Barthelemy, Present Simple Tense in Future, New York Trip

This is a grammar activity for ITA Chapter 6 to teach the present simple as a future tense. We are planning a 4-day trip from Boston to New York City.


Level and number of Students: There are 10 adult students of low-intermediate level in the class.

Approach and goal of the activity: My goal is to have the students become comfortable using present simple tense as a future scheduled event. My approach will be to address the meaning and use aspect of the present simple in the future. I will describe it as an additional application of a tense they already know, that’s easy to use in the context of timetables and schedules.

My assumption is that they have a full grasp of present simple tense and basic travel vocabulary.

Materials Needed:

  1. Sample text – Teacher will read this out loud, and hand it out.
  2. Practice: Fill in the blank verb in present simple.
  3. Handout list of verbs used in Present Simple as a future scheduled event
  4. Plane Schedules
  5. Schedules for possible activities in NYC
  6. Blank calendar with times.
  7. Homework sample sentences
  8. Instructions for students
  9. Instructions for substitute teacher

Expected Problems: There will be some unfamiliar vocabulary. And New York proper names may be a bit of a challenge. This is normal especially in travel. To resolve this, the teacher should scan and float among the pairs and clarify any confusion. Another possible problem is pairing off with a student of the opposite sex, or a different caste system to plan a trip, as there are some age groups and ethnicities where this might be inappropriate. Teacher must be particularly sensitive if this is the case.


  1. Warm-up – 2 minutes. Teacher introduces the idea of a trip from Boston to New york with photos.
  2. Introduction – 2 minutes. As a class we brainstorm possible elements of a good trip, writing a mindmap on the board or easel. We include planning flights, activities, places to eat, and writing a schedule.
  3. Presentation- 5 minutes. Teacher explains the use of present simple tense for future scheduled events. Teacher hands out a list of verbs that can be used. Teacher reads a text out loud, and then hands out same text in writing.
  4. Practice – 5 minutes. Students fill in the correct verb tense on a sheet of sample sentences. Dission and questions.
  5. Production –25 minutes. Students get into groups of 3. They plan a trip selecting between travel options, activites, and write out their schedule timetable on a blank calendar. They write a short conversation and present it to the class. Class votes for the best trip.
  6. Review – 5 minutes. Teacher asks students to read the handout of list of verbs that can be used in present simple in the future. Teacher chooses 3 verbs from the list and asks the class for a sentence using each one correctly.
  7. Homework – 3 minutes. Students invent a morning schedule for a busy professional in New York. Please invent sentences that fill your morning timetable. Use a verb in simple present in each sentence to indicate a future planned schedule, and read it to the class tomorrow.

Rationale of how this fits into a series of classes: 
Once students begin to grasp present simple, I would like to show them the different ways it can be used. This is a fast and easy way to help them increase fluency using the same verb tense. For example, I would introduce the use of present simple in its four different uses:  1) Routines, 2) Generalizations, 3) Schedules, and 4) Events happening now in the present using stative verbs. I would introduce these along with new vocabulary in appropriate practical context over a series of several weeks of classes.

Instructions for Substitute Teacher:

  1. Use the big screen TV, and connect it to your laptop as you’ve done many times, or just your laptop. Scroll through this file. It will walk you through the content step by step.
  2. Before class get out materials, realia, and handouts listed above under Materials. They’re ready in my big desk drawer.
  3. Follow the class plan in order, keeping to the times indicated.
  4. Be sure to lead the discussion for Warm-up, Presentation, Practice, and Review. During Production and Homework, observe and allow the students to work by themselves, using you only as a resource.
  5. Have fun!


1) Warm-up: 2 minutes. Would you like to take a trip to New York City? It’s the most populous city in the USA with almost 9 million people. New York City is an important center of finand fashion. It is also a port and entry point for many immigrants from all over the world. There are amazing sightseeing activities. Would you take a trip to New York City??
I bring in my favorite Realia: Souvenirs of NYC

2) Introduction: 2 minutes. What are some interesting activities we could enjoy in New York? How would you plan your trip? Let’s look at photos, and start a conversation.

The Statue of Liberty opens to the public at 8:30 am every day.

New York is called the “Big Apple”. This was a tourist promotion many years ago, and the name stuck.

