Keri Hughes Keri Hughes

GRAMMAR: modals of obligation, permission, & prohibition (past time) --- 3c | Bedrooms, pg. 30-31 ex. 1-4
Intermediate level


In this lesson, students learn about modals of obligation, permission, and prohibition. The lesson begins with a controlled practice exercise, in which students fill in the blanks in a matching exercise. Students proceed with a gap-fill exercise, then move on to freer practice at the end where they discuss the rules in their home when they were young.


Abc Family photos
Abc Photos of signage
Abc 3c | Bedrooms GRAMMAR Language Reference
Abc TP4 Guided Discovery Worksheet
Abc 3c | Bedrooms GRAMMAR exercises 1-4

Main Aims

  • To provide clarification of modals of obligation, permission, and prohibition in the context of bedrooms

Subsidiary Aims

  • To provide fluency speaking practice in a conversation in the context of household rules as a young child


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

Share a few family photos. Start with family standing in front of the house, end with our childhood bedroom. "With Andrew you just read about beds and bedrooms, right? With your partner/table, tell each other if you shared a bedroom growing up, or if you had your own bedroom? Did your parents make you clean your room?" Students briefly talk to each other about their bedrooms growing up. After a couple minutes, call on 2-3 people to answer the question about their partner.

Pre-Teaching (every cat does weird stuff) (2-4 minutes) • To draw students' attention to the target language

Hold up photos of the two signs (crossing/no crossing). Try to elicit the following target words: permission prohibition obligation "when the light is red, can we cross the street?" (no) "when the light is green, can we cross the street?" (yes) permission: e c d w s - elicit - "what do we say if someone *can* do something?" ...try to lead them a bit until they get there. If not, tell them the word. - concept check - when the light is red, do i have permission to cross the street? (no) when the light is green, do i have permission to cross the street? (yes) - drill - - write on board - permission (n): allowing someone to do something (can) - indicate stress and drill a couple more times prohibition: e c d w s - elicit - "what do we say if someone *can't* do something?" ...try to lead them a bit until they get there. If not, tell them the word. - concept check - Los Angeles announced a prohibition on smoking in restaurants. can people smoke in restaurants? (no) - drill - - write on board - prohibition (n): forbidding someone to do something (can't) - indicate stress and drill a couple more times obligation: e c d w s - elicit - now, what do we say when someone *must* do something? anyone know? (honestly, relying on Ender for this one. it is a word he knows) - concept check - when my sister visits me in Morocco, I have an obligation to keep her safe. do I *need* to keep her safe? (yes) - drill - - write on board - obligation (n): someone must do something - indicate stress and drill a couple more times

Exposure (8-10 minutes) • To provide context for the target language through a text or situation

Now take a look at the sentences given in the box for exercise 1. With your partner, match each of the four sentences with obligation, permission, prohibition, or no obligation. You have 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, have the students check with the rest of their table (1 minute). Then run through a quick feedback. If they answer one of the questions incorrectly, ask them why they chose that answer, and refer back to the meanings of obligation, permission, prohibition, no obligation.

Clarification (8-10 minutes) • To clarify the meaning, form and pronunciation of the target language

Now I want you to work with your partner again on the following exercises. First, answer questions a&b in exercise 1. Then, fill in the grammatical structures in exercise 2. You can use your reading and language reference sheet. You have 5 minutes. 1. Look at the following sentences from the text and answer the questions below with a partner: - You had to keep cooking smells away from bedrooms - Mehran wasn’t allowed to go through passport control a. Do the people have a choice in these sentences? (no) b. Do these describe commands the people must obey? (yes) 2. Using your reading and your Language Reference sheet, complete the grammatical structures below: Obligation: had to + infinitive Prohibition: _____________ + ____________ No obligation: _____________ + ____________ Permission: _____________ + ____________ After 5 minutes, quickly ask the students to fill in the structures on the board so they can check them (and remind them they have the Language reference sheet as well). CCQs: - Can we say “people could to smoke anywhere?” (no) - Can we say “she was allowed to stay out last night?” (yes)

Controlled Practice (8-10 minutes) • To concept check and prepare students for more meaningful practice

Now take a look at exercise 2. I want you to work alone, filling in the blanks with modals from the grammar box (point to the box on page 30, and language reference page 34). You have 5 minutes. 1. people ***couldn't*** give money to the poor (alt: ***weren't allowed to***) 2. you ***couldn't*** leave the building (alt: ***weren't allowed to***) 3. children under seven ***didn't have to*** work (alt: ***didn't need to***) 4. everyone else ***had to*** do twelve hours a day 5. you ***couldn't*** have your own possessions (alt: ***weren't allowed to***) 6. everyone ***had to*** wear a special uniform. 7. you ***could*** wash or shave only once a week. (alt: ***were allowed to***) 8. husbands and wives ***couldn't*** speak to each other (alt: ***weren't allowed to***) 9. they ***had to*** sleep in separate dormitories 10. the poor ***didn't have to*** live in these workhouses (alt: ***didn't need to***) Okay 1 minute to check with your tables. Feedback together as a class. CCQs 1. can husbands and wives sleep in the same room? (no) 2. is it okay to give money to the poor? (no) 3. poorer travellers didn’t need to get out of bed (no obligation) a. can they stay in bed? (yes) b. can they leave the bed? (yes) c. do they have a choice? (yes)

Free Practice (8-10 minutes) • To provide students with free practice of the target language

Free practice will combine exercises 3-4. First students work on their own. Have them look at the photo on page 31 and think for a couple minutes about the following questions: 1. did you sleep in a bed like this when you were younger? 2. what was your bedroom like? 3. what time did you have to go to bed? 4. were there any other rules that you had to follow as a child? Have the students discuss for 3-4 minutes, monitor each table, checking in to see if they're discussing. Then as a group, ask what were the rules in their home when they were a young child (exercise 4)? Use my family/childhood as an example: - We weren't allowed to (couldn't) watch cable TV. - We weren't allowed to eat in the den. - We had to be in bed by 9pm. - We couldn't watch more than 1 hour of TV. - We had to finish our homework. - We HAD to practice piano. - We had to finish our chores before going to bed. Have them discuss until the end of session. Ask students to tell about their partners if time allows (1-3 people).

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