My dog ate my homework (Past Simple and Past Continuous)

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Grammar - Past Simple and Past Continuous

Past Simple and Past Continuous


In this lesson, students learn the difference between Past Simple and Past Continuous. They also get the chance to practise using the two tenses in a variety of tasks. 

A2 / Pre‐Intermediate60 minStandard LessonPremium Plan


At the beginning of the lesson students read the definition of the word excuse and think what excuses people often give in different situations (e.g. when they are late). Then, students read six situations and think of an excuse they might give in each of them (e.g. You borrowed a friend’s laptop and broke it.) Next, they look at a list of excuses and match them with the situations they talked about. The excuses contain verbs in Past Simple and Past Continuous forms. After that, students look at some of the excuses again and find the verbs, as well as decide which tense they are. They also work out the rules of using Past Simple and Past Continuous. 


In this part of the lesson students practise using the past tenses. First, they do a controlled activity in which they need to choose the correct verb forms in sentences. Then, they look at four photos of people who might have done something wrong and discuss some questions. For instance, they explain what happened (e.g. someone broke some plates), say whether these situations ever happened to them, and decide if the people should apologize for what happened. Then, students use the four photos to create some excuses for what happened. They need to use Past Simple and Past Continuous, as well as some verbs in brackets. Finally, students play a game in which they get a list of situations (e.g. You promised to cook dinner but you didn’t.). In pairs, they need to create excuses for what happened, and their partner needs to guess what the situation is.




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Leave a Reply

  1. TeacherAngie

    Really fun, my students love tense revision lessons, happy this was added

    1. Ewa

      Thanks 🙂

  2. Caroline Tulubjeva

    Great practice for reviewing past tenses and recycling vocabulary!

    1. Ewa

      That’s really good to hear. Thanks!

  3. Christiane IG

    What a great lesson! My beginner students loved it and found it extremely useful and clear

    1. Ewa

      Awesome! Thanks for the feedback 🙂

  4. monaraus

    I love it! My students love it! Congrats!

    1. Ewa

      Thank you 🙂 Happy to hear the lesson was a success!

  5. CantonesePete

    An enjoyable and imaginative lesson for all! Just one little thing, the instructions on slide 10 are not very clear, and it took a while for me and the student to work out what was actually required. Great work Ewa. Highly recommended.

    1. Ewa

      Thanks for the feedback, Pete 🙂 We have redisigned the task a bit to make it clearer.

      1. CantonesePete

        Thank Ewa. Much better now!

  6. Pick Up English Academy


    1. Ewa

      Fantastic! Thank you 🙂


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