Normally, "While" is used when we want to indicate "a duration of time". "When" is used for indicating "a point of time."
1. while my father was reading a book , my mother was looking at the family album.
2. I was having a shower , when my friend broke my mother's favourite vase.
3. When the teacher came into the classroom ,some students were arguing with each other.
4. I arrived home , while all the guests were having tea and biscuits.
5. when she was a little girl , she visited her relatives with her mother.
6. I liked working in group and pairs , while I was a secondary school student.
7. while Sue was waiting for the 12 o'clock train , she met an old friend.
8. The Pearsons were having a large breakfast , when the doorbell rang.
9. My father was waiting in the car , while my mother was doing shopping.
10.What were you doing when the teacher looked at you suddenly.
11. When the train left , Thomas was rushing to the station.
12.The electricity went of , while we were watching a horror film.
13. While Mathew was going to the library , he saw a car accident on Mapple Street.
14.The baby boy started crying , while his mother was combing her hair.
15. While the mother was doing the washing up , the twins were sweeping the floor.
16.The sun was rising , when we reached the summit of the mountain.
17. When Susan entered the living room , everybody began singing 'Happy Birthday'.
18.Mr.Robinson fell off the tree while he was looking at the little bird's nest.
19. When I dropped the vase , it broke into pieces.
Complete the sentences with 'Past Simple' or 'Past Continuous' using the verbs in brackets.
1. Mr.Thompson was driving (drive) very fast when he hit a tree.
2. Jack was milking (milk) the cows when a stranger came into the barn.
3. Susan saw (see) the burglar while he was rushing into his car.
4. My uncle was listening (listen) to the radio when the earthquake happened.
5. The old lady was trying to cross the street when a boy offered (offer) help.
6. All the children were sleeping (sleep) when their father opened the front door.
7. While Mr.Triump was fixing (fix) the television , he fell asleep.
8. Tina was playing with her dolls when her brother finished (finish) his homework.
You can also say "was finishing". It gives a different but correct meaning.
9. I was working on the Science project when you came (come) into the room with a big chocolate cake in your hand.
10.The children were playing (play) tennis when their grandmother called them for lunch.
11.Jack and Steven were having dinner (have dinner) when they heard a strange noise.
12.My brother was tidying the bookcase while I was making (make) the beds.
13.What were you doing (you do) when your father came home from work?
14.Who spoke (speak) while the teacher was introducing the new subject?
here "was speaking" also perhaps right, but gives a different meaning.
15.I suddenly fell down (fall down) while I was running away from the monster in my dream.I shouted (shout) when it caught my hand.
16.Mary looked (look) out of the window
Here "was looking" also makes sense.