ED or ING adjectives lesson plan

ED or ING adjectives lesson plan helps students understand this quite tricky grammar point and use ED and ING adjectives correctly. It offers speaking and grammar practice.  It is suitable for groups intermediate and above. It is a perfect for Conversation classes as it offers plenty of student talking time.

The Task

Step 1

Start by eliciting some key vocabulary. Ask your students to imagine the following situations and ask them HOW they felt. Try to put on the board at least 3 adjectives, preferably two ED ones:

  1. You have been studying all night for an important exam (exhausted, tired, motivated to pass)
  2. You bungee jumped for the first time yesterday (excited, frightened, amused)
  3. You didn’t win a competition you took part in (disappointed, demotivated, surprised)

Underline the ED part in each word and emphasise we are talking about HOW we felt in each situation.

Now, move on to the situations. Ask your students WHAT each situation was like:

  1. Studying all night for an important exam is tiring, exhausting, motivating
  2. Bungee jumping is exciting, frightening, amusing
  3. Not winning a competition is disappointing, demotivating, surprising

Underline the ING part to show your students we are talking about situations/things/people that make us feel a certain way.

I usually represent it graphically:



The best example, which at the same time is often the case where students make mistakes is BORED vs BORING. Give an example:

  1. You are watching a really long film where nothing happens. The film is BORING. How do you feel? You feel BORED.
  2. You meet your neighbour and she tells you the same story about her cat all over again. The neighbour is a BORING person. You feel BORED.

Something / someone boring makes you feel bored. You are bored because something / someone is boring.

Step 2

Distribute the worksheets and let students work individually on the exercises. Check the answers, clear whatever doubts there still are.

Step 3

Move on the speaking activity. Blow up the image on the board or distribute one worksheet per 2 students. Take one more look at the rules and talk with the whole group t answer first two questions (one from the upper one from the lower row). encourage your students to be descriptive and say WHY felt something or WHAT exactly it was they did or saw. Students may talk in pairs or small groups. Alternatively, if you have more time at your hands or want to use this activity during a conversation class, you might ask your students to mingle around the classroom and answer each question with a different partner and briefly note down their partner’s answer in the notebook. When your students are done, ask them to tell you stories about their classmates:

Ok, so who can tell me something about Maria. Whan was the last time she was annoyed? etc.

For some more grammar practice see this lesson about using will or this one about used to,be used, get used to.

Personal Experience

ED and ING adjectives is one of the topics when students get confused, especially if their mother tongue offers no equivalent. If you add false friends to the mix, (like embarazado in Spanish, which means pregnant and NOT embarrassed) you might get a classroom full of students who complain how BORING they are. I usually teach this class to my FCE students at the beginning of the course to get rid of this adjectives confusion once and for all. Written practice is there to help them internalise the “rules” and understand when we use ED or ING adjectives. Speaking practice helps them personalise the grammar and use it in context to talk about their experiences. They usually enjoy sharing stories and really want to get their message across right.






  1. This is great! Your lesson plan is crystal clear, easy to follow, and easy to implement. Thank you!

    • Hi Jason, thanks for taking the time to comment. I’m glad you’ve found this particular idea useful. Hope you visit again soon!

  2. You have a typo
    on the lesson plan for ed vs ing
    You wrote pat but you meant part.
    You didn’t win a competition you took pat in (disappointed, demotivated, surprised)
    Regardless, I will be using these ideas! Thank you!

    • Thanks, Diana! I’ve just corrected it. I hope your lesson goes well!

  3. Hello creators!
    I want to say a HUGE thank you for this website and all the amazing effort you put into it. You have saved me lots of time and headache!
    Well done on your commitment to this.
    I’m very grateful. 🙂

  4. Thanks a lot!
    This is def so helpful and inspiring, I am so glad you shared it. Sending greetings from Peru 🙂

  5. Hi, I am currently doing a TEFL course and creating a lesson plan on ING and ED was quite challenging until I saw this lesson plan. Thank you for giving me a guide in my studies.

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