Present Simple Passive Voice Lesson Plan

present passive voice example se ri pak female golfer
05 Nov SAV No Comments


esl classroom activities book coverAll games, along with full game explanations and variants for different group sizes are from Fun ESL Activities for Teens and Adults by Shelley Ann Vernon, available in instant PDF download, and in paperback on Amazon or order it from your local bookstore ISBN-13: 978-1478213796




  1. Active and passive voice examples: When do we use the present simple passive voice? Compare sentences using active and passive speech.
  2. Fly Swatter Game: listening
  3. Grammar Auction, calm listening exercise: Decide whether the following sentences are correct.
  4. Cryptic Clues, calm listening exercise: Read out five cryptic clues: a recipe, a famous person, something abstract, a sport and a country, and students try to guess who or what it is.
  5. Speaking fluency drill Relay Race
  6. Jigsaw Listening using a song
  7. Writing drill: Students race to convert active sentences to the passive playing Ten Important Sentences with Watermelon.


* Quiz Race: Students come up with five questions about a famous person which will be part of a class quiz in the next lesson

* Students make anagrams of present passive voice sentences for others to unravel at the next lesson.



1. Active and passive voice examples

When do we use passive speech?

- We often choose passive structures if we want to talk about an action, but not about who or what does or did it.

- Passive speech is rarely used in spoken language (day to day conversations).

- The passive voice present is often used when talking about:

Processes: First the orders are selected, then they are checked, and then they are packed, weighed and sent to the customers.

Opinions, beliefs and generalisations: Chinese is thought to be a difficult language. London is considered to be expensive. It is believed by some that we never landed on the moon! 


FORMATION: BE (is) + past participle

Compare active and passive sentences

Sally is reading this book. Thing or person doing action + verb + thing receiving action

Compared to:

This book is being read by Sally. Thing receiving action + verb + past participle of verb + by + thing or person doing action

Write more active sentences on the board and ask students to convert them for you, to show they understand. Have students write these examples down for the next game.

Traffic wakes me every day. / I am woken by traffic every day.

Most of South American is Spanish-speaking. / Spanish is spoken in most of South America.

Most South Americans speak Spanish. / Spanish is spoken by most South Americans.

Many Germans drink beer. / Beer is drunk by many Germans.


Present progressive or present continuous passive voice:

The doctor is examining the baby at the clinic. / The baby is being examined at the clinic by the doctor.


idea lightbulbStick to the simple present tense declination of the passive voice at first so as not to be too confusing! Later in the lesson, you may introduce the simple past passive voice.



2. Flyswatter Game with passive tense sentences for subject, verb, object

Demonstrate on the board with a couple of students, then have students play in small groups or pairs. A student reads out one of the sentences on the board. The teacher calls out “subject” The students race to swat the subject of the sentence. Repeat, calling out “object” and “verb”. Now call out “subject” and roll a dice. If it’s an even number, students race to swat the subject of an active sentence. If it’s an odd number, they race to swat the subject of a passive sentence. Repeat the demonstration, using “object”. Now have students play in threes, or small groups, with one student rolling the dice and calling out subject, verb or object.

Students can slap their hands down on the words rather than use fly swatters. The fly swatters are good for the board demonstration.


3. Grammar Auction (listening) 


auction icon for present passive voice grammar gameDecide whether the following sentences are grammatically correct. Students play in teams. A student reads out sentence one. Those who think it’s correct, stand up on the count of three. All those students who remained seated are out and go to the side of the classroom. Move on to sentence two and repeat, all those students who sit down are out, since the sentence is correct. Sentence three is incorrect, so all those students who sit down stay in, and those who remain standing are out and go to the side. Continue to the end. The team with the most players still in the game win.


