Teaching present tense is one of the first and most important concepts to be taught to grammar beginners.
Because, we use present tense (or forms of present tense) every single day! It can be used to describe activities, routines, habits and general truth.
But, when I started teaching present tense to my son, he was confused and also, bored! It is not surprising to see him bored though. His attention span in a monologue kind of teaching is absolutely NIL!
When I went to school, I never really listened to the teacher or any grammar lessons that were taught in the monologue. They tend to be damn boring!
But, you can do something about it. You can introduce play based learning and help them engage and learn better.
If you have been reading our newsletters lately, you will know how games can change the attitude of kids towards boring or tough concepts.
Without further ado –
Let’s discuss 4 activities that will help you in teaching present tense to kids.
1. Routine activities
There are so many ways to use routine activities and so many concepts that you can teach using them. Isn’t it?
If you are a regular visitor to our blog, you would know how routine activities can be easily used to engage students and teach English/Math.
All you have to do for this activity is talk (or ask questions about their day, activities they did etc) in present tense. For example, ask them what are they doing now? What time do you get up in the evening? Where do you live? etc.
Kids will start getting better at present tense once you start talking to your kids extensively (and in present tense).
Why is this a fun activity?
Because, talking is fun and kids don’t see it as “teaching” , “learning” or “studying”.
2. Fun with charades while learning present tense
English language has several types of present tense. My kids often get confused between “I eat” (which is simple present tense) and “I am eating” (which is present continuous).
Keeping this in mind, you have to create the game of charades for kids. Take pieces of paper and write down activities that can be enacted easily. Also, ensure that the kids understand the activities and the vocabulary used on the slips of paper.
For example, “building a tower”, “making a bed”, “riding a bicycle”, “driving a car”, “cooking a meal” etc.
Now, have the kids act out the activities one by one. Whichever students want to take a guess has to write down a sentence using the present tense.
For example, “I am building a tower”, “I am making a bed”, “Tom is riding a bicycle” etc. Any kids who give the right activity but wrong sentences (for example, “he makes the bed” or “he making the bed” etc) will be out of one round.
3. Betting “it never happens” with other kids (or you)
In this activity kids get to know whether or not other friends or classmates have done something or not.
Call his/her friends home or make it a birthday game. Parents of other kids would be interested in this too because it teaches something to our kids.
Let them walk around the room and ask questions starting with “I bet you never”.
You have to understand the activity or routine of the other kid and make a guess about activities which the other kid wouldn’t have done.
For example, “I bet you have never cooked” or “I bet you have never jumped” etc. The other kids have to answer in present tense. For example, “No, I cook” or “Yes, I never jump” etc.
There you go.
Three absolutely simple activities that can engage your kids in learning present tense.