Teaching Grammar: Future Forms
Adam Crowther is an English teacher and materials writer in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. We are happy that he has decided to write this lesson plan for Premier Skills English and show us how he has used webcomics with his students. He supports Aston Villa, but we won't hold that against him!
This lesson focusses on grammar and specifically future forms in the context of talking about plans for the weekend. The lesson uses one of the webcomics available on Premier Skills English.
There are language tasks and activities for your students, a focus on pronunciation, a main speaking task and extension activities.
Find the full lesson plan and all the worksheets you need in the downloads section on the side of this page.
Many learners enjoy reading comic strips and this lesson gives students a chance to combine reading one of the webcomics we have on Premier Skills English with an additional focus on grammar.
The lesson focusses on grammar and the structure ‘going to’ to describe future plans, but learners also have the opportunity to focus on speaking and pronunciation.
A2 / B1 (elementary to intermediate)
Primary students and younger teens
This lesson is flexible and can be used over two different classes or one 90-minute class. You can also extend or shorten some of the steps depending on the level and needs of your students.
- Worksheet 1: True or False
- Webcomic: Five United
You can find the worksheet and a copy of this lesson plan in the download section on the right-hand side of this page.
Introduce the theme of the lesson to the learners:
Show the first picture of the ‘Five United’ webcomic. (Hide Adhi’s thought bubble.) Note: This could also be printed off and given to groups/ individuals
Elicit the purpose of a youth centre (a place where kids go to hang out and do activities).
Ask students what activities they could do at a youth centre.
Feedback – which of the activities mentioned would you most like to do and why?
2. Reading for general understanding
Students read page one of the ‘Five United’ comic
Which activity is Adhi interested in doing?
What problem does he have?
Post-reading – Do you think he will be able to find enough players to play in his team?
3. Reading for more detail
Give out Worksheet 1 – True/False questions. Students read the whole comic and answer
As an alternative, you could make this more competitive. Make copies of the questions for each team of three or four students and cut them up into slips of paper. Give students one question. They have to write the answer on the slip of paper and return it to you before you give them the next question.
4. Grammar Focus
Show the picture from page 6 where Adhi thinks ‘what am I going to do’?
Meaning: Is he thinking about the past/ present or future?
We use ‘going to’ to talk about future plans.
We can also use ‘going to’ to talk about predictions (what we THINK is going to happen).
Get students to choose plan/prediction for the following sentences (NOTE: make it interesting with TPR activities such as ‘jump the line’ or ‘run to the wall’ activities)
- England are going to win the World Cup. (prediction)
- I’m going to help my parents tidy the house. (plan)
- He’s going to paint a picture of his dog. (plan)
- She’s going to win the art competition. (prediction)
Board/highlight the written positive, negative and question forms of 'going to'.
Elicit a verb from students (example – play)
Get students to write a sentence using either the positive, negative or question form (example – he’s going to play football this weekend).
Drill chunks of language whole class.
Get students to focus on ‘going to’ and explain we can replace it with ‘gonna’ in spoken English.
Note: This is more common when followed by a verb: I'm gonna play football.
You could start with these:
- Chelsea are gonna lose on Sunday.
- He’s not gonna do very well in his exam.
- I’m gonna have pasta for dinner tonight.
Get students to tell each other their plans for the weekend
7. Controlled Practice
Teacher asks students what they think is going to happen to Adhi’s team?
Elicit some language they can use – win/ lose/ draw the match/ competition. Score/ goals. Win/ trophy. Give up/ go home.
8. Task Preparation
9. Task: Delivery
1. Students create their own notice/poster/flyer for the Youth Centre noticeboard using the notes above.
2. Students exchange work and decide which ones they’d like to do and why.
Feedback – students tell the class what they’re ‘going to’ do at the Youth Centre this weekend.
Comic strip extension
Students could create an ending to Adhi’s story, including the new activities from the Youth Centre
We hope you enjoy the lesson!