Lesson Planning of Model Verbs(Can/May)


Lesson Planning of Verbs: Use of Can and May

Subject English

Grade 3rd

Students` Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrate use of the verb ‘can / can`t’ to show ability and inability.
  • Identify and use May / mayn`t for seeking or giving permission and prohibition.

Information for Teachers

  • ‘Can’ is used to express ability or to say that something is possible.
  • ‘Can’ is a modal verb. All the auxiliary verbs except ‘be’, ‘do’ and ‘have’ are called models.
  • Modal verb gives more information about the main verb that follows it.
  • We use the first form of verb after ‘can’, such as;
  1. I can speak English.
  2. You can solve this question.
  • To form the negative we add ‘not’ after can, as such;
  1. You can`t drive this bike.
  2. You can`t speak English.
  3. She can`t eat two burgers / apples.
  • ‘May’ is used in formal style to request for permission (in questions), giving permission (in affirmative sentences) and refusing permission (in negative sentences), such as;
  1. May I borrow your book for a day?
  2. You may have my book.
  3. You may not
  • While teaching the lesson, the teacher should also consult textbook at all steps where it is required.

Material / Resources

Writing board, chalk / marker, duster, charts, textbook, pictures of people doing actions (swimming, using computer, riding a horse, writing Chines, climbing tree / mountain


  • Show the students a picture of someone swimming. Ask the students:
  • What is he doing?(The students may answer: He is swimming)
  • Now tell them: He can swim. Stress the word ‘can’.
  • Show the students` pictures of different activities like writing, using a computer, climbing rocks / mountains, flying a plane, etc.
  • After showing each picture, ask the students: Can you swim / write / use computer / climb mountains, fly an aeroplane? Etc.
  • If, the students say ‘yes’, ask them to give a complete answer; I can swim / use computer, etc.
  • Ask the students if they know someone who can do these actions e.g. like their father, brother, or friend.


Activity 1

  • Write on the board:
  1. I can paint a picture.
  2. My grandfather can`t paint a picture.
  • Write 5 action words on the board. mage
  • Ask the students to take out their notebooks.
  • Tell students to write I can before each action if they can do it. Tell them to write I can`t if they can`t does it.

Activity 2

  • Ask the students:
  • May I open the window / door, please?
  • Use actions words for the students` understanding.
  • If the students say ‘yes’, tell them to say a complete sentence: you may open the window’.
  • Tell the students if they don`t want the door / window to be opened, they can refuse to give permission by saying: you mayn`t open the window / door.
  • Tell the students that we use ‘may’ to ask for permission to do something. It is considered polite to ask for permission.
  • Practice with more examples. Involve the students in the practice.

Activity 3

  • Write the following five sentences on the board. ask the students to copy the sentences in their notebooks. Tell the students to write ‘may’ if they want to give permission. Tell them to write ‘mayn`t’ if they don`t want to give permission.

a)      She ______________ eat my mangoes.

b)      He ______________ use my pencil.

c)      You ______________ read the book.

d)      Visitors’ ___________ feed the animals.

e)       Children ___________ play in the ground.


Sum up / Conclusion

  • Quickly review the lesson by asking the students questions:

a)      When do we use the verb ‘can’?

b)      When do we use the verb ‘can`t’?

c)      When do we use ‘may’ and ‘mayn`t’?

d)     Is it polite to use May / mayn`t?  



  • Assess the students` ability to use the verb ‘can / can`t’ through their correct responses during introduction and sum up.
  • Assess the students` ability to use ‘May / mayn`t’ for asking or giving permission or refusing during the oral activity 2.
  • Assess the students` ability to identify use of ‘May / mayn`t’ for asking or giving permission and refusing through the follow up activity.
  • Involve the students in solving the problems given in the exercise at the end of unit / chapter.

Follow up

  • Give students more sentences to practice use of can / can`t and may / mayn`t.
  • Ask the students to practice using may / mayn`t in the class. Tell them to ask for permission if they want to;
  • Go out of the class to drink water or use the toilet.
  • Come in the class.
  • Borrow something from each other.
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