Can: Teachers' Quiz

Quiz the school's teachers on what they can and can't do

Note: This lesson may be used alongside the ‘Can’ chapter in either Hi Friends! or Eigo Note.

Students will need to have been introduced to the ‘Can you ~ ?’‘Yes, I can.’, and ‘No, I can’t.’grammar points.


In groups (lunch groups with do fine), students are given a worksheet, and a teacher who is regularly at the school. Anyone’s fair game, even if you’re fairly sure they don’t speak any English.

Having been taught how to use ‘Can you ~ ?’‘Yes, I can.’, and ‘No, I can’t.’ students must approach their given teacher, and ask a number of questions using grammar and verbs they’ve been taught: e.g. swim, play the piano, play badminton etc.

As a group, they’re to come up with two more interesting questions to ask. Some of mine included: dance like an octopus, eat ten hamburgers, and fly.

Students can return to class the next week with the information they’ve gleaned, and give a presentation as a group. How they present is up to you and their level, but you might want to try introducing ‘He/she/Mr. ~ /Mrs.  can ~ .’ if you’re ambitious.


Make sure that:

  • Students are using English as much as possible.
  • In cases where the teacher's English isn't so strong, the students be the teachers, and explain what they've learnt.
  • All members ask at least one question.
  • The school doesn't freak out at the prospect.


Comment from an ALT that tried this: 

Michael Atkinson

This was a huge success! I did this lesson with both my Elementary schools, with all 6th year students.
Some notes:

1st lesson took about 15-20 minutes to to quickly review, make groups, choose teacher, and think about the bonus questions.

2nd Lesson took the whole 45 minutes. The first 5-10 minutes I gave them an large piece (around B4 size) and told them they had to draw a picture of their teacher, and write their name in English. I also got them to go over the pictures with a black marker to make them easier to see.
While the students were busy with the pictures, I wrote the following layout on the board:

1. Hello
2. My teacher’s name is __________.
3. *Show the picture*
4. _________ can/can’t _______.
5. Thank you
(Say 1,2, and 5 together)

The next 5 minutes was to explain the layout. My students also needed to review how to say No 4.

Then I gave them around 10 minutes of practice time. I found in this time, I needed to go around to each group and run through it with them. If left to their own devices, they would worry more about the picture, or simply sit around talking. Make sure the students know that everybody has to say at least one piece of information from no. 4. Also make sure they know what order they will go in.

Last 15-20 minutes, they presented. Every single student from my schools said something in English in front of the class. This was a lesson worth doing.

*Final note: One of my schools collected each groups work and put it on a board in the hall. The students really enjoyed looking at other classes’ work. I may upload a picture later.

Lesson Topics