Second Conditional ESL Activities, Games and Worksheets

What would you do?

ESL Second Conditional Activity - Reading, Writing and Speaking - Elementary - 25 minutes

In this fun second conditional worksheet activity, students talk about what they would do in hypothetical situations. Each student is given a copy of the worksheet. Students begin by completing second conditional sentences about what they would do in certain hypothetical situations. When they have finished, the students are divided into pairs. Students then take it in turns to ask their partner what they would do in each situation. Their partner replies by making a second conditional sentence and the other student writes the answer on the worksheet. When they have finished, students tell the class what they found out about their partner.
 

Going Away

ESL Second Conditional Activity - Reading, Writing and Speaking - Pre-intermediate - 35 minutes

In this second conditional worksheet activity, students ask and answer questions about how they would spend their last day at home if they were going away for a year. Each student is given a copy of the worksheet. The students complete second conditional sentences about how they would spend their last day at home and write their answers in the column marked 'You' on their worksheet, e.g. 'If I had one last day at home, I’d eat a big steak with french-fries'. When they have done this, students write second conditional questions using the verbs from the first column, e.g. 'If you had one last day at home, what would you eat?' When the students have finished, they use the questions to interview a partner about how they would spend their last day at home. Students write their partner’s answers in the corresponding column using the third person, e.g. 'If Emma had one last day at home, she would eat spaghetti.' Afterwards, students report back to the class on anything interesting, surprising or amusing they found out.
 

I think you would...

ESL Second Conditional Activity - Reading, Writing and Speaking - Pre-intermediate - 30 minutes

In this intriguing second conditional worksheet, students complete conditional sentences by guessing information about a classmate. Students then find out if their guesses were right or wrong. The class is divided into pairs (A and B) and each student is given a corresponding worksheet. The students complete ten second conditional sentences on their worksheet by guessing what their partner would do in each situation. When they have finished, the students take it in turns to read their completed sentences to their partner, who tells them if their sentences are right or wrong. If a sentence is wrong, their partner explains why.
 

The Panel

ESL Second Conditional Game - Writing, Listening and Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate - 40 minutes

In this entertaining second conditional game, students try to write matching answers for hypothetical situations. The class is divided into teams of four or five. Each team consists of a 'contestant' and 'panel members'. The panel members sit together and the contestants sit in a row at the front of the class. The class is given a hypothetical question using the second conditional. Each contestant writes an answer to the question and keeps it secret. The panel members each write the answer that they think their contestant wrote. The contestants then hold up or read out their answers one by one. Panel members are then asked to hold up or read out their answers. For each matching answer, teams receive one point. This process is repeated until all the questions have been answered. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins. This activity has been adapted from 'Hot Seat' by James Kealey and Donna Inness.
 

What would you do if...?

ESL Second Conditional Activity - Writing and Speaking - Pre-intermediate - 35 minutes

In this captivating second conditional activity, students ask their classmates what they would do in various hypothetical situations. Students then write a second conditional sentence about each person's answer. Each student is given a card. Students stand up and ask another student what they would do in the situation on their card, e.g. 'What would you do if you won the lottery?' Students then go back to their desk and write a second conditional sentence about the person's answer, e.g. 'If Alex won the lottery, he would buy a Lamborghini'. Students then exchange their card with a classmate and the process is repeated. This continues until everybody has written at least ten sentences. Afterwards, students say what their classmates would do in the different situations.
 

Would you...?

ESL Second Conditional Activity - Reading and Speaking - Pre-intermediate - 35 minutes

In this group discussion activity, students practice asking and answering second conditional questions. The class is divided into groups of three or four and each group is given a set of question cards, which they shuffle and place face down in a pile on the desk. Students take it in turns to pick up a card and complete the question using the second conditional. The student then asks the other group members the question on the card. Each group member answers the question in turn and the students discuss the answers. The student notes down the group's answers on the back of the card. Then the next student picks up a card and so on. When the students have finished, the groups tell the class their findings
 

Characterizations

ESL Second Conditional Game - Writing, Listening and Speaking Activity - Intermediate - 50 minutes

In this intriguing second conditional game, students practice making conditional sentences with the verb to be. In teams, students imagine their classmates as other things, like colours or flowers. Students then listen to characterizations imagined by other teams and try to identify the classmates being described. The students are divided into teams of three or four and each team is given an ideas sheet. In their teams, students match 20 class members with categories on the Ideas sheet. Students then think of something specific belonging to the category that describes each person, writing a reason for their choice, e.g. 'A team might characterize Jane as a building and specifically as a library, because she loves to read'. Each team is then given a characterizations sheet. Students write each characterization in the second conditional, putting an X where the student’s name should be, e.g. 'If X were a building, she would be a library, because she loves to read'. One team then goes first and reads their characterizations to another team. The other team listens to each characterization in turn and fills out an answer sheet with the information. The team then tries to identify the person being characterized. If the team guesses correctly, they win a point. When all the characterizations have been given, the teams swap roles. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins.
 

If we didn't have...

ESL Second Conditional Game - Speaking Activity - Intermediate - 30 minutes

In this engaging second conditional game, students define things by making conditional sentences about what life would be like without the items. The class is divided into groups of three or four and each group is given a set of cards. The students take it in turns to pick up a card and make second conditional sentences about what life would be like without the item on the card. The student who is defining uses second conditional structures from the board and gives up to three definitions. The student must define the item without saying what it is. When a group member guesses the item correctly, they win and keep the card. If no one manages to guess correctly after three definitions, the student who is defining keeps the card. Therefore, students shouldn't make their definitions too easy to guess. The students play until all the cards have been used. The student with the most cards at the end of the game is the winner.
 

Second Conditional Election

ESL Second Conditional Activity - Reading, Writing and Speaking - Intermediate - 45 minutes

In this second conditional worksheet activity, students create a political party and tell the class what they would do if they were elected. The class is divided into groups of three or four and each group is given a copy of the worksheet. The groups are told that they are a political party and that they need to decide on their party's policies for the next election by answering the ten questions on the worksheet. The questions are based on the environment, education, health, politics, crime and punishment. When the groups have finished writing their policies, they tell the other groups what they would do if they were elected using the second conditional. As the other students listen to each policy, they comment on the negative consequences of the policy by making second conditional statements. The group then responds. This continues until either the group or students have won the argument. After all the groups have presented their policies, the class votes for the party they would elect.
 
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