Soner Yaşar Soner Yaşar

Intermediate level


In this lesson students will take a look at some headlines and short articles, and try to match these. Then, they will look closer at some sentences taken from these articles and try to identify the main verb. The lesson will move onto language analysis of the passive voice keeping MFP in mind.


Abc HO1

Main Aims

  • To provide clarification and practice of the passive voice in the context of news stories

Subsidiary Aims

  • To provide gist reading practice using a text about interesting articles in the context of news stories


Lead-in (3-5 minutes) • To set lesson context and engage students

Ask Ss which newspapers / magazines they read, and if they read serious news or light-hearted articles first. Ss work in pairs. After brief w/c discussion, ask Ss to identify some common news topics; e.g. accidents, crime, court cases, rescues, celebrities (possible answers: disasters, weather, sports, education, technology, environment, business, finance, politics, elections, healthcare, science etc.)

Exposure (5-7 minutes) • To provide context for the target language through a text or situation

Chest HO with article headlines and word list. First, Ss work in pairs to guess what the article to each headline might be about. Distribute HO to Ss. They do not unfold the HO yet. Ss can ask about unknown vocabulary. Set time limit: 2 minutes. When time is up, ask for a couple of ideas, w/c discussion. Do not state if they are correct or not. Ss then may unfold the HO and look at the list of words. They may ask about unknown words. Clarify with CC techniques. Ss work in pairs to discuss which words are related to which headline. After brief pw, get some opinions, w/c discussion.

Gist Reading Task (4-6 minutes) • To provide Ss with less challenging gist reading / scanning task

Race to wb: Set up 2 wbs each with a set of articles stuck on them. Divide class into 2 groups and have a set of headlines as strips ready for each group. Group members will one-by-one race to their respective wb, look very briefly at articles and stick one headline to the article they think it belongs to. First group to finish (with correct answers) is the winner! After activity, distribute the articles to each S as written record.

Highlighting (2-4 minutes) • To draw students' attention to the target language

Show HO with sentences from articles. Ss will work individually to identify and underline the main verbs in the sentences. ICQ: Are we working alone or in pairs? (in pairs) Are we underlining the main verb or the subject? (main verb) Ss work individually to complete task. Monitor to check that Ss are on the right track. Ss peer check and share information. Provide answer key if necessary.

Clarification (10-12 minutes) • To clarify the meaning, form and pronunciation of the target language

Focus on meaning: Have sentences a and b (from previous exercise) ready on wb during previous activity. Ss focus on these two sentences. Ask Ss which word(s) are the subjects of the sentences. T underlines. Ask Ss to identify the main verbs. T underlines. Ask Ss if the subject in both sentences is doing the action as the “doer”. CCQ: (Show sentence a) Is this sentence active or passive? (active) (Show sentence b) Is this sentence active or passive? (passive) Focus on form: Ask Ss the tense of the passive sentence. Draw columns to separate “A Melbourne woman” / “was” / “rescued” On top of the column where “was” is write “be”, on top of column where “rescued” is write “past participle” Write another example in a similar fashion: Every year thousands of accidents / are / caused by ordinary items. (Explain that sometimes the “doer” of the action is mentioned using “by”) Ask Ss to identify the subject and the tense. Take this model sentence and ask Ss to change it into different tenses (as guided discovery): “Last year thousands of accidents…” “Next year thousands of accidents…” “At the moment thousands of accidents…” Then have Ss work out the negative and question forms by themselves. Focus on pronunciation: Show phonemic transcription of “was” as a weak form: /wəz/ and drill chorally.

Controlled Practice (5-7 minutes) • To concept check and prepare students for more meaningful practice

Show gap-fill HO to Ss. Explain that they need to complete the gaps with correct tense and decide if the sentence is active or passive. Ss will work in pairs to complete the exercise. ICQ: Are all the sentences passive? (no) Do we need to change the verb into the correct tense? (yes) Distribute HO to Ss. While Ss work in pairs and discuss, T monitors. If there are early finishers, s/he can help others. At the end of exercise, change seating so that Ss can check their answers with other Ss. Ask which sentences were problematic and focus on these as FB. Provide answer key.

Free Practice (4-6 minutes) • To provide students with free practice of the target language

Ss will work in pairs to discuss news stories that they have heard or read recently. Encourage Ss to use the passive voice. Monitor unobtrusively as Ss exchange stories, and make notes of good language. Share examples of good language on wb. Highlight on wb a problematic expression that you noticed, ask for reformulation. Praise good work!

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