Hello! Sorry I haven't written for so long, but I've been very busy ... oops, sorry ... I think teaching my students how to write an exam-style email might have influenced the beginning of that post 😅 But seriously, I haven't written much recently, so it's time to reconnect with you and show you what I've been working with for the last couple of weeks.
We've started revising Passive Voice with my 8th graders. I introduced PV to them when we were having online lessons last year, so I've decided to kind of start again from scratch to make sure everyone really gets the concept.
I've created a Passive Voice board, inspired by what I've seen and learned in Germany from Annika Albrecht (Montessori Language Lab). I used the board to introduce the idea of Passive Voice to my students and to show them how it's connected to the Active Voice. Here's what my presentation set-up looked like:
Let me walk you through the whole presentation:
To begin with, I used the Montessori grammar symbols to remind my students that each sentence needs to have a verb in it.
Next, I used the cards which you can see in the picture (the ones with the pink borders) to get an example sentence. I copied the sentence onto a strip of paper and placed it on the top of the board which you can see in the picture.
I asked my kids to identify the verb. Using a red felt-tip pen, I underlined the verb and then I cut up the sentence. As you can see in the picture, on the board there's a place for the subject, the action, and the object of the sentence. I placed the cut up parts of the sentence on the corresponding symbol on the board.
Next, I moved the subject and the object of the sentence along the arrows on the board, explaining to my students how they swap places in Passive Voice. At this point, I cut a small piece of paper and wrote 'BY' on it and explained to them that we use this tiny word to show who performs the action.
Now onto the verb: as you can see the arrow underneath the verb symbol says 'be + 3'. I explained to the kids that we now need to add the verb 'to be' in the right tense and the third form of the verb from the original sentence.
I quickly drew the table you can see next to the board and asked them what are the different forms of the verb 'to be' that they know. We arranged them on the board. I then took the piece of paper with the verb written on it and moved it along the top of the table asking what is the tense of this verb. They identified it as the present tense.
I place the verb back on the red circle symbol and took the correct form of the verb 'to be' from the table and placed it on the board. Then, I asked for the third form of the original verb and wrote in on the back of the same piece of paper.
Now, the whole sentence was ready 😊
I could see their eye light up! I literally saw the moment they understood the concept! It's a nice feeling, I tell you 😅 I then talked to them about why need Passive Voice and how it's not just there to change sentences around from Active to Passive. I explained to them that what we did in this presentation is an exam skill they need to have but that in real life communication they would not do it this way at all.
We spent another 10 minutes analysing other sentences in various tenses. I told them that they could leave the presentation at the moment they felt they get the concept and don't need to see it again. This way I only stayed with the kids who still didn't quite get it until they did. Presentation one, done! Their follow-up task was to work with other sentences on their own. They could use the board and do it the way we did in the presentation, but if they felt they could do it in their heads, that was also fine by me.
Feel free to copy the design of my board or download it here! In the file you'll find the board as a whole or in three parts. I recommend making it bigger, hence the three parts option. Print each part of the board on a separate piece of A4 paper and then laminate. Trim each piece along the dotted lines and stick the pieces together using sticky tape.
The sentence cards come from a game ... but more on that later. Just keep reading 😉
Next day, we sat together for another presentat