Future Tense – A Complete ESL Lesson Plan
In this lesson, students will learn the future simple tense with will while playing fun classroom games and activities.
Once students learn how to use the future tense, they can use this language to talk about their future plans and events that will happen in the future. This will drastically increase their abilities to communicate effectively in English.
To help students use the future tense fluently, after teaching this lesson, talking about future plans can become part of your classroom routine.
This page is a complete ESL lesson plan to teach the future simple tense using ‘will’. If you are also teaching the future tense with ‘going to’, then many of the activities in this lesson can be easily adapted for that, too.
All the materials for the games and activities in this lesson can be found below. For more future tense lesson materials that are not included in this lesson plan check the section at the bottom of the page.
Materials for this lesson:
Future Simple Tense Lesson Plan for Beginner ESL Students
Introducing The Future Tense
Before teaching students the future tense form, it is important to put the lesson in context so that students can understand what it is they will learn.
A great way to introduce the future tense is to draw a simple timeline on the board. First, ask students what day it is today and write that day in the middle of the timeline. Next, review the past tense and write some past tense words (yesterday, last week, last year, etc) on the left side of the timeline.
Then ask students what day it is tomorrow and write that day on the right side of the timeline. Elicit some more times in the future (next week, next Tuesday, next year, etc.) and write them on the timeline, too.
Using this simple timeline, you can demonstrate when the future is relative to now and can explain to students that in this lesson, they will learn how to talk about events that will happen in the future.
Introduce The Future Simple Tense Form With Will
Tell students that in order to form the future simple tense, we simply add ‘will’ before the root form of the verb.
Write some verbs on the board (eat, play, read, write, go, etc.) and show students how to make the future tense by adding ‘will’. For example, ‘I will eat.’ / ‘I will read.’ / I will write.’, etc. Read each future tense sentence aloud and ask students to repeat after you.
Once students have practiced making simple future tense sentences with will, it’s time to practice some more with a fun future tense guessing game.
Practice Making Future Tense Sentences
This activity video is a great way to introduce the future simple tense and to encourage students to practice making future tense sentences.
This video is a guessing game. Students will see a future tense sentence with a word missing. Then they will see an image hidden behind some colored shapes. As the shapes disappear, the students must guess what the word is and then complete the future tense sentence. To play, simply show the video in class.
Speaking Activity – Party Planners
Next, it’s time for students to try to come up with their own future tense sentences. A great speaking activity to play while teaching the future tense is ‘Party Planners’.
Tell students that it is your best friend’s birthday at the weekend and you want to throw him/her a surprise birthday party. Tell them they are all invited and want them to help you plan the best surprise party.
Now, the game can begin. Each student must tell you what they will do for the party and tell you using a future tense sentence. For example, “I will bring the cake.”, “I will blow up the balloons.”, etc.
Each student must make a different sentence and cannot repeat what the previous students have said. If a student cannot think of a sentence or they repeat what a previous student said, then that student is out.
To make this activity more fun and to practice the future tense in the third person, after the activity, choose some students and ask the rest of the class if they can remember what they will do for the party. For example, you might ask, “What will Sally do for the party?” and students would answer something like, “She will choose the music.”
Future Tense Worksheet – What Will You Do?
This final activity is a future tense worksheet with 10 questions. Download and print this future tense activity worksheet and give one to each student. Each question asks the students to write down their future plans. For example, the first question asks ‘What will you do tomorrow.”.
Students can write down their own answers using the future simple tense. Alternatively, to make this into a speaking activity have students ask the questions to their partner/classmates and then write down their answers. For more future tense worksheets, check out our future tense worksheets page.
Before finishing the class, review with students how to form the future simple tense and how to ask and answer about future plans. A great way to do this is to give students a few minutes to ask their partner, “What will you do after class?”.
Then, ask the students to tell you what their partner will do after class. This can become part of your classroom routine in future lessons to help students become more fluent in using the future tense.