The Future

"The future influences the present just as much as the past."

Friedrich Nietzsche (1844 – 1900), German philosopher
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This free ESL lesson plan on the future has been designed for adults and young adults at an intermediate (B1/B2) to advanced (C1/C2) level and should last around 45 to 60 minutes for one student.

If tomorrow never comes, does that mean we will never see the future? For something that we can never experience, we sure do spend a lot of our time preparing for it. In reality, are we really preparing for a future present? But if the future is predetermined, then what’s the point planning for it at all? I appear to have confused myself. Anyway, in this ESL lesson plan on the future, students will have the opportunity to discuss and express their predictions, hopes and concerns about the future.

For advice on how to use this English lesson plan and other lesson plans on this site, see the guide for ESL teachers.


Reading activity
Before the English class, send the following article to the students and ask them to read it while making a list of any new vocabulary or phrases they find (explain any the students don’t understand in the class):

BBC | Twenty top predictions for life 100 years from now

In 2012, the BBC asked readers to give some predictions about life in 2112 and presented the 20 most interesting in this article, including the ability to communicate by thought, the ability to control the weather and a single world currency. What do they think about the issues raised in the article? Do they agree with what was said? Can they think of any ways they might disagree with the content of the article?

Video activity
To save time in class for the conversation activities, the English teacher can ask the students to watch the video below and answer the listening questions in Section 3 of the lesson plan at home. The questions for the video are styled in a way similar to an exam like the IELTS.

The video for this class is a called “The Last Human – A Glimpse Into The Far Future” by Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell which looks at how big the human population may grow to in the future should we colonise the solar system and other parts of the galaxy.


The focus in the class is on conversation in order to help improve students’ fluency and confidence when speaking in English as well as boosting their vocabulary.

This lesson opens with a short discussion about the article the students read before the class. Next, the students can give their opinion on the quote at the beginning of the lesson plan – what they think the quote means and if they agree with it. This is followed by an initial discussion on the topic including the future of the students’ countries, technology that will exist in the future, and how people predict the future.

After this, students will learn some vocabulary connected with the future such as the foreseeable future, on the horizon and immortal. This vocabulary has been chosen to boost the students’ knowledge of less common vocabulary that could be useful for preparing for English exams like IELTS or TOEFL. The vocabulary is accompanied by a cloze activity and a speaking activity to test the students’ comprehension of these words.

If the students didn’t watch the video before the class, they can watch it after the vocabulary section and answer the listening questions. Before checking the answers, ask the students to give a brief summary of the video and what they thought about the content.

Finally, there is a more in-depth conversation about political ideologies. In this speaking activity, students will talk about issues such as the future of the environment, whether humans will be replaced by artificial intelligence, and how society will be different in the future.


After the class, students will write about their opinion of the future. This could be a short paragraph or a longer piece of writing depending on what level the student is at. The writing activity is designed to allow students to practise and improve their grammar with the feedback from their teacher. For students who intend to take an international English exam such as IELTS or TOEFL, there is an alternative essay question to practise their essay-writing skills.


Did you find this lesson plan useful?

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5 thoughts on “The Future”

  1. Hi Guys, just noticed the multiple choice vocab answers are in red in both teacher’s and student’s PDFs. If they have the answers already, then doing the exercises doesn’t much sense, does it! Unless there’s a way to blank them…..
    Here’s an example of what I mean:
    1. Blade Runner is set in a dystopian society in the near future ( answer in red ) where killer androids are on the loose.
    2. Humans could become immortal (answer in red ) either through advancements in genetic engineering or by uploading their consciousness into a computer.
    Thanks for your support.

    1. Hi Rory, yes you’re right, the student document hadn’t been edited correctly. I’ve fixed it now and put the correct version online, so it should have blanks in the vocabulary section for the student document.

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