Be Going To and Present Continuous ESL Activities, Games and Worksheets

Are you going to...?

ESL Be Going To Activity - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking - Elementary (A1-A2) - 35 minutes

Here is a free 'be going to' activity to use in class with your students. In the activity, students ask and answer questions about their future plans. Give each student a copy of the worksheet. The students read each question in the first column on the worksheet and then write a follow-up question using 'be going to'. When everyone has finished writing their follow-up questions, divide the students into pairs. Students then take it in turns to ask their partner about their future plans using the questions on their worksheet. When a partner answers 'Yes, I am' to a question, the student puts a tick and asks his or her follow-up question. If a partner answers 'No, I'm not', the student puts a cross and moves on to the next question. When the students have finished interviewing each other, they tell the rest of the class about their partner's future plans.
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Interactive Version - In this 'be going to' interactive breakout room activity, pairs of students practice asking and answering questions about their future plans using 'be going to'.

 

Find Someone Who...

ESL Be Going To and Present Continuous Activity - Writing, Listening and Speaking - Elementary (A1-A2) - 30 minutes

This 'going to' and present continuous 'Find someone who' activity helps to teach students how to ask and answer questions about future plans and arrangements. Give each student a copy of the worksheet. The students begin by going through the questions they need to ask from the worksheet, e.g. 'Are you watching TV tonight?' Students then walk around the classroom and ask questions about their classmates' future plans and arrangements. When a classmate answers 'Yes, I am' to a question, the student writes down the classmate's name and asks follow-up 'Wh' questions to gain more information. When everyone has finished, students give feedback to the rest of the class on what they found out by making sentences with 'be going to' and the present continuous.
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Summer School Fair

ESL Present Continuous Activity - Reading, Listening and Speaking - Elementary (A1-A2) - 25 minutes

Here is a free present continuous activity to use with your students in class. In the activity, students practice asking and answering questions about future arrangements. Divide the students into pairs and give each student a diary of their plans for next week. Both students have four free periods in their diary. Tell the students that it's the start of the summer holidays and that you have asked some students to help prepare for next Sunday evening’s summer school fair. To help decide which students will help you, the students play a game where they have to find all their partner’s free periods. The students do this by taking it in turns to ask their partner about his or her arrangements for next week using the present continuous, e.g. 'What are you doing on Wednesday afternoon?' Their partner looks at their diary for that day and time, and replies by making a present continuous sentence, e.g. 'I’m working at the cafe'. The student then writes their partner's response in the blank diary on their worksheet. The first student to find all their partner’s free periods in each pair wins. The loser has to spend his or her free time with the other students helping the teacher prepare for the school fair!
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Interactive Version - In this free interactive present continuous breakout room activity, pairs of students use the present continuous tense to ask and answer questions about future arrangements.

 

Sun and Fun Resort

ESL Going To Activity - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking - Elementary (A1-A2) - 30 minutes

In this 'be going to' worksheet activity, students plan activities to do at a resort and then ask and answer questions to find people to do their planned activities with. Give each student a copy of the worksheet. Students read the paragraph on the worksheet together as a class and imagine that they have won a 3-day trip to the Sun and Fun Resort. Students then choose the correct verb for each of the activities that can be done at the resort. After that, students choose and plan activities to do over the three days and write each activity in a chart. Students then go around the class asking questions with 'be going to' to find people to do their planned activities with, e.g. 'Are you going to hire a boat in the morning of Day 1?' If a classmate is doing the same activity at the same time, they answer 'Yes, I am'. The two students then write each other's name on the 'Who with?' line below the activity. If a classmate is doing something different, they reply 'No, I'm not'. When the students have finished, there is a class feedback session to find out which student found the most people to do activities with.
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Fixed and Intended Future Plans

ESL Be Going To vs. Present Continuous Worksheet - Reading and Writing Activity - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 30 minutes

In this be going to and present continuous worksheet, students learn how to use the present continuous for fixed future plans and 'be going to' for intended future plans. Give each student a copy of the two-page worksheet. Students begin by reading a conversation and completing gaps with the correct form of the verbs in brackets. Next, students write the future plans from the conversation in the correct category, fixed future plans or intended future plans. Students then complete grammar rules for using 'be going to' and the present continuous. Students then move on to use verbs from a box to complete 'be going to' sentences and match situations to them. After that, students use prompts to create fixed future plans in the present continuous tense. Afterwards, students write about a fixed future plan and an intended future plan of their own. Finally, review the students' plans as a class and check they are using 'be going to' and the present continuous correctly.
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Interactive Version - Here is a be going to vs. present continuous interactive worksheet to help students learn how to use 'be going to' for intended future plans and the present continuous tense for fixed future plans.

