Are you teaching the present perfect for and since and need a few activities, games, worksheets, or even an entire lesson plan? Look no further than right here and keep on reading for all the tips, tricks and ideas you need!
Top 10 For or Since ESL Games and Activities
Without further ado, here are our top picks for for or since activities and games for ESL. Check them out here.
#1: Running Dictation
This is a classic, 4-skills ESL game that your students will love. Find a dialogue that has since/for in it, in your textbook, or online, or you can make your own. Then, print it out on and cut out phrase in it individually. Post them around the classroom on the wall.
Put students into pairs and one is the writer, but the other is the reader. The reader has to go around and look at the papers, then memorize it, and come back and tell their partner who writes it. At the end, they have to put the sentences in the correct order.
If you haven’t tried out running dictation, today is the day! It’s seriously so fun. Learn more about it here:
#2 For/Since ESL Activity: Do You Like to _____?
Check out this fun, interactive activity that you can use to help your students get some practice using the present perfect since and for. The way it works is that students have to write three true statements about themselves on strips of paper. In this case, they’d use since/for. Here are some of my examples:
- I’ve been paddleboarding for five years.
- I’ve played tennis competitively since 2015.
- I’ve liked eating cilantro for 10 years.
Then, you collect the papers, mix them and randomly distribute them to other students. They have to stand up, and talk to their classmates to find the matching person by asking questions in English. For example:
- Have you been paddleboarding for five years?
- Have you played tennis since 2015?
It’s a really nice way for students to get a ton of practice with for and since. You can learn more about this activity here:
- Amazon Kindle Edition
- Bolen, Jackie (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 100 Pages - 11/12/2019 (Publication Date)
#3: Disappearing Text
If you are teaching beginners about the present perfect and for or since, then you may want to consider using this quick review activity at the end of class. The way it works is that you write a sentence on the board and students have to say it out loud. Erase some words and students have to say the entire sentence. Eventually, there’s nothing left.
It’s an excellent way for students to remember some key phrases related to this grammar point. Find out more about it:
#4: Board Games
I love to play board games in real life, which is why I like to bring them into my classroom too. They’re an ideal way to review a ton of different vocabulary and grammar points, including since/for. The way it works is that you make your game with lots of questions that require since/for answers. For example:
- How long have you been attending this school?
- How long have you been studying English?
- How long have you known your teacher?
Do you want to find out more about how to make your own games for your students? Then you’ll want to check this out:
English Grammar Lesson: For and Since
#5 Present Perfect Game: Hot Potato Speaking Activity
Did you ever play the hot potato game when you were a kid? The way it works is that you have to pass around an object of some time for a random amount of time. When the time stops, if you’re holding the potato, you have to do something. In this case, the student will have to make a sentence.
The way I usually do it with for/since is to show that student a flashcard. For example, someone playing soccer and then they’d have to make sentence with that vocabulary item and for/since. Some examples:
- He’s been playing soccer since he was 7.
- I’ve been playing soccer for 5 years.
It doesn’t necessarily have to be a true statement about that student because they can use he/she/they, etc. Find out more about this fun ESL game here:
#6: Find Someone Who Bingo Game
I generally use this activity as a kind of warmer on the first day of class. However, it lends itself very well to for or since grammar as well. The way it works is that you can think of some questions such as the following. Find someone who…
- has been studying English for more than 5 years.
- has been doing one of their hobbies for more than 10 years.
- has been a dad for at least 5 years.
- has been a mom since 2012.
Then, students have to go around the classroom, talking to other students and filling up their board. You can find out more about it here:
#7: Dialogue Substitution
A common way to introduce since/for is through a dialogue of some kind. But, have you ever noticed that students often mindlessly read through it and don’t really pay attention to what they’re reading? Yes? It’s normal.
A way to combat this and pump up the difficulty is to remove some words. In this case, you could try removing the for/since words, or the information that comes after it like 7 years old, 2015, 5 years, etc. Find out more about this challenging activity here:
#8: For/Since Survey
Surveys are one of the most versatile and useful ESL activities you can do! You can set this one up as a simple past and then present perfect follow up question which requires a for/since answer.
- Do you like to play soccer? Yes I do.
- How long have you been playing for? I’ve been playing since 2014.
If you want to learn more about how to set up surveys and use them in your classes, you’ll want to check this out:
#9 Present Perfect for and Since Activity: Role Plays
A role play is ideal for lower-level students who want to get some practice with speaking but may not be at the point where they can do “free-talking.” The way it works is that you give them a conversation starters with some blanks it. In this case, you’d want to use something like the following telephone conversation:
A. Hey _____, what are you doing now?
B. Oh, I’m ____________.
A. Wow! How long have you been ____________?
B. I’ve been ____________ for/since ___________.
Then students can continue on with the conversation as they’d like. At the end, they can perform the dialogue for you, or in front of the class. You can check it out here:
#10: Is that Sentence Correct? English Grammar Activity
I love to use this quick warmer activity in the following class after teaching since/for. I write a few sentences using since and for. Some are correct, but some are not. Students have to figure out the incorrect ones and then change them to make them correct. It’s simple, quick and quite effective for helping students remember the rules about since and for that they may have forgotten since previous class.
Did you Find these For and Since Grammar Activities Useful?
Yes? Thought so! Then the book you’re going to love is this one available on Amazon: 39 No-Prep/Low-Prep ESL Grammar Activities and Games. The key to interesting, engaging English lessons is a variety of fun activities and this book will help you do that in style.
You can get the book in both digital and print formats. Keep a copy on the bookshelf in your office and use it as a handy reference guide. Or, take the digital version with you to your favourite coffee shop on your phone or tablet for lesson planning on the go. It’s very easy to do with the free Kindle reading app.
Do you want to find out more? Then you’ll need to check out the book for yourself over on Amazon, but only if you want a serious dose of ESL teaching awesome in your life:
What about Present Perfect For and Since Worksheets?
If you’re on the search for some since/for worksheets to give your students some extra practice with this, then you’ll need to check out the following resources:
Online Practice With For Since Present Perfect
Or, if you prefer online practice with since and for, then here are some of the best sites to recommend to your students:
Lesson Plans for the Present Perfect For Since
Better yet, maybe you want to find some complete lesson plans for this important grammar point? Then you’re certainly in the right place. Here are our favourite for/since lesson plans that you can just print and use:
Have your Say about these Present Perfect For and Since Games and Activities
What do you think about these since and for games and activities? Have you tried out any of them from the list, or do you have another one 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 teachers, like yourself find this useful resource.
p.s. If you want to learn more about teaching grammar, you’ll need to check this out: How to Teach English Grammar.
Last update on 2020-04-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API