Present Continuous Games, Worksheets and ESL Activities

Fun Memory Game

ESL Present Continuous Game - Grammar and Speaking: Pelmanism, Matching, Forming Sentences - Pair Work - Elementary (A1-A2) - 25 minutes

Here is a free present continuous memory game to play in class. In pairs, students take it in turns to turn over picture cards and make sentences in the present continuous about what's happening in the pictures. The aim of the game is to find matching pairs of cards. The first student turns over a card and makes a present continuous sentence about the picture, e.g. 'He's riding a bicycle'. The student then turns over another card. If the activity on the second card matches with the first card, the student makes a present continuous sentence about the second picture, e.g. 'She's riding a bicycle'. The student then keeps the pair of cards and has another turn. If the two cards don't match, the student turns them back over. The student with the most cards at the end of the game is the winner.
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Get the Picture

ESL Present Continuous Game - Grammar and Speaking: Forming Sentences, Asking and Answering Questions, Matching, Freer Practice - Group Work - Elementary (A1-A2) - 25 minutes

In this engaging present continuous game, students ask and answer present continuous yes/no questions and make present continuous negative statements. The aim of the game is to be the first player to match all the pictures on their game board with picture cards from the pile. The first player begins by taking the top picture card from the pile. The player then says three things that aren’t happening in the picture by making three negative present continuous statements with the corresponding subject pronoun from the picture, e.g. 'He isn't studying'. 'He isn't walking a dog'. 'He isn't playing tennis'. The other players then ask present continuous yes/no questions to find out if the picture matches with one on their board, e.g. 'Is he surfing?' The player, who receives the 'yes' response, 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 Who

ESL Present Continuous Questions Game - Grammar and Speaking: Asking and Answering Questions, Guessing, Controlled Practice - Pair Work - Elementary (A1-A2) - 20 minutes

In this present continuous questions game, students use present continuous yes/no questions to guess who a partner is thinking about. One student goes first and starts thinking about one of the people on the worksheet. Their partner's task is to find out who the student is thinking about by asking present continuous yes/no questions with Is she...? The student starts by asking about what the person is doing, e.g. 'Is she watching TV?' 'Is she listening to music?' Etc. Once the student knows what the person is doing, they move on to ask about what the person is wearing, e.g. 'Is she wearing a T-shirt?' The student can ask up to five questions and then must guess who the person is. If the student guesses correctly, they score a point and cross the person off the worksheet. If not, the student who is thinking of the person scores a point and the person from the worksheet isn't crossed off. Students then swap roles. The student with the most points at the end of the game wins.
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Illustrations

ESL Present Continuous Game - Grammar: Drawing, Guessing, Forming Sentences - Group Work - Elementary (A1-A2) - 25 minutes

In this amusing present continuous drawing game, students guess sentences from drawings. All the sentences are present continuous affirmative sentences beginning with He/She is... or They are... One student from Team A comes up to the board and receives a present continuous sentence card. The student then draws the sentence on the board. Team A then has one minute to try to guess the sentence for one point. If Team A hasn't guessed correctly after one minute, Team B can try to answer. Then, a student from Team B comes to the board and so on. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins.
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Positives and Negatives

ESL Present Continuous Worksheet - Vocabulary and Grammar Exercises: Word Search, Gap-fill - Elementary (A1-A2) - 20 minutes

In this free present continuous worksheet, students use 20 verbs to complete positive and negative present continuous sentence pairs. Students begin by finding 20 verbs in a word search and writing them in the spaces provided. After that, students use the verbs to complete positive and negative present continuous sentence pairs. The first sentence of each pair is negative and the second sentence is positive.
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Present Continuous Practice

ESL Present Continuous Worksheet - Grammar and Writing Exercises: Completing Sentences, Gap-fill, Error Correction, Writing a Short Paragraph - Elementary (A1-A2) - 30 minutes

Here is a useful present continuous worksheet for elementary students to use in class. First, students read how to use the present continuous tense and review the structure. Students then read a set of situations and write down what they would say in the present continuous. After that, students complete a set of voice mail messages by writing verbs in brackets in the present continuous. Students then write their own message about what is happening in the class right now. To finish off, students correct mistakes in sentences and rewrite them.
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Sentence Scramble

ESL Present Continuous Game - Grammar and Reading: Sentence Completion, Matching - Pair Work - Elementary (A1-A2) - 25 minutes

In this present continuous matching game, students complete and match sentence parts together to form present continuous sentences. In pairs, students complete sentence parts on the long cards in the present continuous tense by writing the correct form of the verb to be and the -ing form of the verb in brackets, e.g. 'I am eating...' Students then match the long cards with short cards to make present continuous sentences by making logical connections between the words on the cards, e.g. drawing / a picture, watching / television, etc. When the pairs have matched all the cards, they read out their sentences. Pairs score one point for each correctly completed gap-fill and one point for each correct sentence. The pair with the most points wins the game.
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What are they doing?

