A free resource to help teach ‘going to’

online stopwatch runningThis is the first post I’ve written in a little while – it’s been Easter holiday time! Before the Easter break, a colleague and I were due to teach our 10-11 year olds ‘going to’. We wanted a fun way to introduce it, and happened on this little beauty from online stopwatch [go to Classroom Timers and scroll all the way down].  I’d used the timers in class before, and the students had always liked them. (If you’re not familiar with the timers provided by the online stopwatch site, take a look! They’re so useful.)

Here’s what I did with my class:

  • First I asked students what they could see. They told me things like sportsperson, running and race.  Then I asked each pair to predict which runner would win the race and wrote down their guesses, eg. Pablo and Noelia – runner no. 2. We have a points system in our class and I told them that if they got it right they would win a point. I set the timer for 30 seconds and started it off. The students got really into it, cheering on their runner (which was a good opportunity to teach “Come on!”)
  • They clamoured to do it again, and of course I had no objection because this time, when they were so eager to give me their predictions, I asked them to tell me their prediction using the target language. I wrote the skeleton sentence on the board for them to use: ” _____ is going to win.” There was not an ounce of reluctance to use the new language!
  • The third time you do it, I would advise rubbing the  skeleton sentence off the board and asking them to remember the phrase. After becoming familiar with the meaning of ‘going to’, we went on to look at the form and pronunciation before tackling some controlled practice exercises.

The winner seems to be random, although for some reason number 2 kept winning in my class. There are also two other race-based timers you can use – a swimming race and a snail race.  I used this activity with kids, but I’m sure adults would get a kick out of it too.



  1. […] This is the first post I've written in a little while – it's been Easter holiday time! Before the Easter break, a colleague and I were due to teach our 10-11 year olds 'going to'. We wanted a fun w…  […]

  2. Gautam Kharat · · Reply


  3. This is a great idea! How do you show them this, projector?
    Also, Can you please help me with this? I went to the link you put here but can’t get the runners. I got the bomb, stopwatch etc, but not the rumners or swimmers. I’m confused.

    1. Hi!
      Yes, this would only work with a projector unless you had a small enough class that they could huddle around your computer (if you have one!).

      The runners are under “Classroom Timers” – http://www.online-stopwatch.com/classroom-timers/
      Scroll all the way down- the last 3 are good ones for this activity.

      Hope that helps!

      1. I’ve been to this site, but when I choose any of the last three nothing opens. I see three coloumns with various timers listed, but I can’t see the runners :/

      2. Hm, that’s odd. If you click on the link above you should just see one list and at the bottom are the runners, the swimmers and the snails.

  4. I’m going to update the post to include that info – thanks for asking about it!

  5. […] This is the first post I’ve written in a little while – it’s been Easter holiday time! Before the Easter break, a colleague and I were due to teach our 10-11 year olds ‘going to’.  […]

  6. Reblogged this on Narwhal's MuESLi and commented:
    An amazing resource indeed! Many thanks to the Author.

  7. Wonderful! Authentic language, a fun (games based task) and computer resources!

    I’ve used computer resources to great effect in my class (which is fortunately small enough to make this feasible). Google Images has been great for helping out with words, and I’ve lately had my more advanced students do the searches for me. Sometimes, I even let the class try to guide him in suggesting helpful search terms, so the very act of finding an answer to a question in itself becomes a task based activity.

    Assuming you have the resources, for larger classes, you could use a projector to show the contents of the screen.

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