Zero / First Conditional Games, ESL Activities and Worksheets

What will happen?

ESL First Conditional Board Game - Speaking Activity - Elementary - 25 minutes

In this engaging first conditional game, students practice making conditional sentences using the structure. The students are divided 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 prompt and make a first conditional sentence beginning with 'If...' Students can finish the sentence any way they like, but it must contain the words in the square, be appropriate and grammatically correct. If a student lands on a square marked 'IF', they can make any first conditional sentence they like. If a student forms the sentence correctly, they stay on the square. If not, the student must go back to their previous square. The first student to reach the finish wins the game.
 

Christmas Conditionals

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

This festive worksheet activity combines the topic of Christmas and New Year superstitions with the first conditional. The class is divided into two groups (A and B) and each student is given a corresponding worksheet. On the worksheets, each Christmas and New Year superstition is written as a first conditional sentence and comes with three possible endings (a, b and c). The correct ending is already written on the worksheet. The students' task is to work together with the people in their group to write two false endings for each conditional sentence. When the students have finished writing, they pair up with someone from the other group. The students then take it in turns to quiz their partner by reading each superstition and all three endings. Their partner has to guess which ending is correct. The student with the most correct guesses in each pair wins.
 

First Conditional Business

Business English First Conditional Worksheet - Reading, Writing and Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate - 45 minutes

This productive first conditional worksheet activity can be used with Business English students or adults. Each student is given a copy of the two worksheets. Students begin by reading how to use and form the first conditional. Students then complete a gap fill exercise using the first conditional structure. When the students have finished, the answers are checked with the class. The students are then split into pairs. In pairs, the students create a situational dialogue where they negotiate a production run and unit cost for a new product using the first conditional. The dialogues are then presented to the class and feedback is given.
 

First Conditional Card Game

ESL First Conditional Game - Matching and Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate - 30 minutes

In this entertaining first conditional activity, students play a game where they make conditional sentences by matching pairs of picture cards together. Each group of three is given a set of 'If' cards and a set of 'Result' cards. The 'Result' cards are dealt out and the 'If' cards are placed in a pile on the desk. The first player turns over the top 'If' card and makes the beginning of a first conditional sentence using the picture on the card. For example, if the picture showed a person staying up late, the student might say, "If you stay up late,…" All the players in the group then look at their result cards and try to find an appropriate match to complete the first conditional sentence. The player with a matching card then completes the sentence, e.g. '…you will feel tired the next day'. If everyone agrees the sentence is suitable, the player keeps both cards and puts them aside. The second player then turns over the next 'If' card and so on. The first player to get rid of all their result cards wins the game. When the students have finished the game, they write down the first conditional sentences their group made by looking at the pairs of cards they set aside. These sentences are read to the class. The students listening to the sentences correct any mistakes they hear and give feedback.    
 

First Conditional Chain

ESL First Conditional Activity - Reading and Writing - Pre-intermediate - 25 minutes

In this enjoyable first conditional activity, students create conditional sentences in a chain format. Students sit in a circle in groups of five or six. Each student is given a worksheet and an 'If Clause' card. The students write their 'If' clause at the top of the worksheet. Each student then passes their paper to the person on their right who completes the second half of the first conditional sentence any way they like. The student then folds the paper so the 'If' clause cannot be seen and passes the paper to the student on their right. The next student then uses the second half of the sentence to write the beginning half of a new first conditional sentence. The student then folds the paper to hide the last sentence and passes it to the person on their right. This process continues until the worksheet is completed. When everyone has finished writing, students correct any mistakes on their worksheet and then read the sentences to their group. Students then choose the best set of sentences from their group. These are read aloud to the class.
 

