Passive Voice Grammar Game

I find a lot of the passive voice lesson plans involve worksheets and fill in the blank. Students can only change passive to active and the reverse so many times before they fall asleep.

Here is a good game to help students practice the passive voice and add some fun. This works as a review or as a practice activity in a grammar class.  

The idea is to make a competition of forming sentences and questions in the passive voice.

Here are the instructions for the game:

1.  Make a table of all the verb tenses the students know and use. The categories do not all need to be verb tenses. You can also use categories like modal verbs, questions, negatives, etc. Make 3-4 sections worth 1, 2, 3, and 4 points respectively. So for example:

  • Simple Past - 1
  • Simple Future - 2
  • Present Perfect - 3

2.  Make a second table filled with verbs. Make sure the verbs can be used in the passive voice (e.g. kick, hit, eat, not happen, occur, or arrive).

3.  Place students into groups of 2-3.

4.  The groups must choose a verb tense and a verb. They then make make a sentence in the passive voice. For example:

  • Simple Past, Eat: The cake was eaten by Morris.

5.  As the groups complete sentences, they receive points. Erase the verb from the board and ask the next group. The game becomes increasingly difficult as the more familiar verbs are eliminated.

Here are some examples with possible point values:

  • The cake has been eaten. (3 points) 
  • The computer will be fixed tomorrow. (2 points) 
  • The kitchen wasn’t cleaned yesterday. (1 point)

This passive voice game works well because the teacher can adapt the categories and verbs depending on the students' abilities.

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