Ability using Can
Elementary level


In this lesson, student learn about expressing ability through the use of can/can't in the context of listening to people playing musical instruments, dancing and singing.


Abc Audio
Abc New English File Oxford
Abc Handouts
Abc Youtube video

Main Aims

  • By the end of the lesson, students will have practiced can and can’t to express ability. This aim will be achieved by some controlled and feerer exercises

Subsidiary Aims

  • To provide the students with the opportunity to practice speaking for fluency using the target language (can and can’t) to express ability


Warmer/Lead-in (3-5 minutes) • To set lesson context and engage students

I will begin by talking about people's ability to sing. I will show them a video about ِِArab Got Talent TV show and ask them questions about the winner to get them engaged. Ask them questions such as: 1- Do you know who was the winner? 2- Does he deserve to win? 3- Why? 4- What's of his songs do you like the most?

Setting Context (1-2 minutes) • To introduce the topic to students

I will tell them to listen to three people playing musical instruments, dancing and singing.

Pre-teach Vocabulary (2-5 minutes) • To teach students blocking words

I will tell students that in the Arab Got Talent there were three contestants in the final stage of the season. They were Farah, Ahmed Gamal and Mohamed Assaf. I will tell them that Mohamed Assaf won because he can sing very well. Ahmed Gamal and Farah didn't win but they can sing quite well. The vocabulary needed here 1- very well 2- quite well

Highlighting (5-10 minutes) • To draw students' attention to the target language

Demonstrate exercise b very carefully; tell students that they will listen to the audio file and that they will have to complete the information missing in the 8 sentences, by typing in the name of the person who can or can't sing, dance or play the guitar. Ask ICQs: 1- Are you going to listen or write? listen first then write Give them time to listen and complete the exercise. Monitor students as they do the exercise. Students check answers in pairs. Provide the answers and ask them who the winner is.

Language Analysis (4-6 minutes) • To clarify the meaning, form and pronunciation of the task language

Ask students to read three sentences from the exercise (namely 1, 5 and 7). Ask CCQs on every sentence to help them understand the use of can and can't in the context. The first sentence CCQs: 1- Is Jude able to play the guitar? Yes 2- Is it difficult for Jude to play the guitar? No 3- How well? quite well The second sentence CCQs: 1- Is Gareth able to dance? No 2- Is it difficult for him? Yes The third sentence CCQs: 1- Is Jude able to sing? Yes 2- Is it easy for her? Yes Pronounce the three sentences to the students and show them that for the affirmative sentences the stress is on the main verb, and for the negative the stress is on can't. Drill the sentences and drill the weak form of can /kən/ analyze two sentences to the students on the board. Draw a table around the sentences and show them parts of speech.

Controlled Practice (4-6 minutes) • To provide students with practice of the task language

Give students sheets with two exercises and ask them ICQs to make sure they understand task at hand. Explain the first exercise to students and tell them that they have to write three sentences for each part of the exercise. Ask the following ICQs: 1- Are you going to listen or write? listen 2- How many sentences are you going to write? three Monitor students and help struggled students. Ask students to work in pairs to check their answers. Provide them with the answer key. Same procedure for exercise two.

Freer Practice (5-7 minutes) • To engage students in a freer practice to produce language and practice for fluency

I will ask students to write four sentences down on a piece of paper using can and can't. They will not write their names on them. I will collect the pieces and on put on the floor then I will give them five minutes to go around the class to find out the person who wrote the sentences. The winner is the fastest who can find who wrote the sentences. I will demonstrate with an example and use ICQs to make sure they understood the exercise.

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