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Present continuous can be one of the most fun tenses to teach because it’s all about action (remember non-action verbs can’t be continuous!). It’s a tense that lends itself to some great communicative activities. Here’s one that our students always have fun with.
(PS – learn how to plan a full lesson around an activity like this on TEFLPros 120-hour TEFL certification course)
For this activity, you’ll need each pair to have a cellphone that can take photos. After beginning your lesson on Present Continuous tense, this is a great activity for more practice.
Prep: Split students into pairs or ask them to choose a partner. They will be taking photos so it may be better to let them choose so they feel comfortable.
Instruct: Instruct students to take X number of photos of their partner doing any activities they want (i.e. doing push ups, writing on the board, looking out the window). Depending on the class, 5-8 photos each (10-16 total) will give you a good amount to work with. They should all be different photos of different activities. Tell students to return to their seats when they are done.
Limits: Set a time limit. This is English class, not photography class. Set a location limit. You don’t want students disappearing.
Reflection: With their partner, students write down what is happening in each photo, an answer sheet of sorts. Make sure they work together and don’t just split the task in half. If the student doesn’t know what they are doing, they can show the photo to the teacher and the teacher can help. The teacher can walk around the room and check to make sure students understand.
Sharing: Combine 2 pairs into groups of 4. Two students take turns showing their photos and asking the other pair “what is he/she doing?”. The other pair has to look at the photo and guess. If time permits you can rotate to new groups of 4 and repeat. Students have the “answer sheet” so they can correct the other pair if necessary.
Extension: Students can share some of their real photos to explain what they are doing in each one.
Want more activities to use in your TEFL classroom? Grab our TEFLPros Activity Book and get practical exercises for every stage of your lesson!