English grammar may sometimes be quite complicated for language learners especially when they do not have this or that phenomenon in their first language. It also brings difficulties to the ESL teachers, as they are to find proper ways to explain the grammar and interesting ways to practice it. This refers to Passive voice as well perhaps because of different tense forms. Here you can download a map of Passive voice which will, by no means, make learning procedure easier. In one of our previous articles, we have already presented Passive Voice Speaking activities. And now taking into account the importance of teaching Passive Voice to the ESL learners, we have collected fun activities to practise this grammar material with your students.
Change the objects
To carry out this activity, you need to divide your students into two groups. Then choose one student from each group and ask them to go out of the classroom. Have the members of the group change the places of the objects in the classroom putting them into unusual places. For example, they can put their classmate’s bag on the teacher’s desk, the chairs — next to the board, the textbook — on the floor, etc.
After they change the places of the objects, ask the two students to come into the classroom. They must guess what has been changed there and make up sentences with Passive Voice. e.g. “The bag was put on the desk”, “The vase was broken”, “The window is being opened”, etc. The player who makes up more correct sentences with Passive Voice becomes the winner.
If your students are interested in inventions, novelties, and technologies, then this game will suit them best. Here, learners brainstorm as many different inventions, as possible. They are given 5 minutes to find details about these inventions — who invented them, where were they invented, when were they invented, etc. When the time is off, they are invited to tell the information about these things using Passive Voice, e.g. “The wheel was invented by Mesopotamians around 3500 B.C.”, “The earliest compasses were made of lodestone in China between 300 and 200 B.C.”.
The game can be played either with pairs or in groups. First of all, you need to prepare several cards with ‘name three’ and then cut them out.
Name three ingredients that ______ (use) in baking a birthday cake.
Name three vegetables that _____ (grow) in China.
Name three books that _____ (make) into films.
Name three countries that _____ (situate) in Asia.
Name three languages that ______ (speak) in the ancient times.
Give each student or group a set of cards. Students pick up a card and make a ‘Name three’ question sentences by filling in the gaps with the Passive form of the verb. Then the student reads out the question. The opponent must answer the question naming three things that belong to this category.
Mill — drill
A “Find someone who” is a mingling activity in which students are given a task, such as “Find someone who was given flowers on his/her birthday”, “Find someone who was awarded a prize”, etc. Then students ask their classmates questions in the passive voice: “Were you given flowers on your birthday?” and then record the name of whoever they find that was. They can also ask follow-up questions, such as “What flowers were you given?”, etc.
Blame it on your sibling
Set up your students in small groups to role play as a family. Have two students in each group play the siblings, and one or two as parents. Have them swap roles regularly. Give the parents prompt questions such as “How was the vase broken?”. Have the siblings blame each other using passive voice such as “It was broken by Jane”, “No, it was broken accidentally”, etc.
When you completely cover this grammar material and have lots of practice, send the test to check their knowledge on Passive Voice.
Hopefully, the activities will turn out to be effective in your classes as well. And neither you nor your students will face any obstacles while coming across Passive Voice constructions.