Agnieszka Agnieszka

'I was swimming in the sea when I saw him.' What was your magical moment?
pre-intermediate/intermediate level


The lesson is a continuation of the previous one devoted to the Past Continuous tense. This time the students will be exposed to two past tenses, Past Continuous and Past Simple, and they will get more practice in the usage of the tenses.


Abc High Note 2 Student's Book with recordings from the student's book.
Abc Students' presentations

Main Aims

  • To review and practice the use of two past tenses Past Continuous and Past Simple.

Subsidiary Aims

  • To provide accuracy in the adaptation of Past Continuous tense as a background to telling a story.
  • To provide more practice in use travelling vocabulary


Warmer/Lead-in (2-4 minutes) • To set lesson context and engage students

The teacher asks students to remind one holiday activity they included in their presentations three lessons ago or the holiday activities they remember from the previous lesson (climb a mountain, go for a drive, lie on the beach etc.)

Exposure (5-7 minutes) • To provide context for the target language through a text and situation

The teacher asks the students to look carefully at the topic on the board "I was swimming in the sea when I saw him". Then she asks one volunteer to act out this situation in front of the whole group. After this scene, and the huge applause of other students afterward, the teacher elicits from students which of these activities lasts longer, and which is shorter. The students usually properly adjust the longer activity to the part "I was swimming in the sea", and the shorter activity to the "I saw him".

Highlighting (5-7 minutes) • To draw students' attention to the target language

The teacher asks the students to find all the sentences in the text from the previous lesson "Magical moments" where they can find a similar structure, i.e. a long activity which was interrupted by a short one. Students find the sentences, 1. As they were going, I took this photo. 2. I was eating ice cream when suddenly it started to rain. 3. While we were swimming, I took this photo. 4. As I was walking, I noticed it. 5. It started to rain when I was going home but I didn't care. The teacher asks one student to read them aloud and asks him to find a grammatical rule i.e. to connect the longer activity with Past Continuous and the shorter with Past Simple.

Controlled Practice (10-12 minutes) • To prepare students for more meaningful practice

1. The teacher asks the students to look at the photos and stories again and to correct the sentences in the notebook (ex.7 p.35) 2. Then the students are asked to guess what their classmate was doing at times given below, ten o'clock last night, six o'clock this morning, last Saturday at 8 p.m., last Sunday at 11 a.m. They should guess, then ask their partner and find out if their guess was right. 3. The students complete the text in ex. 9 with the Past Simple or Past Continuous. After that, they listen and check. 4. The students complete the sentences with the correct form of the travel verbs. They check it in pairs. They ask the teacher for help if it is needed.

Free Practice (12-15 minutes) • To provide students with free practice of the target language

The students are asked to think about a magical moment that happened to them on holiday. They need to tell the class what were they doing when it happened. They may remind some elements from their presentations about travelling and holiday activities. It would be advisable although not necessary. After that, the class votes for the best story.

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