If you’re looking for some of the best making predictions games and activities for ESL, then you’re certainly in the right place. We have 14 predicting games to try out, along with making predictions worksheets, lesson plans and more.
Prediction Games for ESL
Without further ado, let’s get to the predicting activities and games.
#1: Making Predictions Survey
One of my favourite ESL activities is surveys. They not only cover a range of skills but they also get students out of their seats and moving around the classroom talking to their classmates.
It’s easy to make one about future predictions, or you can have students make their own questions for it. Want to learn more? Check this out:
#2: Error Correction Relay Race for Predictions
Here’s an activity that focuses specifically on the language required to make predictions for the future. It also takes something old (error correction) and makes it new again by making it into a relay race. Want to give it a try with your students? Find out all the details here:
#3: Dictogloss Making Predictions Game
One of my favourite multi-skill ESL activities is dictogloss. It’s challenging and can be used for a variety of topics, including making predictions about the future.
The way it works is that you can find a reading passage (or write your own) about someone who is talking about their predictions for the future. Then, read it out at a faster than normal pace to your students. Working with a partner, students have to try to recreate what they just heard. Read it again and students do the same.
Finally, students compare their version with the original. Sounds like something you want to try out? Find out all the details here:
#4: Predicting the Future Videos
Maybe your students are kind of like mine? By this I mean that I think they get tired of hearing me talk by the end of the semester! That’s why I sometimes like to have another teacher explain a grammar concept instead of me. Have a look on YouTube and you’re sure to find something that’ll work for the age and level of students.
#5: Reading Lesson for Making Predictions
I love to incorporate some reading lessons into my general English classes. This is because we often focus exclusively on speaking, but students often need some dedicated, focused time on reading. Plus, it’s ideal for introverted students (and teachers too!) who may want a break from all the cheery, upbeat speaking activities.
It’s very easy to base an entire reading lesson on a single passage about someone making some predictions for the future. Find out how to do it here:
#6: Listening for One Specific Thing
Listening can sometimes feel a bit overwhelming to our students if they try to pick up every single thing. That’s why I try to break it down for them and give them specific things to listen for you. For example, you may want to get students to listen for any future predictions that the speakers make. Or, the language that is used to do this.
Want to know more? Find out more about it here:
#7: Mixed Up Sentences ESL Making Predictions Activity
If you’re looking for a quick way to review the forms needed to make predictions, then you’ll want to consider mixed up sentences. The way it works is that you can write a bunch of sentences on the board or PowerPoint that are scrambled up. Students have to work in pairs to quickly unscramble them. Find out more here:
It’s certainly one of my favourite predicting games and I’m sure you’ll love it too!
#8: Opinion Games and Activities for ESL
Making predictions is basically giving an opinion about the future. It’s for this reason that many of these games and activities for giving opinions can be used for predictions as well. Have a look at some of our top picks here:
#9: ESL Listening Lesson
A nice option for teaching about predictions is to use a listening lesson. It’s super easy to design your own. Find a conversation between two people making some predictions about the future. Or, one person talking about a specific prediction about something. It could be an election, future invention, etc. It could even be you! Then, design a lesson around that, following these simple steps.
#10: Horoscopes and Making Predictions
One fun activity you can do with your students is to post various horoscopes for the day around the classroom. Then, students have to go around the class, reading them and taking notes on what will happen to them (according to the predictions). Tell them to pay close attention to see if these things happen!
In the next class, students can talk about which things came true and which things didn’t. It’s a fun way to get all sorts of conversation going!
#11: Future Verb Form Activities
Making predictions involves the use of the future tense in English. The good news is that there are lots of interesting, engaging and student-centred activities to help our students practice this! Here are some of the best recommendations:
#12: Making Predictions Conversation Starters
A fun way to get students talking is to give them some interesting conversation starters that lead to predictions about the future. For example:
- What will happen in the next ______ election?
- Do you think people will travel by flying cars in the next 20 years?
- Will the economy look very different in 1o years from now?
- What kinds of jobs will people be doing in 20 years from now? The same as now or quite different?
#13: 3 Things Writing Activity
#14: Picture Prediction Activity
One quick way to introduce the topic of making predictions is to find some action pictures that lend themselves well to guessing what will happen next. Depending on the level of your students, you could get them to talk with a partner about the pictures or you could do it together as a class.
