Christmas- Modals of deduction - Teachers' Notes


Level: Intermediate
Topic: General
Grammar Topic: Modals
Type: Lesson Plans
Submitted by:
Published: 3rd Dec 2007

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Lesson Plan Text


Teacher’s instructions 

Cut the individual countries out so that the name of the country is at the bottom of each sheet (You don’t 

need to cut along each line).   

There are two choices about how to arrange the game, in groups or as a whole class: 

Groupwork game (Reading and speaking) 

If you are arranging it by groups and you have a class that can’t be trusted not to cheat, you will need to 

cut the names of the countries off at the bottom. Give one country out to each group and get them to read 

it a sentence at a time (folding or covering the rest of the text so they can only read one) and try to make 

correct modals of deduction sentences (there are gapped sentences to help them in brackets on some lines). 

When they have finished, give them the name of the country, ask them what their modals of deduction 

sentences were, tell them which ones were possible and give them a new country to continue the same 

activity with.   

As an extension, they can then move onto to testing another team with the countries they have been given, 

selecting which country and which order to give the clues in to make it as difficult as possible. They 

could also use their own hints if they know any countries well enough. 


Whole class game (Listening and Speaking) 

If you are arranging it as a whole class game, you can read out the sentences one by one and let students 

or teams of students try to make modals of deductions sentences that match it, e.g. “That country can’t be 

Russia because they have Xmas on a different day”. Note that not every sentence is only true for that 

country, so students will need to make sure that they are certain that the sentences only count for one 

country in the world before they use “must”. You can also let them use “probably” and “almost certainly” 

for times when they are almost that sure. Give one point for each deduction that stands up to the facts and 

logic. If any team can tell you why someone else’s sentence is wrong with a sentence using a modal (e.g. 

“It can’t be Mali, because it never snows”) they can also score one point.   


Written by Alex Case for © 2007 

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