‘I am teaching’ the present progressive tense!
Grammar lessons can be daunting. Keeping track of all those different bits of grammar whilst still making a lesson enjoyable is a challenge, but it can be done. Read on for tips to make your present progressive tense lessons successful and enjoyable .
Step One: Know your stuff!
If you’re introducing a grammar topic, make sure you know what it is!
subject + am/is/are + present participle (ing form)
I am smiling.
He is writing.
They are learning.
We use present progressive tense to talk about things happening now or things which are planned to happen in the future.
The students are learning in the classroom.
We are moving to New York next year.
Step Two: Bring your topic to life.
Grammar has a reputation for being boring but it doesn’t have to be. Remember, you as the teacher set the tone for the lesson. Introduce your topic with a lot of enthusiasm and big smiles.
Examples are key. Offer your own and ask your students to create some. Use props or pictures to help your students understand.
Type: What are the children doing?
For a less confident student, you can support their
answer: eg. Type ‘They are….’ on the whiteboard and underline the ‘ing’ form of the verb in the question.
They are playing.
There is lots of opportunity to extend for an able student. Ask them to add an adverb or a preposition to their answer to add more detail to their response.
Eg: They are playing happily in the water.
Step Three: Add some fun.
To fully understand a topic you must practice it a lot. Lots of repetitions of grammar points and examples can lead to a bored and fed up student- especially if you are teaching juniors. Why not inject some fun into your lesson by using games to reinforce grammar points? Here are some ideas to bring the present progressive tense to life:
• Pictionary: Add a page to the slide show on the whiteboard, or use your
own physical whiteboard to draw a quick sketch and have the students
guess what the character is doing.
• Charades: Act out an action and have the students guess what you are
doing. Reinforce answering in full sentences, ‘You are running’, ‘You are writing’.
Younger students might enjoy a competitive element but if you have students of different ability levels or who are not as confident, you can ask them to take turns answering.
• Avoid complaints of ‘insufficient opportunity to talk’ by starting discussions using the present progressive tense. Write preference questions on the write board like, ‘do you prefer eating chocolate or eating pizza?’ or ‘do you prefer writing English or speaking English?’ Remember to expand their answers by asking ‘why’ if they don’t justify their response.
• ‘What are you doing?’ game: Give the students a scenario and ask them what they are doing? eg: You’re in school. What are you doing? (Response- I am learning. I am studying. I am writing in my book etc).
• What are you hearing? : Engage the students’ other senses and ask them to describe sounds. Give an example first like, ‘What am I hearing? (TPR:listening) Hmmm, a dog is barking.’ This could be a good opportunity to make use of the sounds in the Classroom. Play the tiger roaring, or the applause. Remember to encourage your students to answer in full sentences using the ‘ing’ form of the verb.
So when you are faced with delivering a lesson about the present progressive tense remember: know your stuff, bring your topic to life and, most importantly, have fun! You and your students are sure to have an enjoyable and successful lesson.