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Year 5 Modal Verbs Story Starters Grammar Worksheets

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This teaching sequence has been designed to help children revisit and recall a key grammatical concept, ‘modal verbs’, from the National Curriculum programme of study for Y5.

The session provides a motivating and memorable image to stimulate discussion, before introducing modal verbs.

Children have time to practise using this feature, before undertaking a short writing task to apply what they have learnt in the context of creative writing.

This primary resource includes:

  • Modal verbs image prompt
    Use the image provided to think about what’s just happened, and how you would feel if you were the sailor who had just escaped a sinking ship
  • Grammar challenge
    Rewrite the sentences about the image using modal verbs to make the statements more likely to happen
  • Writing challenge
    Write a story from the sailor’s point of view. Include what led you to have the accident and continue the story up to the point in the picture and beyond. Make sure to include modal verbs to show how the sailor feels at different points in the narrative
  • Teacher’s notes

Activities include SATs-style questions and opportunities for creative writing responses, with eye-catching images as prompts.

What is a modal verb?

Modal verbs are verbs that indicate things like the likelihood, need or ability to do something. In other words, they indicate modality: permission, request, capacity, suggestions, order, obligation, advice etc.

Modal verb examples

Could, would, should, may, might, must, mustn’t, can, can’t, will, won’t, ought to

National Curriculum English programme of study links

Using modal verbs or adverbs to indicate degrees of possibility

  • teacher notes
  • pupil worksheets
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