Can = To be able to...

The objective is for students to practise using the grammar point "Can = To be able to" while having fun with English.
  • Separate the class into two teams according to gender (males / females) and have each team form a circle.
  • Put a desk in the centre of each group, with a beautifully decorated box on top. In this box, there should be many folded up small strips of paper with a question on almost all of them, those left empty are called freedom sheets, these will give the students an opportunity to be creative and make their own questions or statements.

Examples of questions are:

Can you sing?

Can you stand on one leg?

Can you cook?

Can you dance?

Can you say the alphabet?

Can you count backwards (10 to 1)?

Can you play baseball?

Can you read English?

Can you speak French?

  • Each team should then be given a ball and instructed to pass the ball in an orderly fashion when the music begins. The person holding the ball when the music stops will be the team representative for that particular round. In essence this person is required to pick a question from the box and answer it with the help of other team members.

Note: This Game operates on a point system basis:

  • How to gain and lose points – When the music stops, the person who is holding the ball from each team should pick a folded sheet from out of the box placed in the centre of their circle. The teams should take turns to answer. For example: The representative from the girls’ team should pick a folded sheet, she then reads it aloud for the entire class to hear – “Can you dance?”.  Then she must answer the question in 10 seconds using “able to” If she says “Yes, I am able to dance,”  The entire team has to dance, If there are 10 people on the team and 9 dance and one doesn’t, the entire team loses the point that was just gained from the correct answer given. If they all dance they keep the point. If the answer is incorrect, the group loses 1 point from the points already gained.

If the representative says no, “I’m not able to dance” then the group gets the point without having to dance.

(Note: Japanese students from my experience tend to be honest; they won’t say, “no I can’t” if they can, which is good for this game. )

After the first team goes, then it’s the other team’s turn.

  • The Game continues until the final round, which is called the BONUS ROUND. In this round, when the music stops, and the student from each team who was holding the ball at the time attempts to take a paper from out of the box, there is a surprise and they are instructed to look at the bottom of the box where there is a special bit of paper taped to the bottom.

This paper should have a question asking them if they can do something that will take a lot of motivation from their team members to do.

Example: “Can you Jump like a frog?” or, “Can you bark like a dog?”

If the team answers the question correctly and is able to execute the task, they are given their bonus of 5 points, if not, they lose the same amount of points.

  • Then winner is announced!

This game can be adjusted to suit other lesson topics for other grades as well.

Junior High
CD player, Up tempo music from your country, 2 basketballs, small strips of pape, 2 small well decorated boxesr