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Yes, We Can


SUBMITTED BY: Darnell Morris / Mark Best



GRAMMAR: 'Can' Helping Verb

EXAMPLE: You can do this activity.

DATE ADDED: Apr 12, 2010




05-30 min.


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BRIEF OUTLINE: This activity is a partner search/match game, but with funny cards and a different ending.





  1. Hand out the cards, tell the students to keep them a secret for now and review any vocabulary if you need to.
  2. Tell them alone, only "you can!", but together "we can!" and get them fired up to find a partner who can do the same thing as them.
  3. This activity is a partner search, so tell students to walk around and ask people "Can you...?", and they must respond with "Yes, I can." or "No, I can't."
  4. Once they find a partner, the pair comes to one of the teachers and give the teacher their cards. The teacher asks the pair if they can do what it says on the card, and they must reply together "Yes, we can!"



  • There are 14 cards, so one pair works for 28 kids. For larger classes or combined classes, make it a "group search" game, and they must find all 3-4 members.
  • I have included the Obama heads I edited in case you would like to make your own cards: "I can become Jesus." "I can oppress Conservative Fundamentalist values." etc.



  • President Obama's famous "Yes we can!" is still very popular in Japan, and children will probably be familiar with it. Ironically, very few people I have met in Japan, children and adults, do not have any idea what this basic sentence means outside of its context.
  • This is best used toward the end of a "can" grammar session or as a review. Students should have already learned "I can...", and hopefully a few verbs that are used with it: play, ride, cook, etc.
  • Really ham it up. Imagine you're a baptist preacher or something and yell out "Yes we can!" a lot and get them to repeat after you. Children will love this and is quite hilarious/horrifying depending on if you are a democrat/republican.
  • You could print out a bunch of Obama faces and have the students wear them as masks for additional humor/horror.
  • Just do anything you can to rile them up. Also, have any finished partners stay standing and once everyone is done ask them "Can you sit down?!" and as a class they must reply, "Yes We Can!"



  • Boring classes are boring. There's nothing much you can do if kids are inherently unresponsive. This works great in classes with good kids.







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