Subject: ESL/ELL (English Language Learning)

Lesson Length: 30 - 45 mins

Topic: Active and Passive Voice

Grade Level: 6, 7, 8

Standards / Framework:

Brief Description: In this lesson, students will have the opportunity to practice using both active and passive voices.

Know Before You Start: Students should be able to identify the subject in a sentence.

Hook:

  • Read and discuss panels one and two of the sample comic.

  • Remind students that in English, verbs can be active or passive. 

  • Pretend to perform an action such as reading a book. Write the sentence: "Ms. Watson reads the book." Underline "Ms. Watson" in the sentence. Explain that in sentences with active verbs, the subject does the action. “In my sentence, Ms. Watson is actively reading the book.”

  • Write a second sentence on the board: "The book is read by Ms. Watson." Underline "the book" in the sentence. Explain that passive voice is when the subject (the book) is receiving an action (being read by Ms. Watson). 

  • As a class or in pairs, read comic panel three. Is the sentence in active or passive voice? How about panel four?

Activity:

  • Have students work together to think of a sentence with a subject and a verb. 

  • Tell students to practice writing the sentence in an active and passive voice. 

  • Using the sample comic as a guide, have students create a comic that illustrates both active and passive voice.

Closure: Have students share their comics with the whole class or in small groups. Display the comics in the classroom as a reference.

Differentiation:

  • Have sample “active” and “passive” voice sentences on the board for students to get ideas from. 

  • Have students complete this activity with a partner.

  • Adapt this lesson as needed to meet your students' language levels.

Resources:

  • Comic to print or display: Comic.