Past Simple and Past Continuous

A Strange Dream

Target Structure: Past Simple and Past Continuous

Duration: 60 – 90 minutes

Have you ever woken up in a sweat after a strange dream? Use this common occurrence to introduce the use of these two common verb tenses. The past simple and the past continuous are often used when telling stories to show that one action interrupts another. This lesson uses silly, crazy stories to make sure your students remember what they’ve learned. You’ll start by telling everyone about a strange dream you had last night (text provided), introduce the grammar of the lesson with some guided practice, and finish by having students compete to come up with the strangest dream using everything they’ve learned in the lesson.

This lesson is in the following categories: Grammar Classes, Past Tense

Target Structure

Past Simple and Past Continuous

  • I was sleeping when you got home last night.
  • I smelled something burning while we were making pizza.

Connectors: When, While, and As

  • We were eating dinner when the doorbell rang.
  • When the doorbell rang, we were eating dinner.
  • While we were eating dinner, the doorbell rang.
  • The doorbell rang while we were eating dinner.
  • As we were eating dinner, the doorbell rang.
  • The doorbell rang as we were eating dinner.





Vocabulary from reading

  • rope
  • zookeeper
  • caveman
  • UFO
  • rub
  • unicorn
  • overhead
  • strange




  • Warm Up
  • Listening Activity
  • Past Tenses (grammar practice)
  • Connectors (grammar practice)
  • A Strange Dream (writing and grammar practice)
  • Extra Activity: Acting