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Modals of Obligation in the past
Intermediate B1 level


In this lesson, T provides clarification and practice model verbs of obligation in the past form: had to, didn`t have to, was/were (not) allowed to and could (not). Ss will be exposed to the TL within a context of childhood memories of the T. They will play running dictation game. T hangs a text about her obligation and lack of obligation in the past, permission in the past, via showing some childhood photos on PPT. With some functional language like `In summer holidays when I was a child…` they will also write about the'r childhood by using the TL. This is followed by a task when each student think of the same experiences and complete some functional language sentences they can see on PPT page. This task is an opportunity for the real use of language. With this task they will be exposed to the meaning, form and pronunciation of the TL. After the awareness of the TL, they will match some pictures with some small paragraphs about the target language to practice the meaning of TL. Finally, Ss will work on three different role play tasks in three groups to provide fluency and accuracy of the TL.


Main Aims

  • To provide clarification and practice the meaning, the form and the pronunciation of model verbs of obligation in the past form: had to, didn`t have to, was/were (not) allowed to and could (not).
  • To provide fluency and accuracy of TL within the context of childhood memories.

Subsidiary Aims

  • To provide fluency of TL via a role play task within the context of situations of permission and obligations.
  • To provide product of TL in the context of obligations in the childhood.


Lead-in • To expose Ss to the TL via running dictation game within the context of childhood memories

- After "Hello! Good morning" to everyone, T open the first page on PPT for Ss to see some photos about her childhood, introduces her sister and her mom. -T hangs 3 paper on the WB next to her photos. Each of these 3 paper are a piece of a text T wrote about her childhood within the context of the TL, obligations in the past, in her childhood during her summer holiday. - T gives the instructions of the running dictation game: Half of the class are secretaries, sitting on their chair. Half of the class are runners. They will stand up. 2 runners for each paragraph run to the WB, reads the text and try to memorize all the sentences they read. They are free to go and read, then tell what they read to their secretaries. The group who finish first with the correct sentences will win. (Without being aware of it, runners will practice reading and pronunciation of the TL; secretaries will practice listening and writing of the TL. - T uses some ICQs for clear instructions.

Grammar Builder/Awareness and Clarification of TL (5 minutes) • To elicit the form/meaning and the pronounciation of the TL

- T opens the next page on PPT: The whole text of her childhood with underlined TL. - T clarifies the form and the meaning of some sentences from the text on the PPT page, by showing the parts of speech, how we use the verbs in modal verbs. CCQs for Grammar: In the summer when I was a child, I didn’t have to do my homework.  Was it necessary do my homework? No.  Did I need to do my homework? No. In the summer when I was a child, I wasn’t allowed to join my friends when they were going to cinema.  Was I permitted to join my friends? No.  Could I join my friends? No.  Was it my choice not to join my friends? No. In the summer when I was a child, I had to play with my sister when my mom was busy cooking.  Would there be a problem if I didn’t play with my sister? Yes.  Did I have a choice about not playing with my sister? No.  Was it an obligation? Yes. I couldn`t even read my books silently.  Did I want to read my books? Yes.  Was it possible for me to read my books? No.  Was I free to read my books? No.  Did my mom let me read my books? No.

Production of the TL • To get Ss to produce the TL as a meaningful practice within the context of their own childhood.

- T opens the text page on the PPT where Ss can see the useful phrases about the TL to create a short paragraph about their own childhood obligations in the summer. Summer holidays when you were a child… I had to…………………………………………. I didn’t have to……………………………. I couldn’t……………………………………… I wasn’t allowed to……………………….. I was allowed to………………………………. -T gives a colorful paper to each student to write their text. - Ss work independently while writing their sentences, then they will share it with the WC by hanging them on the walls. - T also gives Ss a task about reading each text: "Whose childhood was more under pressure of obligations?" - Then everybody reads each others' texts. T reads as well, takes notes and makes some error correction on the WB while they are reading. - Then Ss will choose their favorite text in terms of obligations. - Ss will see what kind of TL errors they make with the clarification of the T.

Learners' Self-Training via practice activity • To practice the TL

- T hands out the "circle the right answer" exercise to the Ss and let them work in pair by discussing which one is true and why. - When the Ss finish the task, a student from each pair comes to the WB and circle the right answers. Then everybody checks their answers on their handouts after T's feedback and error correction if necessary.

Speaking Activity: Role Play • To provide fluency of TL via a role play task within the context of situations of permission and obligations.

- T separates the class into 3 groups as pairs and gives each group a different situation paper which explains their role play subject. - T gives Ss time to thinks about what they want to say. They don't have to script the whole conversation but they are free to take notes. - There are 3 situations in this speaking activity and T lets them practice on their own. T moves around the groups and monitors them. - If Ss like acting these situations, then T gets one of the stronger pairs to present their role play in front of the class

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