What were you doing at ___ last night?

Students ask each other about what they were doing last night to practice past continuous grammar.

I start the activity by asking the JTE "What were you doing at 7 (pm) last night?" When they answer, I write it up on the blackboard:

  • 7 pm: Miss Shimada was using her computer.

Then I ask again for 9 pm and 11 pm:

  • 9 pm: She was driving home.
  • 11 pm: She was watching TV.

I make sure the students understand what the JTE's answers were, and then have the JTE ask me about what I was doing last night. After that, I pose the question to the students: What were you doing at 7 last night? Then I pass out the papers and have them write, to the best of their recollection, what they were doing.

Once they've written that, I write the question sentence up on the blackboard and have the students ask 6 classmates what they were doing at the different times of the evening. I ask them to write the answers in the form "She was eating dinner" or "He was sleeping."

If they've done the grammar point "When I was eating dinner, he was sleeping" then you can print the second page on the back of the paper and ask them to write what their classmates were doing at the same time as other classmates.

To be honest, this isn't an especially exciting activity. It's good to practice this grammar form with the students reporting on their real experiences, but if you have an activity with a little more zazz, I'd recommend doing that first and using this to reinforce the grammar point if you have time. This grammar point works well for establishing alibis when you're trying to figure out who ate your cookie or something like that. As always, use or alter this activity as you see fit!

Submitted by Jake W September 18, 2018 Estimated time: 30 minutes
  1. Beverbin April 13, 2023

    This is just what I need - thanks for sharing!

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