Step 1. Ask a few simple questions using past continuous tense related to day to day activities done in past such as yesterday , last night , last evening etc . Such as : What were you doing at eight o’clock last night ?
I saw you in the market yesterday . What were you doing there ?
There will be a spontaneous response in the tense in which the question has been asked . In case of a mistake another child can be asked to answer and the process can continue till the correct answer is received .
Step 2. Write all the sentences on the black board and underline the verbs and auxiliaries .
Step 3. Now ask children to observe the common things in all the sentences . They will tell you the use of was/ were , the helping verbs and main verb + ing . Take this opportunity to reiterate the use of was for singular subject and were for plural subject .
Step 4. Conduct an oral drill using past continuous tense for some listed activities given in a substitution table . Such as : eating ice cream , having bath , listening to the news etc . Ask them to add suitable subjects and time of action . I was eating ice cream with my friend when the bell rang . Mother was having bath so she could not answer the phone . The television was on but no one was listening to the news .
Step 5. After giving enough practice it’s time to explain the rules and the usage .
The past form of the auxiliary ‘ be ‘ is ‘was ‘for singular subject and ‘were ‘ for plural subject .
Pin past continuous tense subject is followed by past form of ‘ be’ verb that is was / were + verb + ing and the rest of the sentence . Example : The dog was chasing the cat . The boys were playing football .
a. We use past continuous tense to talk about things happening in past without their time of finishing . For example : It was getting dark .
b. It can also be used to talk of an action which began much before another action such as : When I arrived home mother was cooking dinner .
c. It is also used to describe actions in a narrative or description such as : The man was walking briskly with his hands in the pocket . The Girl was playing piano and singing to herself etc .
Step 6. It’s practice time now . Give a few exercises for oral practice asking students to use the given verbs and the subjects in past continuous tense . Example : Ravi …………….. ………. a letter . ( write )
Step 7. Give a few written exercises to be done in class . Make them check the answers from the board and rate themselves .