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How to form future plan structures?

There are a number of ways to form future sentences. When talking about future plans or intentions, using "going to" is a very common method. The following forms are possible:

  • positive: I am going to go shopping tomorrow. (subject + to be + going to + infinitive
  • negative: I am not going to go shopping tomorrow. (subject + to be + not + going to + infinitive)
  • yes/no questions: Are you going to go shopping tomorrow? (to be + subject + going to + infinitive)
  • wh questions: What are you going to do tomorrow? Where are you going to go shopping? (wh question + to be + subject + going to + infinitive)

This is a good lesson to do before the summer vacation, so you can get your students talking about their summer plans. However, you can also apply this to weekend plans.

Lesson Procedure:

Warm Up and Maintenance:

See our "Warm Up & Wrap Up" page.


New Learning and Practice:

1. Introduce the actions vocab: play "Actions Charades"
Your students should know most of these verbs from previous lessons, so this will be a good review activity.

Before class, print cut out enough of the “Actions Charades Game Cards” sets for each small group of students (you can find them at the end of the print version of this lesson plan). Then in class, put students in groups of 3 or 4, seated around a table.

Start by modeling the activity. Look at a card (not showing the class) and act out the verb on the card (e.g. kicking a ball, hitting a tennis ball, throwing a basketball, etc. for the “play a sport” card) until someone shouts out the correct answer.

Groups now play charades – put the cards, face down, in the middle of the table. One student picks up a card and acts out the verb. The first student in the group to guess the answer wins a point. Continue with the next student until all the cards have been used up. Make sure you are on hand during the game to help with any vocabulary issues. The player with the most points at the end is the winner.

2. Introduce "going to” + infinitive verb
Write on the top, left-side of the board “This weekend” (or “Next weekend”, depending on which day of the week it is). Pick one of the cards from the charades game and write the words from it on the board, e.g. “go shopping” (see board layout below). Make it clear that you are going to go shopping this weekend – point to yourself and the phrases on the board, nodding you head and say “Yes”. Put a check mark (✓) next to the activity. Point to a few students and ask, “go shopping?” and elicit “yes” or “no”.

Next, write “I am going to” on the board. Say “This weekend, I am going to go shopping”.
Point to one of the students who said yes, and ask “What are you going to do this weekend?” Make sure the student answers “This weekend, I am going to go shopping”.

Board layout for future plans

Next, ask a student who said no and elicit “This weekend, I am not going to go shopping”. Write “I am not going to“ on the board.
Write two more activities (e.g. “eat out” and “sleep a lot”) on the board and follow the same procedure, getting students to say the structure.

Next, on the right-side of the board write “During the summer”. Again, write three actions on the board and ask students to say the structures.

3. Practice saying future plans
In the same small groups, get students to point to different cards and say sentences, such as:

During the summer, I am going to go to the beach.
This weekend, I am not going to play video games.

Encourage students to give true answers. Finish by going around the class asking each student to say one sentence.

4. Ask 5 “Wh” questions
We are going to get students extend their conversations by introducing questions. Wipe the board clean and stick 2 photos of people on either side of board. As a class, you are going to write a conversation (see the board layout below).

Start by drawing a speech bubble from the left person photo and inside write:

What _____ you ___________  _____ do this weekend?

Elicit and write the missing words What are you going to do this weekend?

Then from the right person photo draw another speech bubble:

I ____  ____________  _____ go shopping.

Again, elicit and write the missing words I am going to go shopping.

Now continue the conversation. Draw a large speech bubble from the left person photo and write:

Wh questions.

Have students copy the text from the board into their notebooks and then put into pairs to fill in the blanks. After a few minutes, have different students come up to the board to fill in the blanks.

Elicit an answer from the class for the first question (e.g. “I am going to go shopping with my friend.”) and write it under the first question.

Students in pairs write their own answers to the questions in their notebooks. Then go around the class asking everyone for their answers and writing one example below each question.

By now, your board should look similar to this:

Board layout wh questions and answers.

5. Do controlled conversations
Get everyone to stand up and find a partner. Your students are going to have multiple conversations, each time with a different partner. Follow the below process, each time telling students to find a new partner after each conversation:

  • Conversation 1: Role play the conversation on the board.
  • Conversation 2: Do the same conversation but using the answers in their notebooks.
  • Conversation 3: Change the activity (e.g. play tennis, watch TV, etc.). Practice this with 2 different partners.
  • Conversation 4: Change “This weekend” to “During the summer”. Practice this with 2 different partners.

Finally, get everyone to sit down and do a check by asking different pairs to stand up and act out a conversation in front of everyone. Be sure to applause and give lots of praise, as well as helping with any mistakes.

6. Play the “What are you going to do … ? True or False” board game
Now students will get the chance to use the structures they have just learned by playing a fun board game. Before class, print out enough copies of the board game sheet and instructions sheet for each group of 2-3 players. You’ll also need a dice for each group and enough counters (anything small) so that each person has one.

Put students into groups of 2-3 around a table and give out the game boards, instruction sheets, dice and counters. Read through the instructions as a class and make sure everyone understands the game.

Then let everyone start playing. Circulate around the class checking that everyone is using the correct structures and help out with any vocabulary issues.

When everyone has finished, ask who won in each group and find our something they talked about.

7. Read classroom reader "Monster School Summer Plans"
Read classroom reader "Monster School Summer Plans"This reader really helps to reinforce the new structures with a fun story. Before class, download and print out the reader "Monster School Summer Plans". As you go through each page, point to the pictures of each monster student and get everyone to speculate what their summer plans are, for example:

Teacher: (reading from page 2) "Howzy, what are you going to do during the summer vacation?”, asks Ms. Zarkov." Look at this picture (on page 3). What do you think Howzy is going to do?
Students: He is going to play tennis!
Teacher: Ok, let’s check. (reading) ... "I’m going to play tennis every day. I joined a tennis club and I have six tennis rackets. I’m going to play in some competitions!". You were right, well done!

Continue through the story, getting everyone to speculate from the pictures.

After reading the story, give out a reader worksheet to each student and have them answer the questions. Finally, go through the answers as a class.


Alternatively, watch our video version of the reader (Internet connection required):

8. Create your own monster story reader
Students can now have a bit of fun writing a monster story and making their own reader.

First, put students into pairs and give out the “Monster Story Planner’ worksheet. Students work together to create their own characters. Have them draw their own monsters and create names for them. Then have the students think of a summer plan for each monster and write it briefly on the planner sheet (e.g. “throwing cars into space”).

Next, give out the reader templates. Before class, print the four sheets and compile them into a reader, as you would one of our normal readers. Make enough for each pair in the class. Then have pairs write their story using full structures and draw colorful pictures. Allow 10 minutes to complete their readers. As they are doing this, circulate around the classroom checking for mistakes and helping out with questions.

When finished, have students swap and read each other’s readers. You can even have a class vote for the best reader!


Wrap Up:

1. Assign Homework: "Weekend Plans Write" worksheet.
2. Wrap up the lesson with some ideas from our "Warm Up & Wrap Up" page.

Print Outs / Worksheets:


Additional materials:

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