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Modal verbs of prediction and probability-- Detectives
Upper-Intermediate level


In this lesson, student will learn about modal verbs when making a prediction or assessing probability in the context of abnormal things/situations. I will use guided discovery within the Teach-Test-Teach structure, and apply more accuracy speaking if 60% of Ss do well on the first test.


Abc Tick the probability HO
Abc Level of probability HO

Main Aims

  • To provide practice of model verbs of probability and prediction in the context of abnormal things/situations

Subsidiary Aims

  • To provide accuracy speaking practice in a conversation in the context of making predictions


Test #1 (5-7 minutes) • To gauge students' prior knowledge of the target language

"Do we remember modals?" Yes/No. - T will write should, could, must, ought to, may, might on the WB Probability: CCQ: If something is probably going to happen: Am I sure that it will happen? No. Could it happen? Yes. "Alright, this is a test, so do it alone - ticket the sentences that express probability and x the sentences that don't." - T will monitor Ss to see what percentage of students get the answers mostly correct -- Fewer than 60%: Ss will complete the headline prediction/reading activity -- 60%: Will skip the headline activity and complete a semi-controlled activity (abandoned building experience focused on accuracy speaking) FB: Check your answers with a partner. Did you get the same thing? - Peer teaching is used in this case - An AK will be written at the end of the lesson so Ss can look over Test #1 and see what they learned from the lesson compared to what they already knew

Warmer/Lead-in (2-4 minutes) • To set lesson context and engage students

T will write modal verbs on the side of the WB (could, will, might, may, will, should) and pause the video Lucky People Compilation [3:02] "Using modals of probability/prediction, what do you think is going to happen?" -Ss describe the scene -- The car MIGHT/WILL/MAY hit the people -- The cars MIGHT get into an accident and then hit the people T will play the video and as Ss whether they were correct.

Teach (6-12 minutes) • To clarify areas of the target language where students had difficulty in the first test stage

(Guided discovery) Instructions: "Work in pairs and complete the HO. You are deciding whether the sentence is certain or a possibility." Clarification: b. Are they definitely moving to Oxford? No. k. Do we know for sure that he'll pass the exam? No. h. Where is the modal verb? Could say 'haven't,' provide clarification CCQs: Are modal verbs used to express something definite, or that we know for sure? No. [T will draw past/present/negative chart on WB] Present: He may be famous. Past: He might have been trying to fly. Negative: He can't be serious. --Do we all agree with these? Give Ss an opportunity to ask questions

Test #2 (8-12 minutes) • Check students' use of the target language again and compare with the first test

Project HO on WB Instructions: "Work alone. Read the sentence and use the words in the brackets to respond to the statement." - T will go over example at top of HO ICQs: Are you writing whatever you want? No. Are you writing something in response to the sentence? Yes. FB: T will have Ss check their answers in pairs and elicit answers from Ss. "There is no right/wrong answer, as long as you use the modal verb correctly. FB from Test#1: T will write AK from test 1 on WB [bx, dx, gx, hx, jx, mx] "Check your answers from the first handout and see what you have learned that you didn't know before."

Free practice (12-20 minutes) • To provide students with free practice of the target language

While Ss are completing Test #2, T will stick 4 photos/prompts around the classroom. Instructions: "There are some really strange things going on -- make your way around the room and write a prediction as to what happened USING MODAL VERBS. You must write one sentence for each picture." ICQ: Are you all going to the same picture first? No. (You don't have to start at #1, just make sure you get to all 4). FB: T will either monitor for sample sentences or have 4 students write their sentences on the WB (1 each). - Will go through the sentences with the class, pointing out the modal verbs, asking questions of probability, and correcting errors

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