What are they doing?

Students study the present continuous in the third person for actions in the present.

What You Need

8 x Free DimmiDeck Cards (all except the Vet, The Electrician and The Teachers)

Suggested Lesson Plan

(This is a simple PPP lesson. PresentationPractiseProduction)


  1. Present a card to the students and elicit a verb. Some cards have more than one but there should be one obvious one. With the doctor, ‘drink’. For the postwoman, ‘ride’.
  2. Mind map the verbs on the board. Also add some other verbs, perhaps that you’ve studied in recent lessons that you’d like to recycle.
  3. Using timelines or your usual preferred method, clarify that the correct tense to use for the pictures is the present continuous as it is happening at the current moment.
  4. Choose one of the simpler cards, such as the Doctor, and model the correct sentence. ‘She is drinking (a cup of tea)’.
  5. Cover Meaning, Form and Pronunciation with the class.
  6. Model a second sentence from the cards. For the farmer, ‘he is sleeping’.
  7. Repeat this with the cards or mime as necessary. The students should be clear on the structure of the tense and when it is used. Next they should have a go themselves.


  1. Give a card to each student.
  2. In pairs, get them to discuss or write a present continuous sentence for their character.
  3. Monitor and assist as necessary.
  4. Feed back as a whole class, with learners peer correcting where possible.
  5. Learners should now have a good idea of the meaning and form of the structure. Next they need to produce it in a more free way. Head over to ‘Mimics’, where students can use some different verbs and continue with their practise of third person present continuous.

You can also use this opportunity for sentence creation and a writing exercise. Get students to come up with a name for their character and write a short paragraph about them and what they do!


For the Production phase of this lesson, head over to the activity ‘Mimics‘, where students act out verbs and their other learners have to guess what they’re doing.


The activities ‘What are they doing?’ and ‘Mimics’ are designed to be a very loose guidelines as to materials and lessons structure. There are lots of things you could do to personalise the lesson, such as adding competition, adding first person, plural and negative forms of the grammar, adding video etc.

With this guide you have a simple lesson structure that covers all the points that you need to teach. Remember that every class is different and some may need more repetition than others.

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