Past modals lesson plan: deduction and speculation

Past modals lesson plan deals with a  pretty important grammar point for the FCE and CAE students: using past modals for deduction and speculation. It is also suitable for upper-intermediate and advanced students. Past modals lesson plan might also be used for conversation or 1-1 classes as it offers a lot of speaking practice and works well with both smaller and bigger groups.

The Task

Use the presentation to introduce the topic, show examples and elicit some other from your students. Make sure your students understand the level of certainty each past modal implies:

must have happened= it surely happened

may/might have happened = maybe it happened

can’t have happened = it surely did not happen

Students use must / can’t/ might + Present Perfect to come up with logical explanations for pictures and situations. Encourage your students to be creative and pay special attention to the participle form of the verb. they might work in pairs or individually. At the end of the class, make sure to compare their answers and choose the best ones for each situation.

Personal Experience

This mini-lesson complemented the book content nicely and allowed the students to take some control over the language. My students enjoyed the visuals and contributed numerous (more or less) logical explanations using past modals. Some of them were really funny and I chose those to be put on the board for the rest of the class to copy.


Prezi Presentation


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