We could go to see La Boheme at the Metropolitan Opera. Performances start at 7:30 sharp.

Times Square is a busy crossroads for millions of people. Movies and shows start at 2 pm and continue all night.

From Chinatown to Little Italy, New York has some of the best restaurants in the world.

The 9/11 Memorial and Museum Executive Tour opens at 8am. Let’s go see it!


The Metropolitan Museum of Art opens daily at 10am. The exhibit of Queen Eliabeth’s Hats starts tomorrow!

We’ll see the magical Willie Wonka Chocolate Factory. Gene Wilder’s famous entrance begins at 10 am daily.

The Big Apple Circus features clowns and high-wire dancers. The performance starts at 11am Tuesday through Sunday.

Helicopter tours start at 9:30 am every day!

3) Presentation: 5 minutes.
The present simple tense can be used to describe near future events governed by timetables, especially used for travel schedules such as bus/train/plane/boat. Also used for schedule events such as meetings, classes, exhibits, and conferences. Examples:

  • The train for New York leaves at 8:30pm.
  • The flight from Boston arrives at 11:25 am.
  • The chemistry class begins at 9:00 am.
  • The software conference opens tomorrow at 9:30 am.
  • Does the subway from Times Square arrive at 10pm?

Sample Text: Teacher reads it out loud now, and later hands it out in writing at Production stage.

Alex: What do you think about going to New York?

Jake: Sounds great. We can go on Monday morning. It looks like a flight from Boston departs for New York at 8:15 am.

Alex: That’s too early for me. Is there a flight that leaves later?

Jake: Yes, the Delta flight departs from Boston at 11:00am and arrives in New York at 12:20pm

Alex: Great! That should get us into New York in time to visit the Statue of Liberty, it closes at 4pm.

Jake: Perfect. Would you like to see a show in the evening? We could take a subway to the Theater district. The subway leaves at 5:35 and goes every 25 minutes. 

Alex: Yes, I’d like to see that Harry Potter show on Broadway that starts at 7:30. Then we can take a subway to my Aunt Tillie’s house and stay overnight with her. The subway closes at 12:00 midnight, so that should be fine.

Jake: What time does the Metropolitan Museum of Art open Tuesday morning? I’d like to see the exhibit of Queen Elizabeth’s Hat’s.

Alex: Are you joking? I’d much rather see the History of Shoes exhibit. Anyway the Museum opens at 10am. And it looks like Zabar’s Deli opens at 8am, so we could have a fantastic breakfast before we go to the Museum.

Jake: OK, I’m feeling hungry already. On Wednesday I’d like to take a helicopter tour of the city. The helicopter ride begins at 9:30am. 

Alex: Great. After that we could check out the Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory, which closes at 4:40pm. They might give us some free chocolate samples. How about dinner at Scarlatti’s Wednesday evening? Their dinner service starts at 5:00. We can have an early dinner and go see the Lion King show on Broadway, which opens at 7:30.

Jake: Wow! This sounds like an amazing plan. There’s a return flight to Boston that leaves Thursday  at 11:45 am, and arrives in Boston at 1:15 pm. We can get home before rush hour.

Alex: I’m going to love this trip. Let’s write it down on our schedule so we can remember the plan.

4) Practice Handout – fill in the correct verb ending:

We got our tickets today. The plane (leave)_____ on Monday.
We (arrive) ______the next day at 1:35.

Hurry up because the opera (begin) _______at 7:30 sharp.   
Tomorrow (be)_______ Wednesday.
I (fly) ________  to New York next week.
The plane (depart) ________at 8 pm
The train to Penn Station (leave) _________ at 11:30 a.m.
When do you (leave) _________ for New York City?
Her train (arrive) ________ at 8:35 am tomorrow morning.
What time does the show (start) _______ tonight?
What time does your friend (finish)________ work tomorrow?
What time does the exhibit (open)_________tomorrow?
Final dress rehearsals (start)________ next week.
When will your meeting (finish) ________ tomorrow?

5) Production Activity:

Instructions Handout for students:
Please find a partner.
You have 4 days off work. You have just been awarded a free all-expense paid trip from Boston to New York City for two people. You will choose your flights, select your activities, and write your timetable on the blank schedule form. You can stay with your Aunt Tillie who has an apartment in the city.

