EFL - ESL activities and games for teaching questions with do

A collection of resources for teaching present simple 'questions with do' to elementary level students (A2). It includes a suggested lead-in activity, along with practical ESL activities and games that are suited for low-resource ESL classrooms.

Lead-in activity

The sample board work assumes some prior knowledge of the present simple tense. You should try to elicit as much as possible, using the colour-coded text as a guide.  If you need to bring these materials into the classroom for reference, the TEFL Handbook app gives you offline access to all of the ESL resources on this site, plus a lot more.

EFL - ESL Lead-in activity for present simple questions | Beginner

ESL classroom activities: Questions with do

Basic question formation

This ESL writing activity will give students the perfect opportunity to practice present simple 'questions with do'. Write the following style of prompts on the board and have the students make questions. For stronger classes, these can be a mix of questions with the verbs do and be. Elicit the first two:

1. John / live / Spain? - Does John live in Spain?
2. Clare / French? - Is John Spanish?
3. Where / you / live?
4. What / her / name?
5. she / like / maths?
6. When / she / have piano practice?
7. you / get up at half past eight?
8. Why / they / walk to school?
9. Where / we / going?


In this fun and engaging ESL activity, the students will make five 'questions with do' that they'll use to interview a partner. Before they begin, add the following prompts to the board to help them, elicit some example questions:

Get up? / Go to bed?
Musical Instrument?
Brothers or sisters?

When they have finished writing, students will interview each other in pairs.

Teacher questions

Ask the students questions about their interviews. Use the following dialogue as a guide:

Teacher: What was the first question you asked?
Student A: Where do you live?
Teacher: Where does he live?
Student A: He lives in Madrid.

Related games

Here is one idea for a fun ESL classroom game for practising present simple questions. As usual, our games require the minimum of classroom resources and materials (whiteboard and markers).

20 Questions

We can play a modified version of this ESL classroom staple to suit this grammar topic. On each turn, one student will pretend to be a famous person and answer yes/no questions from the others until they can guess who it is:

Student A: Are you a man?
Student B: Yes, I am?
Student C: Are you an athlete?
Student B: No, I'm not.


Additional ESL resources

When it comes to ESL lesson planning, teachers can always do with more ideas. Here are some choice materials from around the web.

If you're looking for additional ESL activity and game ideas, check out this collection by teach-this. You'll have to become a member to get full access, but there's still plenty of useful ideas there for free. For adult students who are looking for conversation practice, this list of ESL conversations at eslconversationquestions will serve as good practice for asking questions using the present simple.

If you're looking for worksheets, islcollective have a comprehensive collection. We recommend the present simple questions worksheet.

Finally, this video from Mark Kulek on the use of the verb do as an auxiliary verb for questions is a useful addition to your lesson.

More A2 level ESL lesson plans

If you've found these ideas useful, have a look our complete list of ESL lesson plans for elementary level students, A2 lower and A2 upper. For other levels, see our entire collection of ESL lesson plans. Our suggested next lesson is on subject and object pronouns.

Are you an Android or iOS user? Then you should give our app a go! The TEFL Handbook app has over 100 lesson plans, 300+ ESL activities and over 100 ideas for classroom games. All of which can be accessed offline, perfect for quick reference in the classroom.

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