First Conditional can be a tricky topic for teachers as well as students. While most teachers think it should be introduced late, they should not be hesitant teaching it to the lower intermediate learners. As the conditionals are complex, it is a good idea to introduce the students to tenses early on so they can start practicing it. Beginners can be introduced to the basic forms of the first conditionals.
Today, we discuss how you can teach first conditional in an interesting, fun way to the ESL students. We also look at some of the exciting activities you can use to help them learn and practice first conditional
First Conditional Activities ESL – A Complete Guide
While teaching first conditional, it is important to keep it simple. Teachers can start with a basic discussion of what it actually is. First conditional is a way to connect two separate yet related events. In the beginning, you should stick to the first conditional and avoid introducing too many auxiliary verbs. This would let the students understand the concept without getting confused.
A great thing about first conditional is that you can easily teach them through classroom activities. Here are a few fun activities for ESL students that help them learn the right structure and usage.
An effective ESL activity that works on the basis of simple questionnaire exercise, mingling is where students ask questions to each other and write their answers.
You can make a report with the names and answers so that students can write what they have found.
Pass The Pig
Ask the students to divide into two teams and get something they can throw. Set a timer and start calling out half of the conditional sentence. Throw the object at a student and ask him to complete it.
The student then throws it to somebody else in the other team who gives a different clause for the same sentence. The team that has the ball when the time is up loses the game.
Another version of Pass the Pig, this game involves an additional challenge of having to make a new sentence using the end clause of the previous one. The chain goes on and students can practice a number of sentences at once.
How To Teach First Conditional In A Fun Way?
The best thing about the first conditional is that it can be easily gamified for practice and learning. It is possible to introduce some fun games and activities to teach the topic in an exciting way.
With fun exercises, you can give the extensive practice the students would need to practice first conditional and learn the right usage.
This fun activity offers practice when the students are introduced to the topic. Students are divided into groups of 2-3. You get printed strips of first conditional questions and put them face down in front of them.
A student selects a strip randomly and asks the question to other remembers in the group. The students answer using the correct structure of the first conditional. They can also engage in follow-up questions to practice more.
First conditional bingo encourages the students to match two parts of a conditional sentence. You can print the bingo cards with six boxes.
You speak out the parts of sentences and if the students listen to two halves of the first conditional sentence, they can cross the box on the card. If a student completes a line, he says ‘line’ and ‘bingo’ when he does all the boxes. The first to say ‘bingo’ is the winner.
First Conditional Warmer Activities
First conditional is the perfect topic to use as warmer for any ESL class. It can be revised in the class any time using some fun and interesting activities to spice up the learning and get the practice first conditional learning needs.
The concentration activity is a highly popular warm up activity for ESL first conditional. The game involves creating five pairs of cards with the start and end part of the first conditional sentences written on each. You can use different colored cards for the two parts. Divide the students into groups of 2-4 and give them a set of cards each.
They keep the cards face down and pick up turn by turn. For any beginning card, they speak what a good ending would be and then pick the ending card. If the card matches well, they keep the pair or keep the cards face down and the next student picks the cards. The student who gets the maximum card pairs would win the game.
To use first conditional for warmer activities, you can use any board like snakes and ladders and customize it to the target topic. You can make your cards and have the squares in various colors. The cards can have the prompts for students to make conditional sentences or questions from the last class or errors they can correct.
Whenever a student lands on a square, he has to perform the task on the matching card. If he gives the right answer, he can stay on the square otherwise he goes back to the previous square.
Best First Conditional Songs
Using songs to teach first conditional is more appropriate for a regular ESL class. However, it can also be used as a warmer activity for a class if you do teach something at the end of the previous class and ask them to prepare songs with the pattern you taught.
Students can find some conditionals in any song and come up with some lyrics that may not be musical but humorous.
The first conditional is quite significant for ESL students and there are many songs you can use to practice this conditional. The two most popular songs for teaching conditionals are:
If you don’t know me
This first conditional song is by Harold Melvin and the lyrics contain various examples of the topic. These sentences can be given in the form of blanks to practice first conditional.
If you tolerate this
This song by the Manic Street Preachers is a great choice for practicing first conditional.
In the song, the singer talks about what would happen in the future if people keep acting the way they do now. Students can easily find the examples of first conditional from the lyrics.
First Conditional Role Play
Role play is an effective exercise that makes it fun and interesting to learn and practice first conditional. Students can indulge in different role play activities and carry out conversations using first conditional. They work in small groups and come up with ideas for role plays and group discussions.
You can set up the students in role plays like political parties, tour companies or others. You can also give them questions and some time so that they can come up with answers.
The groups give their own responses and you can judge them as voters or customers and favour the one with the best answers. Proceed with other questions to practice the first conditional.