Active & Passive Voice Lesson Plan

Instructor: Dana Dance-Schissel

Dana teaches social sciences at the college level and English and psychology at the high school level. She has master's degrees in applied, clinical and community psychology.

What is the difference between an active voice and a passive voice? A video lesson lays out the facts and an activity gives students an opportunity to demonstrate what they've learned. Related lessons and extensions provided opportunities for further instruction.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • define 'active voice' and 'passive voice'
  • identify examples of active and passive voices
  • convert passive voice into active voice


1 hour


  • A list of sentences, some with active voice and some using a passive voice
  • A worksheet consisting of 20 passive-voice sentences with space below each sentence for corrections

Curriculum Standards


Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.


Form and use verbs in the active and passive voice.


Recognize and correct inappropriate shifts in verb voice and mood.

Key Vocabulary

  • Active voice
  • Passive voice


  • Begin by displaying the list of sentences for the class to see.
  • Ask them to identify those that use an active voice.
  • Now ask them to identify the ones that use a passive voice.
  • Discuss the reasons for their answers as a class.
  • Play the video lesson Active and Passive Voice, pausing at 1:48.
  • Revisit the list of sentences used earlier in the lesson in light of the information provided in the video lesson. Were the students correct in their choices? Were their reasons for selecting these answers on target?
  • Now ask the students to consider reasons why passive voice is frowned upon. Discuss these as a class.
  • Play the video lesson again and pause at 2:49.
  • Were the student-generated reasons for avoiding passive voice in line with what was presented in the video lesson? Discuss this now.
  • Play the remainder of the video lesson for the class, asking them to takes notes on key facts.

Discussion Questions

  • Do we use a passive voice in our speech?
  • Why does a passive voice weaken the message?

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