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Grammar Lesson Plan

Passive Voice

Teacher's Name: Ru-yi Rebecca Wang
Presentation Date: Nov 21, 1996
Learners' Age & Language Proficiency level: low-intermediate adults Language


Materials needed:

Learning/Teaching Activities:


Ask the students two questions and write down the answers on (3 mins.) the blackboard with active voice. The answers may be:

1. People speak Japanese in Japan.
2. Shakespeare wrote Romeo and Juliet.

Tell the students there is another way to say the two sentences.


Rewrite them with passive voice. Then ask the students what the (20 mins) difference is. The form of passive voice (be + p.p) is thus introduced.

Next, explain the usage of "by whom" and the purpose of passive voice. To check comprehension, show the students pictures of J. F. Kennedy himself and the scene where he was killed. Ask:

1. By whom was he killed?
2. When was he killed?

To clarify the difference of active voice and passive voice, tell a short story: "John saw a pretty girl. He went to talk to her. Her husband arrived. The husband hit John on the nose." While telling it, ask them what would happen next. After the story is finished, ask two questions:

1. What did the husband do? (Active voice is used in the answer.)
2. What happened to John? (Passive voice is used in the answer.)


1. Have several students take turns throwing a ball to another classmate. Ask (20 mins) individual student to describe the action with passive voice: The ball was thrown by A to B.

2. Pair work. Each student is given a picture card and has to say a sentence to his or her partner to describe the picture with passive voice. After that, every student has to stand up and describe his or her partner's picture.


Tell the students to pay attention to passive voice used in newspapers, (2 mins) magazines, or any articles they will read. They may bring the examples they find to class.


Give the students handouts of chocolate chip cookies and ask them to try to (5 mins) change the steps into sentences with passive voice. Or they can choose any other process to work on, such as a physics experiment.

Evaluation of Learning:

This is done during the practice stage when the students produce sentences with passive voice. When some students make mistakes, it is time for the teacher to restate the basic form of passive voice. The homework is a kind of evaluation, too.

Contingency Plan:

Have several students follow the teacher's direction to change the position of several things in the classroom. Then ask the rest of class to describe the change with passive voice.

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1997 © Dr. Lynn E. Henrichsen
Department of Linguistics
Brigham Young University
Last Updated: Saturday, June 7, 1997