Try These 7 Simple Activities for Teaching the Future Perfect
Five Year Plan
Have your students heard the expression ‘Five Year Plan’? Give them a chance to create a plan of their own. Once their plans are finished, give them a chance to share with the class what they will have done before those five years are complete, using the future perfect in their sentences.
By the Time
English speakers use by the time to express a future event that will happen after another future event. Give pairs of students practice using this phrase with this conversation starter. One person offers a future event using by the time and the simple present, and the second person expresses a second event in the future perfect that will happen before the other event. For example, Student A: ‘By the time I finish my ESL program’ Student B: ‘I will have become fluent in English’. Then have students reverse roles.
What will the world be like in 100 years? What will have happened by then? Have groups of students discuss what changes they think will have happened in 100 years. They should practice using the future perfect in their sentences. For example, ‘People will have learned how to time travel’.
Show your students the first half of any video available online. You may want to use something from YouTube or episodes of a sitcom available on network web sites. Show your students the first half of the program, and then ask them to make predictions as to what will have happened by the end of the show. Watch the remainder of the video to let your students see if their predictions were correct.
The (Im)Perfect Date
What would one of your students have to do to be ready for a date with the man of her dreams? As a class, brainstorm all of the things she would need to do to be ready for her date at 7 p.m. the following evening, and as a class arrange those tasks in a timeline. How much time will your student need to be ready by seven? Now, tell your class that a flat tire has caused your student to be late in getting ready for her date. She lost 90 minutes changing her tire, but her dream date will still arrive at 7 p.m. Have your students make observations (based on your time line) what your student will have done and will have not done by the time Mr. Right arrives.
On several small slips of paper, have your students write anonymous predictions about their classmates futures using the future perfect tense. They should not use their classmates names in the predictions. For example, ‘This person will have had five children in five years’. Then have your students hand these predictions in and read each prediction in front of the class. Can the class guess who the prediction is about? Can they guess who wrote it?
To Do List
Have your students make a to do list for today, this week or this month. Then, ask them to share with partners the things they will have done once their to do lists are complete.