Matthew Smith Matthew Smith

Grammar Lesson - can and can't
Elementary level


In this lesson students learn about the use of can and can't to express possibility in the context of what you can do on holiday. In an earlier lesson students have listened to a conversation he meaning, form and pronunciation will be clarified using target sentences relating to holidays with a listening for students to practice understanding the difference in stress between positive and negative sentences. After a controlled practice gap fill exercise students will practice speaking using the target language in the context of choosing between which of 3 different language schools to travel to.


Abc Answer Key for gap fill
Abc Reading Signs can and can't exercise
Abc 3 sheets of information about fictional language schools in Australia
Abc gap -Fill exercise can and can't
Abc can and can't rules worksheet

Main Aims

  • To provide clarification and practice of of the use of can and can't to express possibility in the context of travel and holi

Subsidiary Aims

  • To provide speaking practice in a conversation using can and can't in the context of choosing a language school to travel to


Warmer/Lead-in (5-6 minutes) • To set lesson context of travel to Australia and things you can and can't do there and engage students

I Speak about that I am from Australia and that its summer time there now and in summer many Australians go to the beach. Refer to visuals - in some parts of Australia there are dangerous animals where you want to swim - elicit understanding of this from the students using the visuals. Students in groups of 3 or4 to discuss dangers in Turkey that might not make it possible to do things they like to do or normally do. Quick WC feedback from a couple of groups

Highlighting and Clarifiaction-Meaning (3-5 minutes) • To provide clarification of the meaning of the target language through the context.

Elicit the target sentences from the discussion in the lead -in and from the listening in the previous lesson - you can go on a boat trip -elicit meaning - it is possible to go on boat trip but not possible to stay on the island. Distinguish possibility from ability in the context of i can swim here vs I can swim - elicit the difference.

Clarification - form (5-6 minutes) • To draw students' attention to the form of the target language

Ask students to answer the questions on the worksheet. When finished ask then to check their answers in pairs. Clarify the + - and ? forms as part of WC feedback following PW writing it on the whiteboard if needed

Clarification- Pronunciation (8-10 minutes) • To clarify and practice pronunciation of the target language =

Ask students to listen to recording 8.2 and pay attention to the way we say can /kan/ and can't /ka:nt/ - elicit the stress is on can't . Model, drill and backchain + and - target sentence. Get students to practice listening for this - show worksheet - Ask students to listen and tick the sentence they here first. PW - check answers - quick WC feedback to check answers. Listen to recording 8.4- model and drill the question and answer forms noting use of schwa in the question and stress on both can and can't in the answers

Controlled Practice (4-5 minutes) • To concept check form and meaning and pronunciation and prepare students for more meaningful practice

Quickly clarify meaning of "rainforest" and 'national park" if needed. Ask students to work in pairs to complete the story of Mehmet by filling in the gaps with can or can't.Monitor - if all ok feedback handout answer key if not further clarification.

Semi-Controlled Practice -Speaking (15-20 minutes) • To practice speaking in conversation using the target language

Elicit/ Pre-teach accomodation, cafe and restaurant (if not taught in earlier lesson), library, study centre and course. Number students 1,2 and 3 and ask them to sit in 3 groups. Tell students "you are going to study English in Australia for 1 month in either Sydney, Melbourne or Cairns you have to decide which place. Say I am going to give each group information about one school only. Each group discusses what you can and can't do at each school - both for the place and the school. Give example 1 each of place and school -"At Cairns I can go fishing ". Tell students they can make notes if they want but they don't need to write full sentences. After a few minutes I ask them to stop and I renumber so every student in each of the 3 groups has a different number - form 5 or 6 groups of 3 all with information about a different school. Students take turns to tell their group in English what they can and can't do at their school. Teacher to model an example of this. Whole group then decides which school they go to - must all agree on one school WC feedback from each group their choice and why

Further Practice (5-7 minutes) • To provide students with furhter practice of the target language

IF THERE IS TIME - Reading signs exercise - Show the worksheet - ask students to work in pairs - read the signs and and answer the questions - WC Feedback

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