Journey to the future with 29 creative and interactive ESL activities. Designed to help your students master the use of future tense, these activities encourage imaginative thinking, goal setting, and collaborative storytelling—while simultaneously solidifying their understanding of future tense structures. Follow along as we take you through activities such as diary entries, predictive weather entries, and more!
1. Predict Your Day
Start your day with a fun future-tense exercise. Ask your students to write a paragraph predicting what their day will look like. This activity promotes forward thinking and encourages them to use the word, ‘will’ when making predictions.
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2. Classroom Weather Forecaster
Give your students a chance to be weather forecasters. Provide a few pictures that symbolize different weather conditions and have them predict tomorrow’s weather.
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3. Future Career Fair
Spark new passions and encourage your learners to dream big by hosting a career fair. Your students can present what they’re going to be in the future and practice using the expression, ‘going to’ when making plans.
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4. Time Capsule
Get your learners to write a letter to their future selves. They can write letters stating what they think they’ll be doing in 10 years; practicing the use of the word, ‘will’.
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5. Plan a Trip
Ask your students to plan a trip somewhere. They should explain where they’re ‘going to’ visit and what they’re ‘going to’ do there; practicing making use of the expression, ‘going to’.
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6. Classroom Talk Show
Turn the spotlight on your students as you host a classroom talk show. In pairs, learners can interview each other about their plans for the weekend; using the present continuous for arrangements that they’re making.
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7. What’s for Dinner?
Get those tummies grumbling by asking your students to write about what they’re ‘going to’ cook for dinner. This activity makes them practice the phrase, ‘going to’ for making plans and further enables them to understand the sequencing of a process.
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8. Future Inventions
Peer into the future by having your students draw and present an invention that they think ‘will’ exist in 100 years; allowing them to use ‘will’ for predictions and ignite their creativity in the process.
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9. Acting Out a Scene
Get ready for some drama as you rope your learners into a performance. Provide students with a scene (like having a phone conversation), and ask them to act it out using the future tense when making arrangements.
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10. Resolutions and Goals
This task affords your learners an introspective opportunity whilst getting some practice using the future tense. Ask them to each write down five goals that they ‘are going to’ achieve this year; focusing on using the phrase, ‘going to’ when making plans.
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11. Dear Diary
Have your learners write a diary entry for a day next week; describing what they plan to do and how they plan to go about things. Have them focus on using future tense to craft their entry.
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12. Comic Strip Stories
Once your learners have the swing of things, up the stakes by challenging them to craft artistic comic strips that feature a future event. In doing so, they’ll need to focus on using the phrase, ‘going to’ for plans that are being made.
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13. Predict the Story’s Ending
Tie this fun future tense activity into your next reading lesson. Give your learners a half-finished story and ask them to predict the ending using ‘will’.
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14. Arranging a Classroom Party
Arranging an event is never simple, but can certainly be made easier with thorough planning! Have your pupils plan and discuss a future class party using the future tense; focusing on the use of, ‘going to’ for plans.
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15. Future Perfect Tense
Up the ante by taking a deeper look at the intricacies of the future tense. Prompt your kiddos to write a letter to a friend- describing things that they will have done by a certain point; using the future perfect tense to help them do so.
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16. Dream House Description
This activity is perfect for all engineering and graphic design learners! Your students can take a crack at designing and describing their future house using the phrase, ‘will’.
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17. Future Continuous Tense
Introduce your class to the future continuous tense by playing a simple, animated video! Have your learners describe what they will be doing at various points in the future; helping them get a better idea of how to do the same!
18. Job Interviews
Have your pupils consider and discuss the future by interviewing each other for jobs; using the phrase, ‘going to’ for future plans, and present continuous for future arrangements.
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19. Storytelling Relay
End your future tense lesson with a unique, collaborative task. Group your students and give each group a starting sentence. Learners can then take turns adding a sentence to create a story using the future tense.
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20. Event Guessing Game
English lessons are always better with games. Start this one off by dividing your class into pairs. Then, have one student think of an event that they could attend in the future and begin giving simple clues—in future tense, of course! Their partner will need to listen carefully in an attempt to try and determine what the event might be; “I am going to be dressed formally”, “I will visit the beauty salon”, etc. are all great options. Incorrect guesses mean opportunities for follow-up questions until they guess correctly.
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21. My Bucket List
Creating a bucket list is a fun activity for your entire class. It’s a great way to teach your students the idiom “bucket list”—as well as help them come up with ideas for things they’d like to do or achieve in the future!
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22. Junk Kouture
Taking inspiration from the Junk Kouture competition, why not challenge your students to research and design a piece of fashion that they could make from recyclable materials? Then, have them present their ideas to the class; explaining which materials they would use and how they would go about constructing their garment.
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23. Fortune-Teller Fun
Role-play games are an integral part of the ESL classroom. This activity puts the future in your students’ hands by getting them to pretend to be fortune tellers. Start by pairing up your learners. Next, have them each “read” the future from their partner’s hand—with the help of a handy printable worksheet.
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24. Environmental Predictions
The environment and climate change are essential topics in any language—it’s important for your more advanced students to have the vocabulary to discuss this issue and its future impacts. This lesson plan reinforces this by asking them to predict how climate change will evolve and how it may affect their lives in the future.
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25. New Year’s Resolutions
Here’s a great seasonal option for practicing future tense! Through the medium of song, have your students listen to examples of future tense (“going to”). Then, reinforce their learning by inviting them to make their own New Year’s resolutions.
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26. My (Future) Autobiography
Reflection and prediction are super skills for any of your English students to learn. This effective activity focuses on using the correct form of various tenses, including the future, as learners must write what they think will be included in their autobiography.
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27. Visiting Future Festivals
Role-playing as a reporter and a festival organizer/attendee is a cool way for your class to learn more about celebrations. Divide your learners into pairs or small groups and have them “interview” each other about what they will do at an imagined future festival. You can adapt the printable worksheet to suit any holiday—or better yet, get your students themselves to create new worksheets about the different festivals that can be shared with their classmates.
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28. Beat the Board Game
Your pupils will have a great time playing this discussion-based board game. Gameplay is simple: each student will roll the dice and move their playing piece onto a board spot with a speaking prompt. Then, they must use the prompt to speak for 30 seconds! If they can’t, they’ll move back two spaces. This simple but effective activity is great for kiddos who enjoy a bit of competition!
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29. Goal Vision Board
Every student enjoys getting crafty- no matter their age. This hands-on activity asks your learners to focus on their future plans and goals by displaying them on a unique vision board. Using cut-out images, colors, and plenty of personality, your students can then map out their hopes and dreams before presenting their boards to the class; relying on future tense to help them articulate things.
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