Past Continuous Speaking Activity


Are you constantly looking for past continuous speaking activities when its time to teach the verb tense? It is a challenging grammar topic, so getting students speaking can be difficult.  

If I could help, I'll give you a good past continuous speaking activity. It is designed to help students understand the difference between simple past and past continuous. It is also great to get them talking and using role-play activities.

Here are the instructions:
  1. Put the students in groups of 2-5.
  2. Give them two sentences.
  3. Have the groups act out each sentence in front of the class. (They can speak, it's not charades)


The sentences are similar, but one uses past continuous and the other uses simple past. Here are some examples:
  • They were dancing when the DJ played country music.
  • They danced when the DJ played country music.

In this case, the group needs to show in the first example the people were dancing before, and in the second example, they started to dance when the country music started.

They can improvise and show how the people in the first sentence hate country music and stop dancing, while in the second example the people love country music and hit the dance floor when it comes on.


This activity helps students understand how simple past and past continuous work together to show interruptions. It also gets them speaking, which is always nice. 

By discussing each example, the students gain a better understanding of the differences between each sentence.


For past continuous lessons and tests, try these links:

Past Continuous Lesson

Past Continuous Test


Past Continuous Music Ideas






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