You can improve your students’ writing by teaching the differences between passive and active voice. This post includes an anchor chart going over the differences, a sorting activity, and a writing activity.
Passive vs. Active Voice
What is the difference between passive and active voice?
An active voice tells what a person or thing does. The active voice follows this pattern:
|Subject||+||Action Verb||+||Object or Receiver of the Action|
David mowed the grass.
The dog bit the man.
A passive voice tells what is done by someone or something. The passive voice follows this pattern:
|Object or Receiver of the Action||+||Action Verb||+||Optional Subject|
The grass was mowed by David.
The man was bitten by the dog.
Students sort 16 sentences into PASSIVE or ACTIVE voice.
Print the cards on page 2 of the handout on card stock. Laminate for repeated use. Then cut the cards apart.
Students read the sentences on the cards. They then sort the cards into two piles. The active voice goes in one pile and passive in a different pile.
Use two containers for the sorted piles. This helps many students remember which pile is which. Solo cups work well for this. This photo shows the plastic containers Extra gum comes in. Any containers you have on hand will work for this.
Look for the answer key for this activity on page 3 of the handout.
Both activities 1 and 2 can be found here.
Activity #2 contains a handout and cards. You can use one or the other or the two combined depending on how you wish to present the activity.
Students rewrite the passive voice sentences to turn them into active voice sentences. An answer key is provided on page 5 of the handout. Note that answers will vary on this activity.
Both activities can be found here.