Game for past progressive: Stop what you’re doing

Last night I had two night classes. In the first, the beginners’ class, we played a game at the end of the period, after we had learned about past progressive, and it was a great success. I got the original idea from a book, but I embelisedhed it enough to say it’s new.

I broke the class into two teams. Team A looked away from team B, and I showed B a card with a verb written on it. They were to act out that verb without using words until I said STOP. When they had frozen in the position they were in when I stopped them, A got a chance to look at their positions and guess what they had been doing. When they guessed, they had to use the construction:
They were __________ing.

I used these words:
surf
eat
brush your teeth
drive
wash dishes
watch TV
play tennis
hunt
box
study English
clean house
shop
play baseball
ride a train
fall
shower

It went very well, and we all had a great time acting out and guessing. They were all natural-born actors, and used their bodies to express the ideas in very imaginitive ways. Fall was great! The actors chose brilliant positions, but the other team couldn’t guess what they were doing. The actors eventually got tired out from holding the positions, so they sat down while the other team tried to guess, which they eventually did. I thought watch TV would be very hard, but they guessed that one right away.

Lots of fun for these hams.

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4 comments on “Game for past progressive: Stop what you’re doing

  1. Alex Case says:

    That's a nice game. I've got a worksheet for something similar here:http://www.tefl.net/alexcase/worksheets/grammar/past-tenses/travel-mimes-past-cont/In terms of making it useful grammar practice, I think it is important to get them to say "When you shouted stop,…" at the beginning of each guess

  2. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the game!! My 6th graders loved it!- Oklahoma Teacher

  3. Daniel says:

    Happy you enjoyed it.

  4. Anonymous says:

    fantastic! so useful! I've been struggling to find something suitable to play for that tense! Cheers, Kat (albionalingua.com)

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