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Fortune Telling‏‎ – verb forms activity

ZoltarFortune Telling is a fun way for your class to practice using future‏‎ verb forms: will, be going to and suchlike. It is probably best with intermediate or above although you can adjust the level as appropriate.

It is also a useful speaking‏‎ activity.

The basic idea is that the students will tell each others fortune. This can be done in a number of ways but it is important to remember that it should always be kept as light-hearted as possible. The more fun it is, the better!

Preparation

Explain to the class that you’ll all be telling each others future. The first thing to decide is what aspects of the future will the students want to know about. You can elicit a list from them like this:

  • love life
  • marriage
  • career
  • money
  • travel

and so on. (Note that health was not included; it might not be appropriate.)

Explanation & Pre-Teaching

Tell the class that you are going to tell their fortunes. For each item on the list, choose a student at random and have them throw a dice and, based on what they throw, tell them their future with 1 being not very good and 6 being excellent. Feel free to “ham it up” when you do this and make it appropriate to the age and level of the class:

Ah, Maria, you have thrown a six for your love-life! When you leave the classroom today you will find Robert Pattinson in the staffroom! He was in town and came in to ask about English lessons and then… he sees you. He is going to fall madly in love with you and will take you off to Hollywood where he will shower you with red roses and send you boxes of chocolate. But soon after you arrive you will get a call from Zac Efron who has seen your picture and one evening you will find Robert and Zac outside your house, and they are going to fight over which one will get to take you for a romantic dinner!

Choose another student and provide an equally light hearted prediction about their future, emphasizing the use of WILL and BE GOING TO in making the predictions.

Oh dear, Yan, you have thrown a 1 for your travel. You will try many times to travel but it will be a disaster. You will book a ticket for Tokyo but the flight will be cancelled and you will lose your money. Then you will book a holiday in America but the airline will lose your bags and send them to Australia. At the border you will be stopped and searched and all your money confiscated. On the way home from school tonight you are going to miss the bus and it’s going to start raining! Oh dear… I think you should stay home in future!

At this point you might want to go over the grammar here, explaining again how we talk about the future – or better still, have your class explain how it’s done!

Running the Activity

The class will now spend a few minutes preparing ideas; give each student a single item from the list and explain they should jot down a few thoughts on what they are able to say. This is best done individually with you helping out as appropriate.

For example suppose they get career:

1 = garbage collector; 2 = soldier; 3 = nurse; 4 = teacher; 5 = doctor; 6 = president

1 = $10 a day; 6 = $1,000 an hour!

1 = work in the local town; 4 = work in the capital; 6 = work in America!

1 = get fired after 1 day; 6 = spend 40 years and rise to the top

Break the class into pairs and have them play the game, predicting each others future in a similar way: rolling the dice and making predictions. The main predictions can be written down and at the end of the activity the class can come together to share some of the better ideas and decide who makes the best prophet!

Useful Links

Future‏‎ Tense in English Grammar – talking about the future in English

photo credit: macgeek800 via cc

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