modal verbs

Lesson/Unit Summary: The four target modal verbs might, could, should and must are presented in the context of a robbery case. Students take the role of newly recruited police officers and help solve the case. They need to learn how to extract clues from the evidence by analyzing the degrees of certainty of the selected modal verbs. Students then use the appropriate modal verbs to complete witness reports and the suspects’ reflections. An extended task, which includes news reading, gives students further opportunities to use the target modal verbs to write creatively a criminal’s reflection.  

Level of Students: Junior Secondary

Lesson Duration: 75 mins

Learning Objectives:

By the end of the lessons, students will be able to: 

1. Use should and must to express obligations;

2. Demonstrate an understanding of the use of modal verbs might, could, should and must to express different levels of possibility;

3. Read a police report, identify the modal verbs used and tell the different levels of possibility indicated;

4. Write a recount for a suspect using might, could, should or must.

Lesson Plan: Modal Verbs (Junior Secondary)

Teaching Materials: 

Useful Websites:


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To cite this resource:

Yeung, C. Y. A., Siu, K. K. K., & Lee, F. K. J. (2020). Modal verbs. Retrieved from

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