Aim of the Game
The aim of the game is to score as many points as possible by deciding whether sentences would be better expressed using the passive voice.
Explain to learners they are going to play a game to practise using the passive in appropriate situations.
Divide the class into two equal teams.
Explain the rules of the game to the learners:
- One team begins by choosing one of the 16 items on the game board that they think would be better expressed in the passive voice. They change the sentence accordingly. If they are correct to change the sentence and do so accurately, the square is crossed out and the team wins 100 points.
- If they are incorrect, the square is left open and the turn moves to the other team.
- When a team answers correctly, they then have to choose whether to play or pass.
- If they play, they have another chance to choose a correct square. If they do so successfully, they add 100 points to their total and choose again whether to play or pass.
- However, if a team makes an incorrect choice, they lose ALL of the points accumulated on that turn (i.e. on their first turn they would return to zero points) and the turn moves to the other team.
- If a team chooses to pass, the points they have won on that turn are ‘banked’ and are now safe. They cannot be lost in further turns should the team answer incorrectly. The turn moves immediately to the other team.
- In this way, teams have to decide whether to stay in control of the game board and keep the opportunity of winning more points, or to protect the points they have already won but give away control of the game board.
As a follow up, give groups of four learners a blank game board and ask them to create a new game. They need to write 16 sentences in the active voice, 9-11 of which would be better expressed in the passive. In the next class, groups can play again with each others’ game boards.
There is also a blank version so you can adapt to your own activity.