Past Simple vs. Past Continuous ESL Activities and Worksheets

What were you doing when...?

ESL Past Simple vs. Past Continuous Activity - Writing, Listening and Speaking - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 30 minutes

This engaging past simple vs. past continuous activity helps students practice forming and answering questions with the past simple and past continuous. Divide the students into two groups (A and B) and give each student a corresponding worksheet. Working alone or with other members of their group, the students complete the questions on the worksheet in the past simple or past continuous using the verbs in brackets. When the students have finished, check the questions with each group. Next, pair each student up with someone from the other group. The students then take it in turns to ask the questions on their worksheet to their partner. Students answer their partner's questions in the past simple or past continuous, according to the tense of each question. Afterwards, have the students share what they found out about their partner with the class.
What were you doing when...? Preview
 

When and While

ESL When and While Worksheet - Reading and Writing Activity - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 30 minutes

In this when and while worksheet, students learn and practice three rules associated with using 'when' and 'while' with the past simple and past continuous. Give each student a copy of the two-page worksheet. Students begin by completing two grammar rules and examples for using the past simple and past continuous with 'when' and 'while'. Students then underline the correct past tenses in a set of sentences using the two rules. Next, students complete a short story with verbs in brackets in their past simple or past continuous form using the rules. After that, students are introduced to another rule for using when and while. The students then indicate whether they can use 'when', 'while' or 'both' as the missing word in each sentence. Finally, students complete sentences with their own ideas using the grammar rules from the second page.
When and While Worksheet Preview

Interactive Version - This when and while interactive worksheet helps to teach students three rules for using the past simple and past continuous with 'when' and 'while'.

 
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