It's 12 o'clock! A speaking lesson with no materials

This lesson plan for primary learners revises the use of the present continuous.

Katherine Bilsborough

This is a drawing and speaking activity that is fun to use with primary classes to revise the present continuous form. It is easy to set up and requires no preparation or materials, except a board and a board pen. Learners will need a piece of paper and a pencil.

This version practises the present continuous form, but other versions can practise other tenses. Children like it because it allows them to practise grammar in a safe environment. By repeating the same question and answer a number of times, learners become more confident and make fewer and fewer errors. They also like it because the drawing adds an element of fun to the activity and allows learners who might be good at drawing but less good at English to excel.


  • To practise the present continuous
  • To practise grammar in a safe environment

Age group

Primary (can also be used with older learners)


CEFR level A1 and above


45 minutes


The lesson plan can be downloaded in PDF format below.

Lesson plan355.36 KB
Language Level


Submitted by bendel maria on Thu, 11/18/2010 - 18:46


Thanks for the idea.I tried "a scene of the crime"with Past Cont. It was successful.Best wishes .Maria

Submitted by mariamoscow on Sat, 11/20/2010 - 18:57


thank u  for your idea ) i think it can be funny ) even for adults )

Submitted by mirebella7 on Sun, 11/21/2010 - 16:19


Sure, thanks I´ll probably use it with the past continuous!

Submitted by Augun on Thu, 11/25/2010 - 21:24


Thanks a lot.I like the activity much. I 'll practice it out with my students.

Submitted by hamani on Fri, 11/26/2010 - 16:58



Thank u so much for this valuable contribution . Be sure that many teachers will try to use this simple workable technique mainly to make a sort of tenses review or to switch from a learnt tense lesson  to another new one.

Submitted by mrhandsome on Mon, 12/06/2010 - 16:32


I like to illustrate the present continuous, or present progressive, form

with a "go-go-go" nickname. This alleviates confusion from unnecessary grammar terms to kids.

"go-go-go" expresses from then to now, from now to after, etc. in continuum.


Here’s a list of classroom activities which involve speaking:  

I hope you find something suitable for your classes here.


Submitted by sheidaa on Sat, 12/11/2010 - 07:21


Your idea is interesting but for students who they are learning English as foreign language not second language.

Submitted by owuzyavuz on Fri, 01/21/2011 - 11:12


i had great fun with this! thanks for sharing.

Submitted by humay.musayeva… on Sat, 03/26/2011 - 12:05


thanks, british concil for that kind of lesson plans. sometimes teenagers don't want to write or read any new materials , so it is very exciting for them to learn new information and learn English without writing and reading. so it was  helpful for me to work with teenagers in my classes.

Submitted by Gulshan Huseynli on Mon, 05/02/2011 - 11:28


I have tried it in my class. My students liked it a lot. You were right even students who are not very good at language were involved to the lesson. One of my new students who were not taught English as a foreign language also took part and produced at least 2 sentences. One of my students who always were tense at the lesson because of his language(speech) problems were so enthuastic. Thanks for this awesome lesson plan which make my students happy.

Submitted by humay.musayeva… on Wed, 05/04/2011 - 14:32


thanks for preparing such lesson plan. i teach teenagers sometimes they are a little bit lazy to write or read student's book . i was so worried about it and finally

i tried it at my lessons and my students like it very much...

Submitted by mayor_junneil on Tue, 07/23/2013 - 12:24


Thank you for this useful material.I think I can apply this idea in class today. Just in time that we will be tackling about present continuous tense. I guess I can use this not only in speaking, but also in writing activity.

Submitted by Cath McLellan on Tue, 10/20/2015 - 07:09


Hi, Thanks for your comment. The timings on all our lesson plans and activities are a guide only, as a lot will depend on the group size, level, motivation etc. I think for this lesson plan if you include the initial setting up of the activity, allowing time for students to draw their own pictures, then the mingle activity and finally the follow up writing, the timing would be at least 60 minutes. Of course, for some groups it could take a longer or shorter time. I hope your students enjoy the lesson! Cath

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