Five-in-a-row

ESL First Conditional Game - Reading and Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate - 30 minutes

In this fun first conditional game, students complete 'if' and 'result' clauses to make first conditional sentences. The class is divided into pairs. Each pair is given a copy of the first game board which contains an 'If' clause in each square. Students take it in turns to choose a square and make a first conditional sentence by adding a suitable result clause. If a student does this successfully, they draw their O or X symbol in the square. If not, play passes to the other student. The aim of the game is to be the first student to get five squares in a row either horizontally, vertically, or diagonally. The first student to do this is the winner. Pairs then repeat the process with the second game board, but this time the squares contain result clauses. The students' task this time is to make a first conditional sentence by adding an appropriate 'if' clause to complete the sentence. For lower-level classes, students can play in small teams or in competing pairs.
 

If...

ESL First Conditional Game - Reading and Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate - 25 minutes

In this entertaining first conditional activity, students play a game where they ask conditional questions and answer with phrases of probability. The teacher begins by writing probability phrases on the board, e.g. I doubt if, It’s unlikely, will definitely, will probably, etc. The class is then divided into groups of three and each group is given a set of 'If clause' cards. Students take it in turns to pick up a card. The student with the card then asks the person on their right a first conditional question using the clause on the card. If the student picks up an 'If...' card, they create their own first conditional question. If the question is grammatically correct, the student scores a point. The other student then answers the question using a phrase of probability from the board. If the answer is grammatically correct, the student also gets a point. Then the next student picks up a card and so on. The student with the highest score at the end of the game is the winner.
 

If and When

ESL First Conditional Game - Reading and Writing Activity - Pre-intermediate - 25 minutes

In this energetic first conditional game, students race to complete conditional sentences and sentences containing the future time clause 'when'. The class is divided into teams of three or four. A time limit is set and each team is given an incomplete sentence strip. Teams then race to complete the first sentence, making sure the sentence is logical and grammatically correct. As soon as a team has completed the sentence, one student from the team comes to you with the strip. If it’s correct, the team gets a point and you give the student the second strip and so on. If a sentence is incorrect, the team has to rewrite it. When the time limit has been reached, the students stop writing. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins.
 

What do you do if...?

ESL Zero Conditional Board Game - Reading and Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate - 30 minutes

In this entertaining zero conditional activity, students play a board game where they ask and answer 'What do you do if...?' questions. The students are split into groups of four. Each group is given a copy of the game board, a dice and counters. Players take it in turns to roll the dice and move their counter along the board. When a player lands on a square, the student to their right asks them a 'What do you do if...?' question from the prompt on the square. The player then tries to answer the question appropriately by making a zero conditional sentence. If the player forms the sentence correctly, they stay on the square. If not, the player must go back to their previous square. The first player to reach the finish wins the game.
 

What did I write?

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

In this first conditional worksheet activity, students play a guessing game to practice the structure. The class is divided into two groups (A and B) and each student is given a corresponding worksheet. The students complete the endings of the first conditional sentences on their worksheet with their own ideas. Student As complete the odd-numbered sentences and Student Bs complete the even-numbered sentences. When the students have completed their sentences, they pair up with someone from the other group. The students then play a game where they guess the endings of the first conditional sentences their partner wrote. Student B starts and tries to guess the ending of the first sentence. Student B has five chances to guess the exact words. If Student B guesses right the first time, he/she gets five points. On the second try, he/she gets four points. On the third try, he/she receives three points, etc. Then, it's Student A's turn to guess the second sentence and so on. This process continues back and forth until all the sentences have been used. The student with the highest score at the end of the game wins.
 

Zero Conditional Guessing Game

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

In this zero conditional activity, students complete conditional sentences and then play a guessing game based on what they wrote. Each student is given a copy of the worksheet. The students write their normal reactions to the situations listed on the worksheet by completing zero conditional sentences. In pairs, the students then take it in turns to read only the part they have written in each sentence. Their partner has three chances to guess which sentence the words came from. If their partner guesses right the first time, he/she gets three points. On the second try, he/she gets two points. On the third try, he/she receives one point. This process continues back and forth until all the sentences have been used. The student with the highest score at the end of the game wins.
 
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