This is a very simple activity: students are given a number of questions to research. If formed correctly, the answer to each question will almost certainly require the creation of a passive structure. The activity can be used as a follow up to Passive Drawings.
- Language level: Intermediate (B1) +
- Learner type: Teens; Adults
- Time: 20 minutes + homework/self-study + 20 minutes
- Activity: Reading; Homework (research); Grammar drill
- Topic: Trivia
- Language: Passive structures
- Materials: Slideshow
For this activity, you will need a number of questions whose answers will involve the production of passive structures. Select these according to your students’ culture, interests, age, etc. See below for possibilities.
Optional: Create a slideshow of images of the people and objects in the questions and answers. This should strengthen students’ comprehension of the language (you will find an example PDF slideshow above).
Lesson plan outline
- Tell students that you have a quiz for them. Tell them that they should look for the answers online (in a computer room, for homework, etc.)
- Dictate the questions that you have selected. (See Preparation, materials and equipment on page 2 for possibilities.) If necessary, pre-teach any vocabulary that could otherwise make the questions incomprehensible.
- Ask students to compare what they have written in pairs/groups and make sure that everyone has written down the questions correctly.
- Ask students to go online (in a computer room, for homework, etc.) and find out the answers to the questions.
- Some form of the verb ‘to be’ (is, are, was, were, being, etc.)
- A past participle (taken, fired, married, liked, brought, etc.)
- When ready, take feedback from your students. Find out who got the most correct answers. Use this stage as an opportunity to work with the grammar point in question.
Note: For each question that you dictate, make use of images to introduce the famous people/objects featured in them. There are many included in the accompanying slideshow.
Note: You may want to tell students that each of the answers will require the production of a passive structure. Make sure that they understand that the passive structure will involve:
Give an example sentence if necessary.
Put students into pairs so that everyone has a drilling partner. Ask students to test each other’s memory and spoken production of the target language. See box below for instructions.
- Student 1 has access to his/her notebook. Student 2 does not.
- Student 1 asks Student 2 a question from the list chosen at random (e.g. How was Socrates executed?)
- From memory, Student 2 attempts to recall and reproduce the full answer. (E.g. He was forced to drink hemlock.)
- Student 1 pays special attention to the grammar and accuracy of Student 2’s answer and offers help whenever necessary.
- After each turn, roles are reversed: Student 1 picks up his/her notebook. Student 2 puts down his/her notebook. Now Student 2 asks Student 1 a question and Student 2 attempts to answer it.
- The process is continued until all questions have been answered.
Most images taken from Wikimedia Commons:
- Jonah depicted on the Sistine Chapel
- Pinocchio stamp
- Jonah and whale
- Pinocchio and whale
- Nelson Mandela
- Nelson Mandela Time Magazine cover
- Lee Trevino Time Magazine cover
- Retief Goosen
- Buried alive (DVD cover)
- Zinedine Zidane
- Socrates’ execution
- Lee Harvey Oswald’s mug shot
- Lee Harvey Oswald being shot
- Joseph-Ignace Guillotin (inventor)
- László Bíró (inventor)
- Louis Braille (inventor)
- Charlie Chaplin
- Film poster: Charlie Chaplin’s body