Your objective is to plan a schedule of travel and activities for your trip to New York. Use the verbs on the handout, and present simple tense to express timetables in the future as much as possible. Prepare a timetable of your 4-day trip and activities, and write it on the blank schedule. Then prepare a dialog about it with your partner and present your trip to the class. Please speak the dialogue, and do not read. You will have 10 minutes to write your travel plan. Then I will ask you to stop, and you will have 10 minutes to prepare your dialogue. Then you will speak your dialogue to the class. The class will vote for the best trip to New York. Are you ready? Check the plane schedules and get ready to go to  the Big Apple!

6) Review:
Teacher: “Let’s vote for the best trip to New York, and tell us why.”

“Now I’m going to read three verbs we studied today. Who can invent a sentence that uses it in the present simple tense to express a future schedule?”

  • leave
  • arrive
  • open

7) Homework:
You are a busy professional in the entertainment business. (jazz singer, movie producer, ballet dancer, opera director, Broadway actor, TV announcer.) You are planning your day traveling around New York City for rehearsals, meetings and performances tomorrow morning. Choose your profession. Please invent sentences that fill your timetable for tomorrow morning. Use a verb in simple present in each sentence to indicate a future planned schedule. Read it to the class tomorrow. Here’s a sample:

My commuter train leaves at 8am for Penn Station
My cab departs at 9am from Penn Station to Carnegie Hall rehearsal
My rehearsal finishes at 10:15, I grab some coffee on my way to the subway.
The subway departs for Soho at 10:30. It arrives at 10:55
At 11am my meeting with producer Joe begins in Soho. The meeting ends at 11:45
My makeup artist arrives from Moscow at 12:00 noon.
Our makeup appointment starts at 12:30 at the Broadway studio.
The meeting finishes at 1:30.

Materials Handouts:

Enjoy your all-expense paid trip to New York!

Flight Departures :

  • American Airlines #ABC departure BOS 7:00 AM, arrival LGA 8:15 AM
  • Delta #DEF departure BOS 11:00 AM, arrival LGA 12:20 PM
  • Jet Blue #GHI departure BOS 2:00 PM, arrival LGA 3:17 PM

Return Flights:

  • American Airlines #123 departure LGA 9:30 AM, arrival BOS 11:00 AM
  • Jet Blue #456 departure LGA 11:45 AM, arrival BOS 1:15 PM
  • Delta #789 departure LGA 6:30 PM, arrival BOS 8:05 PM

Handout – Possible Activities and Opening Hours:

Metropolitan Museum of Art: Queen Elizabeth’s Hats: March 1 – June 2, 10am to 5:30pm
Metropolitan Museum of Art: History of Shoes: May 15 – June 30, 10am to 5:30pm
Metropolitan Museum of Art: Gardens of France: May 1 – July 15, 10am to 5:30pm

Broadway show – Harry Potter – 2pm and 7:30pm M,W,F,Sat
Broadway show – Phantom of the Opera –  3pm and 8:30pm T, Th, F, Sun
Broadway show – Lion King – 2pm every day

Metropolitan Opera, La Boheme: T, Th, Sat 7:30pm during May
Metropolitan Opera, La Traviata: M, W, F 7:30pm during May and June
Metropolitan Opera, Salome: Sat 2pm, Sun 2pm during June

Central park is open for visitors to walk from 6am to 1am daily
Willie Wonka Chocolate Factory Tour – open daily 12:00 – 4:40pm. $35
National 9/11 Memorial and Museum – Executive Tour 8am – 9pm. $109
The Big Apple Circus performance starts at 11am Tuesday through Sunday.
Daily Helicopter Tours of New York City start at 9:30am, 2:30pm, and 3:15pm $209
Statue of Liberty opens 8:30 – 4pm daily

Scarlatti’s Italian Restaurant 5:00 – 11pm
Harry’s Bar 10am – midnight
Eleven Madison Park Classic Restaurant 4pm – 1am
Metropolitan Opera Restaurant – 4:30pm – 8pm
Nom Wa Tea Room in Chinatown – 11am to 11pm
Zabar’s Deli: 8:00am – 10:00pm
Malasian Food Cart on Hanover Street 11-2:00 daily
Italian Pizza at Sottocasa 11-9 daily

Handout – Blank Schedule form


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