After teaching students how to write for an audience and with a purpose and how to effectively evaluate point of view, I felt good about myself once again. I called my mom and told her what a smart son she had. Then I realized my students had no idea how to effectively maintain a personal voice while writing.
We were told that active sentences are more descriptive, more interesting, better choices for our writing. And while getting rid of the passive voice is a challenge that teachers to native speakers face, ESL teachers have an opposite challenge — teach students how to recognize and use the passive voice.
Because even though teachers tell their students not to use it, the reality is that they using voice in writing activities, and so your students will have to understand it as well.
Here are five simple activities you can use to practice the passive voice. Just walk into the classroom and go. All of these activities, however, will get your students using the passive voice and having fun while they do.
You will want to create a crime scene in your classroom. Think of a crime that could have been committed in your classroom.
Maybe the pencil sharpener attacked the garbage can or a fire breathing dragon tried to burn all the books in the classroom. Designate a corner of your room as the crime scene and put several clues in the crime scene area.
These clues can be anything, for example, a turned over chair, cookie crumbs on the ground, a torn piece of paper, footprints or paw prints on the floor, etc. If you want your students to solve a crime, then have an idea in your mind what happened and set up the scene accordingly.
If you are only going to use this activity to practice the passive voice, put any clues you want to in the area. Students will then role play the investigators for the crime.
They will investigate the scene noting the clues as they do. They should write their clues in the passive voice. The chair was turned over.
Footprints were left on the floor. Whatever creature of the night excites your students, use them to help your students distinguish sentences written in the passive voice. Start by giving students a list of ten sentences, half written in the passive voice and half written in the active voice.
You can either write these sentences yourself, which I recommend, or have students write their own sentences. Show students how to tell if a sentence is passive with this little trick. If they cannot add that phrase, the sentence is active. If your students are young enough to appreciate art in English class, have them rewrite the passive sentences including the mythical creature phrase and then illustrate their favorite sentence.
Display these illustrations with their passive sentences around your classroom. As a class, brainstorm as many different inventions necessary to modern life as possible. Then use that list of inventions in this combination grammar and reading activity.
Give students ten minutes to work with a partner on their smartphones or other technology devices this works best if you have Wi-Fi in class or can take your students to a computer lab and identify who masterminded each of their necessary inventions. For every inventor they find, they should write a sentence in the passive voice.
When you call time, award each pair one point for identifying the correct inventor and one point for writing a grammatical passive sentence. The pair with the most points wins the game. Take advantage of this universal blame game for a simple role play to practice the passive voice.
Choose two students to play the parents and two students to play the siblings, who will be placing all the guilt on each other. With the four students in the front of the class, have the parents ask their children about various negative situations around the house using the passive voice.
How was the lamp broken? The cookies were stolen by whom?identify verbs in a variety of contexts. analyze verbs to determine whether constructions rely on active or passive voice. draw conclusions about how to match active and passive voice to their writing situation.
choose verbs (active or passive) appropriate for the audience and purpose of their.
Step 4: End this sharing time with a group meeting where you challenge your students to continue using emotions to add voice to their writing from this point on.
Lesson Extensions Pre-select a variety of picture books with strong voice and emotion. 26 Responses to “Using the Active Voice to Strengthen Your Writing” Benjamin Baxter on June 03, pm.
Could you describe how Show, Not Tell, that mantra of modern English teachers, fits in with the passive voice? A couple weeks ago, we explored how to use passive and active voice in business lausannecongress2018.com you’ve read that post, you hopefully have a good handle on the basic definition and difference between active voice and passive voice sentences.
There are many ways that writers can add voice to their writing, including dialect, emotion, word choice, and ALL CAPS. Use with the lesson Using Font . Awhile ago, I wrote an article called, “Finding Your Blog’s Unique Voice.” In it, I explain that a blog needs a voice that is both exclusive and authentic.
Photo credit: Dan Foy (Creative Commons) But here, I want to share a little bit more about how to find your overall writing voice.