other. Students will discover that other people have had the same idea but have written it in the other language. The student with the most accurate translations or semi-translations wins.
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Present Continuous Party
ESL EFL Writing and Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate - 40 minutes
In this dynamic teaching activity, students use the present continuous in a party setting. The class is divided into groups of eight. Each student is given a role card. The students complete questions on their card using the present continuous tense. When everyone has finished, each student is given a chart to fill in. The students walk around and speak to the different partygoers in their group. They ask and answer present continuous questions and write the answers in their chart using the third person singular. After that, the students report back to the class on the people they met at the party.
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Present Continuous Taboo
ESL EFL Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate - 35 minutes
In this lively teaching activity, students play a game of taboo using present continuous sentences. The object of the game is for the player to get his/her teammates to say the present continuous sentence on a card, but the player cannot say the sentence or the other words on the card. The class is divided into two teams (A and B). One player from Team A comes to the front of the class and is given a card. The player then tries to describe the present continuous sentence to his/her team without saying the sentence or using the three words on the card. In order to do this, the player has to be creative with his/her English vocabulary and speaking skills. If the team successfully guesses the sentence within two minutes, they win a point. Then a player from Team B comes to the front and picks a card and so on. The winner is the team with the highest number of points at the end of the game.
What are you usually doing at...?
ESL EFL Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate - 25 minutes
This entertaining board game will teach your students to use the present continuous to talk about habitual actions. The present continuous is used in this teaching activity because a time is mentioned and the speaker is visualising and describing a scene. Students play in groups of four. The students move along the board according to the number on their dice. When they land on a time square, they tell their classmates what they are usually doing at that time of day, e.g. At 7:00 a.m., I'm usually having a shower. Then the next student rolls the die, etc. The first student to reach the finish square wins the game.
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