How to teach the passive voice?


Passive voice lesson plan

In this lesson plan students will be able to use the passive voice appropriately and understand the changes that occur when transforming sentences from active voice to passive voice.

The activity

1. Draw a table on the board with two columns, one for active sentences and the other for passive ones.

Ask students about the languages people speak in France, The USA, Germany…

Write students answers in the active sentence column.

ActivePassive
Argentinians speak Spanish.
Americans speak English.
The French speak French.
Germans speak German.

2. Tell students that the same sentences can be written differently.

Example:

Argentinians speak SpanishSpanish is spoken by Argentinians.

3. Students work in small groups to note the changes that occur in the transformation of the sentence above.

Make sure that they notice the auxiliary verb “be” followed by the past participle of the main verb “speak” and the use of Spanish as a subject in the passive sentence while it was an object in the active structure.

4. Ask them to work in small groups to do the same transformations with the other sentences.

5. Class correction.

6. After understanding the formal changes that occur in the transformation of active sentences into passive ones, ask students if there is any difference between the active and passive voice as far as meaning is concerned.

Show students the difference between “Argentinians speak Spanish” and “Spanish is spoken by Argentinians”. They should notice that focus is shifted from Argentinians in the active sentence to Spanish in the passive sentence.

Students complete the above table with the following statements.

  • It is used to put emphasis on the doer of the action.
  • It is used to put emphasis on the action rather than the doer of the action.

The table should look like this:

ActivePassive
Argentinians speak Spanish.
Americans speak English.
The French speak French.
Germans speak German.
 Spanish is spoken by Argentinians
French is spoken by the French
German is spoken by Germans
 It is used to put emphasis on the doer of the action.It is used to put emphasis on the action rather than the doer of the action.

Conclusion

There are other formal transformations that are not covered by the present lesson plan such as the changes that may occur to the the auxiliary verb “be” in the different tenses.

Examples:

  • Dinner is being served.
  • Emails will be sent to the members.
  • The job has been done…

These can be introduced at a later stage.


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2 Responses

  1. Mobina says:

    tnx….
    wonderful:)

  2. Aarti says:

    Very nicely written

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