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Recently, I was looking for a music video by a band called 5 Seconds of Summer when I stumbled upon a short video with the same name as the song I was looking for. I figured I could use it in my private practice and I would like to share my idea with you.

Here’s what you need to do:

1) Start the lesson by asking your students some simple questions
1. What do you think is the best age to be?
2. What age do you want to live to?
3. What things were you taught by your older family members? How have they been useful to you in your life?
4. Are there many things that the old can teach the young or are they out of touch by the time they reach a certain age?

Ask your students to give reasons for their opinions about age.

2) Ask your students to work in pairs and share a few things they liked before but don’t like now, as well as things they disliked before but now enjoy.
Get feedback by asking if they’ve had any common things that they like or dislike now.
As a conclusion, ask your students if they think that as the years go by, they’ve changed a lot and whether they see these changes as positive or negative ones.

3) To set your students up for the video, you should introduce them to the subtopic of it, which is chess. You can do that by asking them some questions like:
1. Do you like playing chess?
2. How often do you play it?
3. Do you consider yourself good at it?
4. What kind of benefits can playing chess give to people

4) After the discussion, print out pictures of the chess pieces and their names and have students match the names to the pictures. Get feedback from them.

5) To give them extra practice, have them write down the name of the chess piece next to the descriptions about them.

As an extension, you can ask your students which chess piece they like playing with the most and why.

6) Tell your students that they’re going to watch a video about chess and different generations. Pause the video at 0:17 and 3:00 and ask your students what they think is going to happen next. Pause the video at 3:11 and ask your students why they think the man asked Youngblood for money.

7) Once your students have finished watching the video, ask them what they think of both players’ behavior and how they would act if they were in Youngblood’s shoes.

8) Give your students statements based on what they’ve just seen and ask them to correct the ones that are false.

9) Once your students are done with the statements, you can have them discuss the following questions in groups:

1. What does a person’s age tell us?
2. Do you respect the elderly? How do you show your respect?
3. Are people from the older generation always wiser and right in their ways of thinking and choices? Why/Why not?
4. Are young people less polite than they used to be? Why/Why not?
5. Do you ever give advice to people who are younger than you? If so, what advice do you usually give them?
6. Do you think the difference in age allows the older generation to have more authority in their relationships with younger people?
7. Oscar Wilde said, “I’m not young enough to know everything”. What do you think he meant?

Get feedback from your students if you have enough time or, alternatively, ask them which questions they disagreed about and why.

10) After this activity I decided to elicit what students had already known about modals of deduction so I turned on the video again and paused it at specific times to ask them to choose the right verb. Print out the sentences below. Tell your students to watch the video and choose the right answers each time you pause the video. Ask them why they chose their answers.

0:23 – This man could / can’t be an experienced player.
0:32 – Youngblood must / can’t be good at chess.
1:07 – The man should / must have lost his confidence.
1:22 – The man can’t / may not want to admit that he lost.
1:34 – The man must / can’t be serious. That’s not how people play chess!
1:45 – The man can’t / must really hate losing.
2:00 – The man can’t / must know the rules of the game.
2:17 – Youngblood might / must be showing respect for the man.
2:42 – Everybody may / must be sure by now that the man doesn’t know how to play.
3:04 – Youngblood must / might be surprised that the man asked him for money.

11) Write down must, might, could, may and can’t on the board and tell your students that they can use these verbs to make deductions about what’s happening. Ask your students which modal verbs are used to:
• talk about something they believe is true.
• talk about something they think is possible.
• talk about something that they believe is not true.
Ask your students if they can make deductions with can or mustn’t.
Tell your students that when making deductions about states they need to use the modal verb with the bare infinitive, while when making deductions about something that’s happening at the moment they should use the modal verb with the verb “be” and a gerund. Write down the form on the board.

12) Give them a handout of the notes I’ve taken from the video. Ask them to choose which modal verb they’d use and explain why.

13) Give your students the situations below. Ask them to make deductions about the people in them and the reasons why they acted in a particular manner. Ask them to work in groups of 3, discuss the situations and tell their partners how they could make things better.

1) Your colleague listens to music popular in his youth and keeps complaining about the modern music that you listen to.
2) Your father just bought a new computer and you can tell from the specs that he paid too much for it.
3) You want to go to the cinema with your friends to watch a new movie but they ask you why you can’t just download it and watch it from home.
4) Your friend is telling his son to find a government job but his son wants to chase his dreams and make a job out of his hobby.
5) Your grandparents live far away from you. You want them to use an app to have video chats with them but they prefer talking on the phone.
6) You ordered a pizza and it was delivered to you 2 hours later. You left a negative review online and the owner of the pizzeria called you to apologize and sent you a free pizza. You tell your parents about the situation and they’re disappointed in you.

You can give them some examples of how to do the activity, e.g.

He must have special feelings about the music he listens to.
might ignore modern music and not even give it a chance.
may need to talk about the music we listen to.
might like the same songs.

Once your students have gone through all the situations, ask them which deductions they made for each situation and which solution for each situation they thought was the best one in their group and why.
You can have your class vote on the best solutions among all the groups.

And there you have it. A natural way for your students to learn the names of the chess pieces and practice using modal verbs for making deductions.

I hope you’ll find this lesson useful in your practice and feel free to share your ideas on how to make it even better. See you next Saturday! 🙂

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