 

I'm going to improve my English

ESL Be Going To Activity - Writing, Listening and Speaking - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 30 minutes

Here is a free 'be going to' activity to use in class. In the activity, students talk about future intentions by discussing ways to improve their English. Divide the students into groups of four and give each student a copy of the worksheet. The students discuss and brainstorm how they could improve their English in six categories, e.g. speaking, listening, writing, etc. The group then chooses the best three ideas for each category and each student notes these down on the worksheet. Working alone, the students then choose six things that they are going to do to improve their English. They choose one idea from each category and write a sentence with 'be going to', e.g. 'I'm going to speak English for one hour a day'. When the students have finished, they pair up with someone from another group. The pairs of students compare their ideas and give reasons for their choices. Finally, there is a class feedback session to find out which were the most popular ideas for improving English skills.
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Interactive Version - In this free interactive 'going to' breakout room activity, groups of students write about and discuss ways to improve their English using 'be going to' for future intentions.

 

Let's Party!

ESL Going To Activity - Reading, Matching, Writing and Speaking - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 30 minutes

In this 'be going to' activity, students plan a party and then present their plans to the class. Give each student a copy of the worksheet. Students begin by matching vocabulary to questions about planning a party. When the students have finished, divide them into groups of three or four. The groups then plan a party by answering ten questions on the worksheet. Students use the vocabulary from the first exercise to help them answer each question. Students write their answers in sentence form using 'be going to'. When each group has planned their party, they present their party idea to the class by reading their sentences. The class then votes for the best one.
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Interactive Version - In this 'be going to' interactive worksheet, students complete a range of exercises to practice 'be going to' for future plans.

 

Next Week

ESL Present Continuous for Arrangements Activity - Writing, Listening and Speaking - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 30 minutes

In this present continuous activity, students practice making arrangements for next week. Give each student a copy of the worksheet. The worksheet shows an empty schedule for next week. The students' task is to fill up their schedule by making arrangements with other students. Each student thinks of eight leisure activities they would like to do and writes them down anywhere they like in their schedule. When the students have done that, they go around the class and find someone who is free to do each of the activities with them. Students must find a different person for each activity. When two students have agreed to do an activity together, they write each other's names and the time they have arranged to meet in the relevant place in their schedules. The students repeat the activity until they have found someone for each leisure activity and filled up their schedule with other arrangements. When everyone has finished, students tell the class about their arrangements for next week using the present continuous.
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The Long Weekend

ESL Making Arrangements Activity - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 30 minutes

In this free present continuous activity, students make arrangements and talk about them. In the activity, students also practice inviting, accepting and declining. Give each student a copy of the worksheet. Tell the students that there is a long weekend coming up. The students choose seven activities that they would like to do over the long weekend and write them into a calendar on their worksheet. Students then try to find a partner for each activity. They must also get involved in other activities and try to fill up their calendar. They do this by walking around the class making arrangements with each other for the long weekend. The students who manage to fill up their entire calendar are the winners. Afterwards, the students use the present continuous to give feedback to the class about their arrangements over the long weekend.
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What am I going to do?

ESL Be Going To Game - Listening and Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 25 minutes

In this 'going to' game, students give clues about planned activities by saying what they are going to do beforehand. Give each pair of students a set of cards, which they shuffle and place face down in a pile on the desk. One student begins by picking up the top card from the pile and telling their partner one thing they are going to do before they start doing the planned activity on the card, e.g. 'I’m going to read my textbook'. Their partner then tries to guess what they are going to do next, e.g. 'You are going to have an exam'. If their partner is wrong, the student gives them another clue. The student with the card can give up to three clues. If their partner guesses correctly, they keep the card. If not, the student giving the clues keeps the card. The students then swap roles and continue with another card. The student with the most cards at the end of the game is the winner. This game can also be played in competing pairs or teams.
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What's in the bag?

ESL Future Plans Game - Listening and Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 25 minutes

Here is an amusing 'be going to' game to help students practice talking about future plans. The students sit in a circle and pass a bag to each other. The student who receives the bag looks inside and then replies to a question from another student. The student who passed the bag invents something unusual or bizarre that could be inside and asks, e.g. 'Why have you got a monkey in your bag?' The student then has to quickly think of an appropriate reason using 'be going to', e.g. 'I'm going to take it to the zoo'. Students are out of the game if they make a grammar mistake, can't think of an appropriate reason, repeat an answer given by another student, or take too long to reply. The last student left in the game wins.
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Your Future in 30 Seconds

ESL Be Going To and Present Continuous Board Game - Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 30 minutes

In this 'going to' and present continuous board game, students talk about different future plans and arrangements for 30 seconds. Give each group of three or four a copy of the game board, a dice and counters. The players then take it in turns to roll the dice and move their counter along the board. When a player lands on a square, they talk about the future plan or arrangement on the square for 30 seconds using either the present continuous or 'be going to' as appropriate. The other group members listen and judge the player's response. If the player manages to talk about the topic for 30 seconds using the present continuous or 'be going to' correctly, they stay on the square. If the player stops talking before the time is up or makes a grammar mistake, they must go back to their previous square. The first player to reach the finish wins the game.
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You're going to...

