Past Continuous Tense For Interrupted Actions

Topic: Past continuous tense for interrupted actions

Objectives & Outcomes

  • By the end of this lesson, students will be able to use the past continuous tense to describe interrupted actions in the past.


  • Whiteboard and markers
  • Examples of past interruptions (e.g. texts, phone calls, visitors, etc.)
  • Handouts with examples of sentences using the past continuous tense


  • Write the following sentences on the whiteboard:
  • I was cooking dinner when my cat jumped on the counter.
  • I was watching TV when my sister called me.
  • I was sleeping when my alarm woke me up.
  • Ask students to read the sentences out loud and fill in the blanks with the past continuous tense.

Direct Instruction

  • Introduce the concept of interrupted actions and the past continuous tense.
  • Emphasize that the past continuous is used to describe an action that was ongoing at a specific time in the past.
  • Show students the chart with examples of the past continuous.
  • Go over each example and discuss the time markers (when, while, as) that indicate when the action was interrupted.

Guided Practice

  • On separate pieces of paper, have students write a sentence using the past continuous to describe an interrupted action.
  • Go over the sentences as a class and provide feedback and guidance as needed.

Independent Practice

  • Have students choose an activity (e.g. playing sports, having a party, etc.) and write a paragraph describing the activity using the past continuous.
  • Encourage students to use specific details and examples to support their writing.


  • Have students share their paragraphs with the class.
  • Ask students to reflect on what they learned about the past continuous and how they can use it in their own writing.


  • Observe students during the independent practice activity and provide feedback on their use of the past continuous tense.
  • Collect and review their paragraphs for accuracy and understanding of the past continuous tense.

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