Here are some activities which you can use to practise going to + verb to talk about the future.
The going to future form is used to talk about future plans which are not as set in stone as arrangements in our calendar for which we would probably prefer to use the present continuous.
Using an upcoming holiday as an example, we might talk about pre-arranged plans such as the flight, the duration of the stay and accommodation using the present continuous. For example,
We’re flying with Lufthansa
We’re staying in a hotel in the old quarter
We’re coming back on the 14th
However, for plans which are not so fixed, such as visiting a well-known site or taking part in certain activities, we would probably choose to use going to + verb to talk about. For example,
We’re going to see the sites and enjoy the nightlife
I’m going to do some shopping
I’m going to lie on the beach and read some books
You could ask students to talk about upcoming (real or imaginary) holiday plans using these two future forms, or you could set groups of students the task of arranging a class holiday and then presenting the plan using these two future forms. Students could then vote on which holiday they would most like to go on.
As well as for talking about future plans, we also use the going to future form to make predictions based on current evidence, for example, it’s going to fall over, he’s going to win, she’s going to have a baby, etc.
In this activity, students practise predicting future event using going to + verb based on the evidence they see in some mystic runes.
If you don’t fancy cutting up lots of pieces of paper, you can play this game with your smartphone or tablet, see the fortune telling web-app.
Print and cut up some fortune-telling runes (clipart icons do the trick). You will need at least thirty symbols per pair of students, so there’s a bit of scissor work involved.
Conjure up the image of a fortune teller waving their hands over a crystal ball and tell students they are soon going to read their partner’s fortune.
Try to elicit examples of events which a fortune teller might predict, for example:
I see a handsome stranger in your future
You are going to meet an old friend
You are going to spend some time in a foreign country
You are going to have a lot of children
Your son is going to be a lawyer
You are going to be very successful
Write these ideas on the board and review the use of the going to future form to talk about predicting the future based on present (visible) evidence.
Make sure you model the next stage with a student!
Put students into pairs and give each pair a container full of cut up runes. Students take it in turns to select runes from the cup, one or two at a time, and then use these runes to make meaningful predictions about their partner’s future.
At the end of the activity go around the class and find out what destiny has in store for each of them