Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8, K-3

In the BrainPOP ELL movie, What Will We See? (L2U6L3), Ben and Moby can’t decide what movie to see! In this lesson plan, adaptable for grades K-8, students talk and write about future events, and differentiate among the four forms of the future tense: will + verb, be going to + verb, present progressive, and present simple.

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

Students will:

  1. Make predictions based on an image.
  2. Differentiate among four forms of the future tense.
  3. Classify situations and examples according to the forms of the future tense.
  4. Write and present a dialogue with a partner, and listen for details and examples of the future tense.
  5. Make up questions about the future and role-play a fortune teller.


  • BrainPOP ELL
  • Chart paper
  • Cardstock for sentence strips
  • Tape
  • Index cards
  • Something to be used as a "crystal ball"


For Activity 3, Future Forms Sentence Strips, label 4 sheets of chart paper with each of four forms of the future tense: Be Going to + Verb / Will + Verb / Present Progressive / Present Simple. Make sentence strips for each situation, as well as for each example. Use a different color cardstock for the situation and example strips.

Present Progressive
Situations: Future plans that are already made
Examples: She's babysitting Saturday night. / I'm working tonight.

Present Simple
Situations: Facts or set events / Times of movies, tv shows, travel / Events on a calendar or schedule
Examples: The store opens at 9:00 am. / What time does your flight leave tomorrow? / The meeting starts at 7:00.

Be Going to + Verb
Situations: Future plans or goals / Predictions based on evidence
Examples: I'm going to be a doctor. / She's going to study Spanish next year. / Look at those clouds. It's going to rain.

Will + Verb
Situations: General future event / Predictions without evidence / Promises
Examples: I'll see you later. / I think that Spain will win the next World Cup. / I'll clean my room tomorrow.

Lesson Procedure:

  1. Predict the Story. Show the opening image of What Will We See? (L2U6L3). Point out the movie poster Ben and Moby are looking at, and ask the class to predict what they think the movie will be about. Write their predictions on the board. If they use different forms of the future tense, then write the sentences in separate columns, according to the form (be going to + verb, will + verb, present progressive, or present simple).
  2. Quick Future Questions. Do the following exercise for students to practice using each of the four future forms. Write the following questions on the board, one at a time. After writing each sentence, and without identifying the form of the future tense, or offering an explanation, give students one minute to ask and answer the question with a partner. When they have finished, ask if they notice any differences about when to use each future tense form. This will serve as a lead-in to Activity #3.

    1. What are you going to do or be in the future?
    2. Tell your partner's fortune. What do you think will happen?
    3. What are you doing this weekend?
    4. What is your favorite TV show? What day is it on, and what time does it start?
  3. Future Forms Sentence Strips. Post the chart papers with the four forms of the future tense (see Preparation). Distribute the sentence strips. First, have students tape the situations onto the appropriate papers. Next, they find the examples that go with the situations, and tape them underneath. You may want to model one example of each form for reference.
  4. What Are You Doing This Weekend? In pairs, have students write a dialogue about their plans for the weekend or an upcoming vacation. Give them time to practice the dialogues, then ask volunteers to perform them for the class. Have the students listen for and try to identify any of the four forms of the future.
  5. Fortune Teller. Distribute index cards to the students and have them each write a question about their futures to ask a fortune teller. Tell them to make the questions general and not too personal. Their questions may be funny or serious. Put all the index cards in a hat or bowl.
    Set up a table and two chairs with the “crystal ball” on the table. Invite two volunteers to sit at the table. One is the fortune teller and the other chooses a question from the hat or bowl. The fortune teller makes up an answer to the question using one of the four future forms they’ve been learning about.

    Sample Questions and Answers:
    1. Question: What am I going to be when I grow up?
    Answer: You are going to be a doctor.
    Related questions: Where will I live? Will I enjoy it? Will I be my own boss?
    2. Question: Will I run in a marathon?
    Answer: You will run in a marathon in five years.
    Related questions: How fast will I run? Which marathon will I run in? Will I run more than one marathon?