Teaching Present Progressive – A Lesson Idea

GUEST POST BY LAURA, MATHIAS, PASCAL & MARIUS (my trainee-teacher students).

If you like this lesson idea, please leave a comment, share, or ‘like’ the post using the buttons below! You can help Marius, Pascal, Laura & Mathias win a prize 🙂

Here is a downloadable version of the lesson plan: Lesson Plan Present Progressive

Phase I: Context
Oral examples of present progressive: First presented by teacher based on what learners are doing in the classroom at that moment.

Marius is holding his pen. Laura is drinking a coffee.

Then students phrase their own sentences using the present progressive to describe what others in the class are doing. (Interacton form: Teacher – Student Talk, Timing: 10 mins)

Phase II: Presentation
Teacher writes the examples from phase I on the board, using colour coding to provide an overview of the “Form and Function” of Present Progressive. Students should copy down the notes. (Interaction form: Teacher Presentation, media: Blackboard, Timing: 15 minutes). Here is an example:

Form and Function of the Present Progressive

I/You/He/She/It am/are/is holding a pen at the moment.right now.
Noun/Pronoun To be Verb + ing Time expression


How to ask a question with the Present Progressive

What/How/Why am/are/is I/you/he/she/it doing?
 Question word To be  noun/pronoun Verb+ing



Students fill in gaps of a close text using the new forms. (Interaction: Individual Work, Media:  Worksheet, Tiiming: 10 minutes).

Here is a downloadable version of the worksheet: Worksheet PresentProgressive

TASK: Read the text and fill in the gaps with the correct form of the verb using the present progressive!
Tim __________ (walk) his dog Struppi. Suddenly, he sees his best friend Debbie. She __________ (cross) the street so they can talk. “Oh, you __________ (walk) your dog,” she says. “Yes, I am,” Tim replies. “What __________ (do), Debbie?” – “I __________ (go) to the cinema with my friends. They __________ (wait) over there.” – “Oh, you are lucky! I still need to do my homework. Struppi and I __________ (go) home now. Bye Debbie!”


Students describe a picture showing people performing specific activities (see below, also on the worksheet) (Interaction: Student Talk, Media: Worksheet, Notebook, Timing: 10 minutes).

classroomPicture from: http://nea.educastur.princast.es/repositorio/RECURSO_ZIP/1_jantoniozu_Clothes/Tema_9_1%BAESO/imag/clase.jpg

9 thoughts on “Teaching Present Progressive – A Lesson Idea

  1. It would have been a good idea to briefly refer to the contrast with the present simple, especially as this is relevent for the gap test.
    Mention that a time exprssion such as right now etc. is not essential (the very i meaning of the present continuous)


  2. The input looks extremely clear and thorough. Having referred to activities in the classroom in the Engage phase, consider using a short action film clip, such as http://vimeo.com/44979504, where facilities are available, for the Activate phase. Although I like the cartoon drawing, it is static.


  3. I think this lesson is well-structured. Especially for a grammar session it seems to be fun.
    I also like the picture which the students have to describe. The only thing that came to my mind is the fact that I would change the names of the people to an English-speaking environment 😉
    Nevertheless, you’ll get my vote!


  4. Nice lesson, perhaps a bit too grammar oriented. I would have put the cartoon drawing at the beginning of the lesson. Students can describe what they see, then teacher gives one or two examples which students take as model and find some more examples on their own which can be put on board.


  5. I like the idea and the structure of the lesson, although I would recommend to add something for the start of the lesson. This should be something which motivates the pupils for the upcoming 45 minutes. You could, for example, start a dialogue with a pupil using the present progressive extensively. Or you could, as the previous writer proposed, use a listening task which contains the present progressive quite often. But all in all I like your lesson and the purpose which underlies your plans. Well done!


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