Future Tense Lesson Plans: 7-Part Series

There are a variety of constructions to express the future tense in the English language. These constructions are a key step in achieving natural speech. We recommend tackling the future tense constructions with your students, after they become familiar with the positive, negative and question forms of the present simple and the past simple, and the basic use of the present and past continuous tenses.

We have a set of seven future tense lesson plans. You can find our future tense lesson plans filed under our Teacher tab, in the Verbs-Simple category. If you haven’t already set up an account for our private beta, do so on our Home page.
Here is a summary of what you will find within our set of future tense lesson plans:
In the first lesson of our future tense lesson plans series we introduce the continuous from of going to for A) actions/events with future intention (e.g. I’m going to do it) and for which there is evidence that something will occur (e.g. it is going to rain). The focus is entirely on the positive form. After introducing each use through illustrative examples and timelines, we give ample opportunity to practice through gapfills and freer sentence creation:
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In the second part of our future tense lesson plans series we examine the question form and the negative form of going to. We introduce going to + do something in the question form to either question intent or whether an event will occur. We also introduce not going to do something (i.e. the negative form):
future-tense-lesson-plans future-tense-lesson-plans
In the third of our future tense lesson plans, we focus on the future simple form of will + do something to express the future and we clarify the distinction between going to (definite plan) and will (less certain plan). We also introduce I think… for making predictions about the future. At the end of the lesson we provide significant practice exercises for the student to learn the distinction between using going to and will:
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In our fourth lesson we examine the use of will + do something in the negative and question form. In the negative form we continue to contrast with not going to do something (where plans are more certain).
In the fifth part of our future tense lesson plans series we introduce the use of will + verb either when we A) offer something or B) decide to do something at the time of speaking. We continue to practice the contraction for will (e.g. I’ll help you carry those bags), for everyday speech:
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In the sixth part of our future tense lesson plans we examine the use of the present continuous with expressions of time (e.g. they are going to play tomorrow) to express events that are arranged for the future. We use practice examples with calendar appointments to practice the form and use. We also contrast the present continuous form with going to, keeping with the theme that going to is for a definite plan. We also outline that sometimes both forms are suitable and we examine the present continuous in the negative and question forms.
In the final lesson in our future tense lesson plans series we examine the use of the present simple to express events that are scheduled on a timetable such as a train or a movie. We also introduce the question form and compare the present simple (future form) to the present continuous (future form):
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So far, a variety of ESL tutors have used our future tense lesson plans with their private students. If you’ve had the chance to use them with your students, we always welcome feedback!

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