Try These 7 Easy Lessons for Teaching the Present Progressive
Charade Call Out
Charades can be used for many activities in the ESL classroom. For your lesson on the present progressive, have a student act out an activity (such as brushing teeth, washing dishes or getting money from the ATM) and have the rest of the class call out what he is doing using the present progressive.
Sorry, I Can’t
What can’t your students do now because they are doing something else? Have each of your students write five statements about what they cannot do because they are currently doing something else. For example, one student might say, ‘I cant study German now. I am studying English instead’. You might want to review the differences between the simple present and the present progressive for this activity.
What is happening all around you and your students? Have your class make observations about the world around them using the present progressive. You might want your students to look around the classroom or out the window and describe what the people there are doing.
A Picture’s Worth
Build a collection of interesting pictures to use with your class. (Advertisements are a good source, as are picture books, and worth1000.com is sure to provide some interesting material.) When it is time to practice the present progressive, give groups of students the pictures and have them describe what is happening in each one.
Using an action packed magazine photo, have one student describe the picture to a partner. That partner draws what the speaker is describing (using the present progressive). The speaker should be careful to choose the present progressive whenever possible. Once the pair is finished, they compare pictures and (most likely) get a laugh out of the difference! Have students change roles with a second picture.
A Letter Home
What are your students doing as they pursue their English studies? What do they do in class? What do they do for fun? Have your students write a letter to someone at home describing their life as an ESL student.
What are you doing?
As a class, brainstorm all the different places your students visit throughout the week. Be sure to include places like the gym, the grocery store, a car, and other locations in which they may only spend a few minutes. Then have pairs of students work together using that list of places. The first student tells the second where he is (e.g. ‘You are at the gym’) and the second student says what he is doing there (e.g. ‘I am lifting weights’). This is also a good opportunity to review prepositions of location.