Teaching grammar structures at the right time: Easter Holidays

Is there a perfect time to teach a particular grammar structure?

Yes, there is – and it is very easy to decide when is the right time to teach and/or review a particular structure or form. Research on language acquisition tells us that learning means adding new connections to existing networks in our brains. Therefore, we want to use the neural networks that already exist in our students’ brains and just add a new form.   Ideally, we do this at a time when the network is already activated by other circumstances.


At a time when our students are certainly all looking forward to the upcoming Easter holidays, it will be very obvious to activate their networks for the plans they have made with family and friends. This is the ideal time to add a new grammar structure to their active networks.

To talk about PLANS and INTENTIONS in English, we need the “going to” form.

Even if your textbook does not currently suggest this grammatical structure – or if you have already taught it – now is the time to introduce and/or practice TALKING ABOUT PLANS + GOING TO.

Remember: Using several senses simultaneously will create large neural networks in the students’ brains. In the following activities the learners are speaking (and moving their lips, mouth…) hearing and thinking about personal plans. 

For A1 -A2 learners, I have used the following DOMINO RACE, which “washes” the new structure into the learners’ brains. Play the game several times and record the time the class needs to complete it by using your phone’s stopwatch. Play the game again in the following lessons and see if the class can do it faster and beat their record.

Download the printable file here.


  • Hand out 1 card per student. If you have fewer students than cards, hand out 2 cards to some students.
  • Set a stopwatch (on your mobile phone) 
  • One student starts by reading the  question on his or her card.
  • The student with the matching answer quickly reads the answer and then reads out the question on the same card.
  • Goal of the game: to complete the whole domino race as quickly as possible. The teacher writes down the time it took to complete the race. In the following lessons, the class tries to beat this record (or plays against another class.)

In this  set of cards the learners can choose between a Yes and  a NO answer, according to their true holiday plans. Always encourage this choice — it adds some personalization to the grammar and vocab activities and helps the learners  to link the new language to their true experiences — and networks in their brains.

For more Domino Race games, follow this link.

Another activity that works well at this level is a “Find someone who” activity adapted for EASTER Plans. Click on the image to download the worksheet.

Both activities are communicative DRILLS where the learners make perfect  MEANING-FORM connections. Do these and similar activities again before any  interesting events or holidays. This will help the learners to make stable and permanent MEANING-FORM connections that they can use automatically and correctly.

For more communicative grammar tips check out “My Personal Grammarbook”

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