Alexa Alexa

The past continuous
A2+ - B1 level


In this lesson, students learn about the past continuous through guided discovery based on expressing car accidents. The lesson starts with a vocabulary about car parts and driving habits. This is followed by students reading about an accident and sharing their own stories. Finally there is some grammar explanation and a grammar practice.


Abc Student's book, page 131
Abc Student's book, page 41
Abc Student's book, page 40
Abc Board
Abc Student's book, page 39
Abc Student's book, page 38

Main Aims

  • To provide clarification and practice of the past continuous tense in the context of car accidents

Subsidiary Aims

  • To provide practice and review of car parts in the context of driving habits


Warmer/Lead-in (3-5 minutes) • To set lesson context and engage students

Ask students about driving habits in their city. Discuss the bad driving habits and complete the book's survey.

Exposure (10-15 minutes) • To provide context for the target language through a text or situation

Ss. observe the photo story and try to guess the situation between the two men. Then guided by the teacher, they read the whole story. This is followed by the Ss. reading in pairs and interchanging roles.

Highlighting (10-15 minutes) • To draw students' attention to the target language

Ss. focus on language by matching the target language with similar expressions, then they discuss about the conversation they have just read. Finally, they take the quiz at the end of the page and share their own experiences about car accidents, each student tells the class about what his/her classmate just told him/her.

Vocabulary practice (15-20 minutes) • To learn car parts and their functions.

Students observe the picture on page 40, then guided by the audio, they listen and repeat each word of the vocabulary. Then they match the parts of the car with their functions and add two more descriptions on their own.

Controlled Practice (15-20 minutes) • To concept check and prepare students for more meaningful practice

The teacher writes some phrases composed by past continuous sentences and simple past sentences, then asks students about what those phrases express. Then all together, teacher and students deduces the parts that conform the structure of the sentences. The teacher highlights the use of the past continuous. Students form sentences orally. Then, guided by the teacher, students read the grammar box on the book.

Semi-Controlled Practice (20-25 minutes) • To concept check further and prepare students for free practice

Students use prompts to write logical sentences, using the past continuous tense and the simple past tense in each phrase. This is followed by a general review, where the teacher and the students discuss the correct answers, and explain them.

Free Practice (10-15 minutes) • To provide students with free practice of the target language

Students go back to page 41, and fill the Grammar Practice by completing a paragraph with the past continuous and the simple past tense. They are graded individually.

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