Going to and Present Continuous ESL Activities, Games and Worksheets

Are you going to...?

ESL Going to Activity - Reading, Writing and Speaking - Elementary - 35 minutes

In this fun 'going to' activity, students ask and answer questions about their future plans. Each student is given 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 'going to'. When everyone has finished writing their follow-up questions, the students are split 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.
 

Find someone who...

ESL Going to and Present Continuous Activity - Writing and Speaking - Elementary - 30 minutes

This 'going to' and present continuous worksheet activity helps to teach students how to ask and answer questions about future plans and arrangements. Each student is given 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 'going to' and the present continuous.
 

Summer School Fair

ESL Present Continuous Activity - Reading, Writing and Speaking - Elementary - 25 minutes

In this engaging present continuous activity, students practice asking and answering questions about future arrangements. The class is divided into pairs. Each student is given a diary of their plans for next week. Both students have four free periods in their diary. The students are told that it's the start of the summer holidays. However, their teacher has asked some students to help prepare for next Sunday evening’s summer school fair. To help decide which students will help the teacher, 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!
 

Day Tripper

ESL Future Continuous Activity - Reading, Writing and Speaking - Pre-intermediate - 30 minutes

In this future continuous worksheet activity, students ask and answer questions about a planned day trip. Each student is given a copy of the worksheet. The students look at the teacher's planned timetable for a day trip next Saturday. Students then test the teacher's memory of the timetable by asking questions using the future continuous, e.g. 'What will you be doing at half past one on Saturday?' Afterwards, each student prepares their own timetable for a day trip. The students are then divided into pairs. The students swap timetables and ask questions to test each other’s memory using the future continuous. The winners are the students who answer all the questions correctly.
 

I'm going to improve my English

ESL Going to Activity - Writing and Speaking - Pre-intermediate - 30 minutes

In this rewarding 'going to' activity, students talk about future intentions by discussing ways to improve their English. The students are divided into groups of four and each student is given 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 '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.
 

Let's Party!

ESL Going to Activity - Reading, Matching, Writing and Speaking - Pre-intermediate - 30 minutes

In this enjoyable 'going to' activity, students plan a party and then present their plans to the class. Each student is given a copy of the worksheet. Students begin by matching vocabulary to questions about planning a party. When the students have finished, they are divided 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 '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.
 

Next Week

ESL Present Continuous Activity - Writing and Speaking - Pre-intermediate - 30 minutes

In this present continuous activity, students practice making arrangements for next week. Each student is given 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.
 

The Long Weekend

ESL Present Continuous Activity - Reading, Writing and Speaking - Pre-intermediate - 30 minutes

In this present continuous activity, students make arrangements and talk about them. In the activity, students also practice inviting, accepting and declining. Each student is given a copy of the worksheet and told 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.
 

What am I going to do?

ESL Going to Game - Listening and Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate - 25 minutes

In this delightful 'going to' game, students give clues about planned activities by saying what they are going to do beforehand. The class is split into pairs. Each pair is given 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.
 

What's in the bag?

ESL Going to Game - Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate - 25 minutes

Here is an amusing '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 '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.
 

You're going to...

ESL Going to Game - Miming and Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate - 30 minutes

In this entertaining 'going to' activity, students play a game where they mime actions leading up to a planned activity. Teams watch the mimes and guess what is going to happen next. The class is divided into two 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.
 

Future Arrangements Card Game

ESL Present Continuous Game - Speaking Activity - Low intermediate - 30 minutes

In this compelling 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. The class is divided into groups of three or four. Each group is given a set of cards which they 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 win 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.
 

The Explanation Game

ESL Going to and Present Continuous Board Game - Reading and Speaking Activity - Intermediate - 25 minutes

This fun ‘going to’ and present continuous board game is perfect for reviewing future plans and arrangements. The class is split into groups of three or four. Each group is given 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 '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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