ESL Present Continuous Activity - Grammar Exercises: Writing Sentences from Prompts - Speaking Activity: Asking and Answering Questions from Prompts, Freer Practice - Pair Work - Elementary (A1-A2) - 20 minutes

This present continuous activity helps to teach students how to ask what people are doing and reply using the present continuous tense. To begin, students write present continuous sentences, describing what people in pictures are doing. After that, in pairs, students ask and answer questions about what the people in the pictures are doing. Finally, students take it in turns to ask and answer questions about what other people in the class are doing.
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Guess what I'm doing

ESL Present Continuous Game - Grammar: Miming, Guessing, Forming Sentences - Group Work - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 25 minutes

This free present continuous miming game can be used with pre-intermediate students. The aim of the game is for the students in the teams to guess present continuous sentences from mimes. All the sentences are present continuous affirmative sentences beginning with You are... A student comes from one of the two teams comes to the front of the class and is given a present continuous sentence card. The student asks the class 'What am I doing?' and then does the mime on the card. When a member on either team thinks they know what the student is doing, they call out their answer by making a present continuous sentence. If it is correct, the student scores a point for their team. Then, a student from the other team comes to the front of the class and so on. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins.
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In the City

ESL Present Continuous Activity - Grammar, Reading and Writing: Writing L1 and L2 Sentences, Matching - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 25 minutes

In this intriguing present continuous activity, students write present continuous sentences in English and their native language and then try to find matching translations that other students have written. Students imagine that there is a woman in a big and exciting city. Students then write ten reasons why she is there in the present continuous, e.g. 'She is visiting the city on holiday'. 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. Next, students cut their sentences into strips. The students' task is to find accurate translations or semi-translations of what they have written. Students go around the class reading their sentences to each other. When two students find they have an accurate translation or semi-translation of a sentence, they write the other student's name down on the strip. The student with the most accurate translations or semi-translations wins. Afterwards, students go through the sentences and match translations as a class and discuss any differences in meaning.
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Present Continuous

ESL Present Continuous Worksheet - Grammar Exercises: Gap-fill, Categorising, Matching, Unscrambling, Writing Sentences - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 30 minutes

This present continuous worksheet helps students learn how the present continuous tense is used to describe temporary situations, unfinished actions happening now and future plans. Students start by completing sentences with the present continuous form of the verbs in brackets. Students then sort the sentences into columns, according to what each sentence describes. Next, students match the sentences with corresponding pictures. After that, students unscramble present continuous sentences. Lastly, students create true present continuous sentences about themselves to describe the three uses of the present continuous.
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Present Continuous Party

ESL Present Continuous Role-Play - Grammar and Speaking Activity: Role-Play, Gap-fill, Asking and Answering Questions from Prompts, Table Completion - Group Work - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 35 minutes

In this present continuous role-play activity, students assume the identity of someone at a party and talk about their current activities. Students begin by answering questions on a role card about what they are doing at a party and how they are feeling using the present continuous. Students then walk around and speak to the other partygoers in their group. Students ask each other the questions from the role card and write the answers down in a chart on a worksheet using the third person singular. When everyone has finished, students report back to the class on the people they met at the party.
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Present Continuous Taboo

ESL Present Continuous Game - Grammar: Describing, Guessing, Forming Sentences - Group Work - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 35 minutes

In this free present continuous activity, students play a game of Taboo where they describe present continuous sentences. One player from Team A comes to the front of the class and is given a taboo card. The player then tries to describe the present continuous sentence to their team, without saying the sentence or using the three words on the card. If Team A successfully guesses the sentence within two minutes, they score a point. If they are unsuccessful, Team B has one chance to guess the sentence and steal the point. Then, a player from Team B comes to the front and so on. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins.
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Right or Wrong?

ESL Present Continuous Board Game - Grammar, Writing and Listening: Writing Sentences, Identifying Errors - Group Work - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 50 minutes

In this rewarding present continuous board game, students try to recognize errors in present continuous affirmative and negative sentences. In groups of four, students write six present continuous affirmative and negative sentences. Three sentences must be grammatically correct and three must contain errors. The four students then put their sentences together to come up with a definitive set of 24 sentences, marked right or wrong, and all the students write them down. Students then regroup. A pair from one group joins with a pair from another group to make two opposing teams. The players then take it in turns to role the dice and move their counter along the board. The opposing team then 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 two squares. The first team to have both players reach the finish wins the game.
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Sketches

ESL Present Continuous Game - Grammar and Speaking: Drawing, Asking and Answering Questions, Guessing, Controlled and Freer - Group and Pair Work - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 35 minutes

Here is an entertaining present continuous drawing game to help students practice present continuous yes/no questions and short answers. In teams, students draw pictures on cards, according to the present continuous sentence shown on each card. Teams then take it in turns to guess what another team has drawn on one of their cards. Team A chooses one of their picture cards and tells Team B who is in the picture, e.g. 'It is a picture of a woman'. Team B then asks present continuous yes/no questions to determine what is happening in the picture, e.g. 'Is she moving?' 'Is she watching something?' Team A replies with short answers as appropriate. If Team B successfully guesses what is happening in the picture, they score one point. If not, Team A is awarded a point. The teams then swap roles. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins.
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Where are we?

ESL Present Continuous Game - Grammar and Speaking: Completing and Reading Clues, Guessing - Group Work - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 25 minutes

In this fun present continuous guessing game, students write clues to describe what is happening in a particular place. Their classmates then listen to the clues and try to guess where they are. First, students write clues in the present continuous tense to describe what's happening in the place on their card. The first clue should be difficult to guess and the last clue should be easy. Students then take it in turns to read their clues to the group. The other students listen and try to guess where they are. The first student in the group to guess the place wins and keeps the card. The student with the most cards at the end of the game wins.
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What's happening in the classroom?

ESL Present Continuous Worksheet - Grammar and Reading Exercises: Gap-Fill, Writing Sentences, Identifying, Error Correction, Answering Reading Comprehension Questions - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 30 minutes

In this classroom-themed worksheet, students learn and practice the present continuous tense. First, students complete 12 sentences with verbs in their present continuous form. Next, students are presented with six pictures of students doing things. Students then write present continuous sentences about the pictures. After that, students read a story, underline all the present continuous mistakes in the text, and correct them. In the last exercise, students answer comprehension questions about the story using the present continuous.
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