  • Is your hair brushed every morning?
  • The film is being released at the end of the year.
  • Nobody is expect to arrive before the party. (incorrect)
  • He is being followed by a detective.
  • Her shoes are polish every day by the maid. (incorrect)
  • They are being educated in the United States.
  • The play is cancel due to technical problems. (incorrect)
  • My leg is being bandaged by the doctor.
  • Why isn’t the bag checked in yet?
  • Vodka is drank by many Russians. (incorrect)


4. Cryptic Clues (listening)

Use these examples as a base but edit them to contain people or places relevant to your students. For example, instead of the Canadian basketball question, you might prefer Miley Cyrus, a top teen idol, or for South Korea, why not Se Ri Pak, the female golfer who became a national heroine. Make selections that are as obvious as possible or the game will drag. Put students in teams and give points as follows:

- Ask students to count every occurrence of passive tense usage in the five clues. Give 5 points to each team for the correct number, and 4 points if one is missed, 3 if two are missed, etc.

- Then give 5 points to each team that guesses one of the clues. For homework, students write several clues to ask other teams which you can use to play again in the next lesson.


  • Banana cake: I am made out of flour, eggs, sugar, butter and bananas. What am I?
  • Famous people - BeyoncĂ© Knowles: According to Forbes magazine, I am considered to be one of the richest people in the music industry. I inadvertently promote killing animals for their fur since I am often photographed in fur. Who am I?
  • Abstract: The Earth I am the third planet from the Sun and the fifth largest in the solar system. I am the only planet whose name is not taken from Greek or Roman mythology. What am I?
  • Sports: Basketball I am bounced, passed around and thrown into a net. I can be played indoors. I was invented by a Canadian called James Naismith because he wanted to create a game that could be played indoors during the long winters but would also be active enough to keep people fit. What am I?
  • Sports: I am kicked around but you can't touch me with your hands. Maradona, Ronaldinho, Beckham and Rooney are considered, amongst others, to be my greatest players. What am I? A football.
  • Countries: New Zealand In my country sheep are raised for their wool and meat. I have more sheep than people. My wines are world renowned, as is my rugby team, which is feared and revered. My original people are the Maori. Which country am I?


5. Relay Race fluency drill

Play Relay Race as a speaking fluency drill. Teams pass down a simple present passive sentence,such as, “First the clothes are washed and ironed, and then they are given to the poor.” Play several times, with a different passive sentence each time.

Full description of the game is here:


6. Jigsaw Listening

Cut up the lyrics of a song, one set for each small group of students. With a long song, give each group a section of the song, not the whole thing. Students put the song in order while it plays two or three times. The website is brilliant for finding specific lyrics. In the search bar for lyrics (not artists or albums), using quotes to narrow the search, type ‘are loved’ and you’ll find all the songs with that lyric. Then go to YouTube (or your equivalent), to find the song. I chose Kim Wilde, Loved, which repeats the phrase ‘you are loved’ several times. Or for the present progressive passive voice try Steven Curtis Chapman, 'You are being loved'.

idea lightbulbYou might want to show students how to do this and get them to select a song for jigsaw listening for the next lesson. It’s great to involve students in the creation of their lesson, using songs and topics of their choice. It involves them and helps them realize that they are responsible for their learning.


7. Writing drill

Ten Important Sentences with Watermelon: Divide students into teams and have a list of jumbled passive sentences on the board, a different list for each team. The first student from each team comes to the board and starts to decrypt the first sentence in his or her team list, but he or she can only work on the sentence while repeating “Watermelon” without taking a breath. When the student runs out of breath, the next student in the team comes up and takes over. Try to have small teams so students don’t wait long in between turns. Aim to have several students working simultaneously at the board. If there isn't enough room, use large sheets of paper on the walls.



Give these quiz question examples to students and ask them to make up five questions each for homework, on any topic they like, using the passive tense for a class quiz, Jeopardy, or Blow Your House Down game, in teams in the next lesson.

  • Which city in ___________ (your country) is thought to be the most cultured?
  • Which university is seen as the most prestigious in __________ (your country)?
  • What is made out of flour, eggs, sugar and lemon? (Lemon cake)
  • What products are sold in ____________ (a famous store in your town)?
  • Name three footballers who are considered to be the best in the world.


esl classroom activities book coverIf you have my book Fun ESL Activities for Teens and Adults, use the Day in the Life blank template and have students fill it in with passive tense examples for homework, then play with their games in the next lesson. Get it in paperback from this link.



Leave a reply

Follow blog

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.
Join 2,610 other followers

Blog categories