ESL Be Going To Miming Game - Miming and Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 30 minutes

In this entertaining 'going to' game, students mime actions leading up to a planned activity. Divide the students into teams (A and B). A player from one team comes to the front of the class and is given a card. The player mimes the actions they would do in preparation for the planned activity marked on the card, but they don't do the activity itself. Instead, they stop just before and say, "What am I going to do next?" The player's team then consults before answering using the phrase 'You're going to...' If the player's team answers correctly, they score two points. If the player's team gives the wrong answer, the other team is allowed to guess for one point. Then, a player from the other team comes to the front of the class and so on. The game continues until all the mime cards have been used. The team with the highest score at the end of the game wins. This game can also be played in competing pairs or small teams.
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Future Arrangements Card Game

ESL Future Arrangments Game - Listening and Speaking Activity - Intermediate (A2-B1) - 30 minutes

In this present continuous game, students practice talking about future arrangements. The aim of the game is to say as many present continuous sentences as possible within a thirty-second time frame. Divide the students into groups of three or four. Give each group a set of cards, which they shuffle and place in a pile face down on the desk. The first student picks up a card and lays it on the table for everyone to see. The student then talks for thirty seconds about the future arrangement on the card using the present continuous. The first sentence the student says must use the verb in bold on the card and must follow the topic. Students must also use a different verb in each sentence they make. For example, if a student’s card reads ‘get up early’, the student might say, “I’m getting up early tomorrow. I’m meeting my friend Joe at 7 a.m. We are going cycling.” Students score one point for each present continuous sentence they make within the thirty-second time frame. So, in the example, the student would score three points. Then, the next student picks up a card and so on. The student with the most points at the end of the game is the winner.
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That sounds like a plan

ESL Going To and Present Continuous Activity - Speaking - Intermediate (A2-B1) - 30 minutes

Here is a useful 'going to' and present continuous teaching activity to use in class with your students. The activity helps to review the difference between 'be going to' for future plans and the 'present continuous' for definite arrangements in the future. Divide the students into groups of four and give each student a copy of the worksheet. The students write their name above the first diary on the worksheet and the names of their group members above the other diaries. The students then complete their diary with ten activities they are going to do next week. Half the activities should include a definite time. The students then try to find as many times as possible next week when they can meet by asking each other if they are free at certain times, e.g. 'Diego, are you free on Tuesday evening?' If a group member replies 'Yes, I am', the two students arrange to do something together and write it in their diaries. If a group member replies 'No, I'm not', the student gives a reason using 'be going to' or the present continuous (if there is a definite time), e.g. 'I'm meeting Sam at seven o'clock'. Students complete the other diaries on their worksheet with the activities their group members are doing. If a group finds there are no times next week when they are free, they try to persuade one another to reschedule some of their plans. When the students have finished, they give feedback to the class on the plans they made with one another using 'be going to' and the present continuous.
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Interactive Version - In this interactive 'going to' and present continuous breakout room activity, groups of students make plans and arrangements together to practice the 'present continuous' for definite arrangements and 'be going to' for future plans.

 

Who wrote this sentence?

ESL Future Plans Activity - Writing, Listening and Speaking - Intermediate (A2-B1) - 30 minutes

In this 'going to' and present continuous activity, students complete sentences about their future plans and arrangements and then find out who wrote other sentences by asking yes/no questions. Give each group of four a set of sentence cards, which they shuffle and deal out equally. The students complete the sentences on the cards with true information about their future plans or definite arrangements. The students now work together as a class. Place a box in the middle of the room and have the students fold up their completed sentences and put them in the box. The students' task is to find out who wrote each sentence by asking their classmates yes/no questions with 'be going to' or the present continuous. The student that finds out who wrote the most sentences wins. All the students stand up and take one card each from the box. If a student picks up their own sentence, they put it back and take another card. The students then go around asking yes/no questions to find the person who wrote the sentence on their card, e.g. 'Are you meeting a friend after class?' When a classmate answers 'Yes, I am', the student asks 'Did you write this sentence?' to check they have the person who actually wrote it. If so, the student writes their name on the card, keeps it and takes another one from the box. If a classmate replies 'No, I'm not' or they didn't write the sentence, the student moves on to ask someone else. The students repeat the activity until there are no cards left in the box. The student with the most sentences at the end is the winner. Finally, the students report back to the class on what they found out about their classmates.
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The Explanation Game

ESL Be Going To and Present Continuous Board Game - Reading and Speaking Activity - Intermediate (B1) - 25 minutes

This fun ‘going to’ and present continuous board game is perfect for reviewing future plans and arrangements. Give each group of three or four a copy of the game board, a dice and counters. Students take it in turns to roll the dice and move their counter along the board. When a student lands on a square, they read the sentence or phrase and invent an ending by explaining their future plans or arrangements to the group using 'be going to' or the present continuous, e.g. 'I don’t have much money so I’m going to get a part-time job at the mall'. If you want to make the game harder, tell the students that they must talk for 30 seconds so they produce a number of sentences based on the situation or topic. The other students in the group judge the student’s explanation and use of future forms. If the response is appropriate, the student stays on the square. If a student makes a mistake or cannot think of an explanation, they go back to their previous square. The first student to reach the finish square wins the game.
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