Ready made lesson


Present continuous

Lenka Mervová


A1.2 level

We would like to offer you the following ready-made lesson plan either as a supplement to a coursebook unit you may not particularly like or to help you in the situation when time is lacking. J

This lesson introduces the present continuous tense, sometimes known as the present progressive tense, to beginner students. As you know, this tense has two different time references. The following plan focuses on activities that are happening now or that are happening around the current moment.

The activities selected provide simple situational contexts. Suggested visual materials can be replaced by any other pictures, photos or videos that suit your students’ age, interest or job titles better.

At the end of the lesson the student(s):

A) should be able to successfully use present continuous tense to describe action that is happening at the moment of speaking

B) will be able to differentiate between present continuous and present simple

Stage and Time:Procedure:
1.    Warm-up:

5-10 min

Revise vocabulary from the last two lessons by providing short, graded-language definitions/showing pictures.


Also check homework.

2. Lead-in: introduce present continuous tense via visual aids (e.g. photograph, picture, etc.):

5-10 min

Show Ss a picture (see below) and ask them lead-in questions (Do you like the picture?, What does it show?, Where do you think it is?, Who is in the picture?, Can you name all the objects in the picture?, etc.).


Then point to any person in the picture and say what the person is doing, e.g.: Cindy is writing homework. Give a few more examples and then point to yet another person and this time, encourage Ss to form a similar sentence. Repeat the activity a number of times until Ss are forming correct sentences using present continuous. Help them with vocabulary.

3.    Grammar presentation:

10 min

Write the sentence Cindy is writing homework on the whiteboard. Underline the auxiliary verb be and the –ing ending. Elicit the formula for forming present continuous.


Illustrate how to form a question and short affirmative and negative answers. Introduce the contraction. Drill the pronunciation of –ing to ensure the Ss do not pronounce the final [g] sound. (You should also include examples where slight spelling changes are necessary, such as make > making, put > putting. Review the rules if necessary.)


Ask concept questions to check understanding, e.g. Is Cindy writing homework now? (elicit: yes).


Write another sentence on the whiteboard and ask Ss to form a question, short answers, and a negative sentence.

4. 1st restricted-practice task:

10 -13 min

Ss are given a text. Ask them to complete the sentences using the verbs in brackets. All the sentences are in present continuous. Demonstrate on the first example. Set the time limit. When the task is completed, ask Ss to compare answers in pairs. Later collect class feedback.

(See e.g. English File, Elementary, Students’ Book, pp 132-133, section 5B)

5.    Elicit the difference between present simple and present continuous:

5 min




6.    2nd restricted-practice task: 10 min

Go back to the original example – Cindy is writing homework and ask yet another concept question: Does Cindy write homework every day? and elicit: we don’t know). Write Cindy ______________ every day on the whiteboard. Ask Ss to complete the sentence individually and then elicit the answer (writes homework). Elicit the differences between the present simple and present continuous (form and usage) and write them down in bullet points on the whiteboard.


Ss are given a text and they are asked to complete it using present simple or present continuous as appropriate. All verbs are provided in the brackets in the infinitive form.

(See e.g. English File, Elementary, Students’ Book, pp 132-133, section 5C)

7.    Less restricted practice: 15 + 5 minSs are divided into pairs. (If this is a one-to-one lesson, the teacher will take the role of student B in all the pair-work activities.) Student A receives a picture and student B receives one too (see below). They are essentially the same but contain a number of differences. Ss are not to show their pictures to each other. Ask them to draw a line in the middle of the picture and tell student A to describe the right-hand side of the picture to their partner. Student B listens to their partner’s description and circles the differences. Demonstrate the activity with one student. Set the time limit. (You may need to pre-teach new lexical items at the very beginning.)


Monitor the activity, correct grammar and pronunciation and help with vocabulary if necessary. Tell Ss to swap their roles and describe the left half of the picture. When finished, collect class feedback.


For a different activity, see e.g. New Cutting Edge, Elementary, Teacher’s Resource Book, pp 148-149.

8. Wrap up and homework:

5 -15 min

As a sum-up activity, ask the Ss about what their colleagues/children/friends are doing now. Summarize the rules for forming the tense together.


For homework, send your Ss a link to a short video and ask them to write 10 sentences to describe it. Instruct them to use present continuous (and present simple). To model the activity, you can show this video:

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