Present Perfect Go Fish Card Game and Lesson for ESL

Grade Levels
11th - 12th, Higher Education, Adult Education
Resource Type
Formats Included
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26 pages
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This lesson contains the following:
1. Matching exercise: match the rule to the examples for the Present Perfect and the Simple Past.
2. Illustration of when not to use the Present Perfect.
3. Short writing activity: write mini-biographies for Tom Cruise (living) and Heath Ledger (deceased).
4. Sentence writing exercise contrasting the Present Perfect Simple and the Present Perfect Progressive
5. Present Perfect Go Fish Card Game.

This lesson is most suitable for learners with the following characteristics:
1. Young adults: this card game contains mature themes, with references to kissing, marriage, deceased people, and beer. One activity includes the image of a football player kicking another player in the crotch, a bathing suit falling off a waterskier, and someone falling off of a toilet seat. Dramatic content like this might not appeal to all teachers, but these items are easily excluded from the lesson by selective photocopying. Young adult learners enjoy it.
2. High beginners or low intermediates: learners who have some knowledge of the Simple Past but have not mastered the Present Perfect.
3. Learners who are familiar with the card game Go Fish: If learners are unfamiliar with the standard version of this card game, be sure to model how to play the game with a group of students first. Instructions on how to play the standard version of Go Fish can be found online and makes a good reading activity.

About this lesson:
This unit is an excerpt from Actively Engaged at College (ISBN 978-0-9938308-0-8) adapted for for I developed this lesson for French-speaking ESL junior college students in Montreal, Canada. The students always enjoy it, but they need to be monitored for use of target structures. It is easy to be distracted by the game and forget to practice the target structures on the back of the cards.
The illustrations are by Pat Stevens. The copyright for all images and text belongs to me, Nicholas Walker, the sole proprietor of Bokomaru Publications. Find out more about me and my products and websites at
Total Pages
26 pages
Answer Key
Not Included
Teaching Duration
90 minutes
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