Modal Verbs Lesson Plan

Instructor: Kristen Goode

Kristen has been an educator for 25+ years - as a classroom teacher, a school administrator, and a university instructor. She holds a doctorate in Education Leadership.

What are modal verbs and how are they used? In this lesson plan, students will learn about modal verbs and participate in a writing activity that emphasizes the use of modal verbs.

Learning Objectives

By the conclusion of this lesson plan, students will be able to:

  • Identify modal verbs
  • Use modal verbs in writing


30-60 minutes

Curriculum Standards


Use modal auxiliaries (e.g., can, may, must) to convey various conditions.


Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.


  • Access to the video lesson, Modal Auxiliary Verbs: Definition, Uses & Examples and quiz
  • Printed copies of the video lesson transcript (8-10 copies)
  • Writing supplies (pen and paper or computer)
  • Index cards with written group activity instructions (see group activity explanation below)


  • Begin with a basic review of verbs.
    • What are verbs?
    • How are they used in sentences?
    • What are some examples?
  • Introduce the lesson by explaining that students will now be learning about modal verbs.
  • Show the video lesson.
  • Once students have seen the video, discuss:
    • What are modal verbs? What are modal verbs used to indicate? (Answer: necessity, capability, willingness, or possibility.)
    • How are modal verbs different than regular verbs?
    • What are some examples of modal verbs?
    • Can modal verbs be used alone (without the support of a regular verb)? Why or why not?
    • How can modal verbs be used to indicate past tense?
  • Check for understanding:
    • Review and discuss each of the learning outcomes.
    • Answer any questions students might have.
    • Administer the online quiz.


To reinforce learning, guide students through the following activity:

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