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How to teach modal verbs (Year 5)

Unit 8


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A quick refresher in modal verbs reminds us how they can be used to show possibilities, certainty and obligation in a sentence, and that they are auxiliary verbs. From here Rachel goes on to look at how verbs can be categorised as ‘doing’, ‘being’, or ‘having verbs’ - and that the verb ‘to be’ and ‘to have’ can take many forms. Three different examples are used to demonstrate how auxiliary verbs can subtly change the meaning of a sentence, which leads to looking at the 10 model verbs, which are a particular group of auxiliary verbs. Putting this into practice, we experiment with how different model verbs imply different meanings, and their place within different types of texts - e.g. a good piece of persuasive writing.

Course Materials:

Presentation Slides - Download

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Training Handout - Download

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Rachel Clarke

Directory of the Primary English literacy consultancy, Rachel has over 20 years’ experience in primary education, in which time she has been a SENCO, English subject lead and deputy headteacher. She previously worked as an English consultant for Coventry Local Authority and has written for publishers including Collins and Teach Primary magazine.

About the Course

Whether you’re looking to teach joining words with ‘and’ in Year 1, or you need your Year 6s to recognise the subjunctive form, this series of grammar videos from Rachel Clarke will arm you with some excellent strategies.

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