Teaching Simple Present and Present Progressive in a Fun Way

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Teaching Ideas

Keeping students engaged while teaching important grammar concepts like the simple present and present progressive tenses can be challenging. However, using creative and interactive activities can make learning these tenses fun and memorable. In this post, we'll explore some of the best techniques for teaching simple present and present progressive in an enjoyable way that resonates with students.

Simple Present Tense Activities

The simple present tense is used to describe habitual or daily actions. While it may seem basic, students often mix it up with other tenses. Making simple present learning fun encourages proper use.

Total Physical Response (TPR)

TPR is a great simple present tense activity because students use full-body movement. The teacher calls out various actions like "walk", "dance", "swim" etc and students act them out. This kinesthetic approach embeds the verbs into memory.

Find Someone Who

For this simple present game, students mingle around with a worksheet asking questions that elicit the simple present, like "Who brushes their teeth twice a day?" When they find someone who fits, they write their name and move on. It gets students moving and using the tense properly.

Draw My Day

Students draw a timeline of their typical day and label activities in the simple present, like "I wake up at 7am", "I eat breakfast at 7:30am" etc. Hang up the timelines so learners can compare daily habits.

Present Progressive Games and Activities

The present progressive describes actions happening right now. These activities make practicing it lively and interactive.

Freeze Dance

Play music and have students dance around. Randomly stop the music and call out a present progressive sentence based on how a student is frozen, like "You are waving your arms". Restart music and repeat. This combines movement and spontaneity.

Pass the Action

Students sit in a circle and mime an action, like playing soccer. The person beside them asks "What are you doing?" and they respond in the present progressive "I'm playing soccer". The questioner then mimics that action and is asked by the next person, and so on.

Camera Safari

Send learners on a photo safari around school to snap pictures of present progressive actions happening, like "The janitor is mopping" or "The students are playing basketball". Have them present the best pictures to the class and describe the actions.

Comic Strips

Hand out comic strip templates and have students illustrate a short present progressive story over 3-4 panels. Print and display the comic strips around the room. As visuals, they reinforce proper usage of the tense.

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