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Postcard Writing (A Task-Based Approach to Present Continuous Tense)

by Aybüke Uzunca | 22 Mar 2021
Resource Description: This lesson is designed to teach or revise Present Continuous Tense by making use of a task-based instruction in a blended classroom setting. The lesson is designed to apply in an online classroom. 
Audience: University
Audience Language Proficiency: Intermediate
Duration: 135 minutes
Language Skill: Grammar
Content Area: Life Skills, English for Academic Purposes
Materials and Technology:
  1. Sample Postcard and Fill in the Blank Activity (will be provided in the attachment)
  2. Information Cards to be used by the students during the main task 
  3. Padlet
  4. Nearpod quiz
  5. Google Forms

The main focus of the lesson is "writing".  


At the end of the lesson, the students will be able to:

  • be familiar with the format of post card writing
  • describe what is going on around themselves by utilizing present continuous tense

Pre-Task Stage (30 min): 

First, start the conversation by asking about their feelings and move to the topic of holiday plans of students:

·        How do they feel?

·        Do you feel bored?

·        Do you plan to go on a holiday? Where do you plan to go?

Collect the place names and one or two activities regarding each place from students. 

After brainstorming, tell the students they are going on a holiday to somewhere different this summer and you are going to write a post card to your friends when you are on your holiday.

Show a sample post card. In this postcard, the sentences including present continuous tense are blank. Tell the students to complete the sentences by looking at the example in the paragraph in pairs in break out rooms. Provide them with separate worksheet on Google Docs so that you can follow each pair’s progress in completing their postcards.

After all the pairs complete their paragraphs with present continuous sentences and you call them back to the main session, provide them with the answer key to check their answers.

Inform the students that they are also going to write a similar postcard. And ask the following questions regarding the format:

·        How do I start the postcard?

·        How do I end the postcard?

·        Is it formal or an informal writing?

Planning and Task Stage (37 min):

After talking about the format of postcard writing, assign some information cards to the pairs. On those cards, there is some information about the places where the students are on a holiday with their partners. They work with their partners, and they write a postcard referring to their holidays. 

In this part, the students are provided with a checklist to guide them when they write their postcards. You can write the instructions on post cards as well. Ask them some instruction check questions in this part. They can answer them by looking at their sheet. You can ask:

·        Do we write or speak?

·        What are you going to write about?

·        Do you write alone or with your partner?

·        Which city are you on holiday right now?

·        What activities are you doing there?

·        Do you use Ving form or do/does form? Which one?

·        How much time do you have to complete the task?

The students look at their postcard instructions and checklist and answer your instruction check questions in this way.

You send them to their breakout rooms and they start writing and posting their postcards on Padlet.

Reporting Stage (18 min):

The students start posting their postcards on Padlet.

Within the light of the questions, you may want the students to give brief information about the place where they go on a holiday (This part could be optional).

Language Analysis Stage (14 min):

Choose a few examples from students’ samples for present continuous tense.

Revise the present continuous meaning and form respectively by asking the following questions:

·        Do we talk about my past holiday / my holidays in general or a holiday that I am going on right now?  (Meaning)

·        How does the verb change here? (Form)

·        How do I make those sentences negative / question? (Form)

Practice Stage (31 min):

Now, assign students a postcard which is different from the one they have written and want them to look for minimum three grammar mistakes regarding the use present continuous tense.

After they evaluate their friends, show your findings regarding the mistakes of continuous tense and have students to compare their answers with yours. In this way, they review their performance in determining ungrammatical use of present continuous tense.

After reflecting on their own performance, continue with a small quiz on Nearpod to work on possible problematic areas more and to prevent fossilization.


Assessment Stage (5 min):

Based on their Nearpod outcomes, the students are going to evaluate their overall performance and skill at utilizing present continuous tense. 


Special Occasions. (n.d.). Oxford University Press: Solutions. Retrieved March 21,2021, from

Present continuous: Forms and pronouns. (n.d.). Agenda web. Retrieved March 21, 2021, from

Present continuous: Wh-questions. (n.d.). Agenda web. Retrieved March 21, 2021, from

Present continuous. (n.d.). Agenda web. Retrieved March 21, 2021, from

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TESOL Interest Section: Computer-Assisted Language Learning, English as a Foreign Language, Second Language Writing