Back to the Future Part Two: 6 More Activities for Reviewing Future Time

Back to the Future Part Two: 6 More Activities for Reviewing Future Time

Susan Verner
by Susan Verner 23,072 views

Don’t give up on the future just yet.

Here are six more fun and fresh activities you can use to review future tenses with your students.

Check Out  These New Inspiring Future Activities

  1. 1

    Get Carded

    When it’s time to review the different forms of future verbs, this simple card game will fit the bill. Break your students into groups of about three and have them start a chart on a piece of paper. The chart’s three columns should be the following: Predictions (will + verb), Arrangements (present continuous), Future intentions and decisions (be going to + verb). Then give each group a set of 12 cards with events that may happen in the future. Each set should contain four events that would use each of the three grammatical structures for the future. (That is, four predictions, four arrangements, four intentions or decisions for the future.) You might have cards with the following: study for the test tonight, get married soon, go shopping tomorrow, return to my home country after the school year, go on the school’s ski trip, or call my mother tonight. Students should shuffle the cards and then place them face down on the table. Each person takes a turn choosing one card and then deciding which column it should go under. If a student is unsure, he can get help from his group. Then, when all the cards have been positioned, students write three more events on blank cards – one for each column. Working together, the group then writes out sentences for each card.

  2. 2

    Never Bored Game

    This activity will give your students a chance to practice speaking using future constructions. All you need is this printable game board and a die for each group of three or four students. Students take turns rolling the die and then moving a place marker to the appropriate space. (You can use coins, paper clips, plastic figures or any other small items for place markers.) Once everyone has rolled and moved, set a timer for thirty seconds. The player in each group should then talk about the item on his square for thirty seconds. (Each square asks about something that would happen in the future.) He must talk for the full thirty seconds; if he cannot he must return to his previous space. Play until someone in each group reaches the final space and declares himself the winner.

  3. 3

    Are You Sure?

    Once your students are comfortable using basic future grammar, it’s time to talk about certainty. What will they do? What might they do? What will they definitely not do? Use a blank die to determine what point in the future your students will talk about. (White board dice are great for this activity, but you can also make your own blank dice from paper or card stock with a simple pattern.) You can label the sides today, tomorrow, next week, next month, next year, and in five years. Then have students come up with some events they may or may not do in the future – some likely some very unlikely. Each person should write three possible future events on a separate slip of paper and then put them into a bag. After you review different certainty modals (will, won’t, should, shouldn’t, could, may, and might), each student then takes a turn rolling the time die and choosing a slip of paper from the bag. She must then compose a sentence indicating the surety of doing that activity at the future time she rolled. For example, if she rolls “tomorrow” and chooses “get married” she would say “I definitely won’t get married tomorrow.” Play until everyone in class has at least one turn or until you run out of slips of paper.

  4. 4

    20 Questions

    This simple game is great for practicing questions with the future tenses. Rather than choosing an object, one person thinks of an event he or she will do in the future. Once he has decided, the rest of the class works together to figure out what that event is. They can ask yes, no questions using the future tense. The person then answers with a yes or no. The class has only 20 questions to ask. If they are able to determine what that person will do before their questions are used up, they win. If after 20 questions they still do not know, the individual wins. If possible, play until everyone has a turn choosing an event and answering his classmates’ questions.

  5. 5

    Common Vision

    What will the world be like in fifty years? We all have our own ideas, but those ideas are as different as the people who hold them. As a result, your students will get lots of conversation practice as they try to predict a common vision for the future. Start by having students make predictions in writing about different areas of life. Set the time for fifty years in the future, and have students write a paragraph about home life, school life, work, communication and technology. It is best to have them do this for homework, using the future tense as they write. The next day in class, put students into groups of about five and ask them to share their predictions. Once everyone has shared, students must work with their groups to come up with a common vision of the future. Each person should give reasons and support as they discuss what the future will be like until the entire group can agree on what is yet to come. Then, have each group present their ideas to the class, either on one area of life or on all of them. Give the class a chance to ask questions of the groups after each presentation.

  6. 6

    I See Your Future…

    Write the name of each of your students on a slip of paper and put them in a bag. Each person in the class draws a name from the bag (if they pull their own they must exchange it for another name). Students should not share the name that they drew from the bag. Each person should then write ten sentences predicting that person’s future. Once everyone has written their sentences, have each person take turns reading them to the class. Number the presentations, and have the listeners write a numbered list of who they think each prediction is for. Once everyone has read their predictions and the class has made their guesses, reveal the correct answers and see who got the most correct.

Who knows what the future will hold. One thing is certain, though. Your students will gain valuable practice and have fun in the process as they perfect speaking and writing in the future tense.

What is your favorite activity for reviewing the future tense?

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