#15: Predicting in Reading and Listening
A nice way to get students to work on predicting things is in a reading or listening lesson. I love to show my students just the headline, or title or what they’re going to read or hear. Depending on what that is, they can make a prediction about what will happen.
This gives students a great reason to listen. They have to find out if they’re correct, or not.
#16: Have a Debate
Depending on the topic you choose, a nice way to get students talking about the future is to have a debate. For example, will air travel become even cheaper than now? Here are some of my favourite topics to consider:
#17: Predictions in an ESL Speaking Lesson
It’s easier than you might think to plan an ESL lesson about just about anything, including make predictions about the future. Have a look here at all of the things to include:
#18: Fortune Teller Game
Provide each student with a blank piece of paper and have them fold it into a fortune teller (also known as a cootie catcher). On the outer flaps, they can write different future events or situations. In pairs, students take turns choosing a flap and making a prediction related to the event or situation written inside.
#19: News Headlines
Prepare a set of news headlines or newspaper clippings that describe upcoming events or developments. Students read the headlines and make predictions about the content of the news article. Afterward, discuss their predictions as a class and compare them to the actual articles if available.
#20: Future Inventions
Have students work in pairs or small groups and ask them to imagine and describe an invention that will exist in the future. They should make predictions about its purpose, features, and impact on society. Each group presents their invention to the class and explains their predictions.
#21: Weather Forecaster
Assign students the role of a weather forecaster and have them prepare a short presentation about the weather for the upcoming week or month. They should make predictions about temperature, precipitation, and weather conditions based on current patterns and historical data. Encourage them to use weather-related vocabulary and expressions.
#22: Song Lyrics Predictions
Choose a song that contains future-oriented lyrics and provide students with the lyrics, with certain lines missing. Ask students to fill in the blanks with their own predictions of what comes next. Afterward, listen to the song as a class and compare their predictions with the actual lyrics.
Make Predictions Worksheets
If you want to give your students some additional practice opportunities, then you’ll want to check out these ESL making predictions worksheets:
Making Predictions Lesson Plans
One of the best ways to save a ton of time is to use some of these predictions lesson plans for ESL that you can just print off and use. Seriously, why reinvent the wheel if other teachers have gone before you and done the hard work, right? Here are some of the best resources:
There are a number of common questions that people have about prediction activities and games. Here are the answers to some of the most common ones.
What is a prediction activity in a language class?
A prediction activity in a language class is when students predict what they’re going to read (before a reading exercise) or hear (before a listening exercise). It can give students a reason to read or listen because they have to confirm whether their prediction was correct, or not.
How do you teach students to predict?
Teaching students to predict requires two skills. The first is using context clues from the text or snippet or text (a headline?) that is given. The second is using personal experience or knowledge (also known as schema). When combined, this is the basis for a prediction.
Is prediction a skill?
Prediction is a skill that can be practiced. It’s used when reading, listening, in the business world, or when conducting scientific experiments, to name just a few areas. It’s a skill that can be practiced and people can get better at it, although nothing about the future can be known with a full degree of certainty.
Did you Like these Prediction Activities?
- Amazon Kindle Edition
- Bolen, Jackie (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 148 Pages - 03/09/2016 (Publication Date)
Yes? Thought so. Then you’re going to love this book on Amazon: 101 ESL Activities for Teenagers and Adults. The key to better English class is a variety of interesting and engaging activities and this book will help you do just that.
Keep a copy on the bookshelf in your office and use it as a handy reference guide when doing your lesson plans. Or, take the digital version with you to your favourite coffee shop for a serious lesson planning session at your favourite coffee shop.
Whatever the case, this book will make your teaching life easier. Sounds like exactly what you need? You can easily find it on Amazon so be sure to check it out but only if you want some ESL teaching awesome in your life:
ESL Making Predictions Games: Join the Conversation
What are your thoughts about these making predictions games and activities? Do you have a favourite one from the list or do you have another that you’d like to recommend? Leave a comment below and let us know. We’d love to hear from you.
Also be sure to give this article a share on Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter. It’ll help other busy English teachers, like yourself find this useful resource.
Last update on 2022-07-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API