This is an activity for FCE students to practise the passive and the active voice in a fun and competitive way. Students change the sentences from the active into the passive voice or from the passive into the active voice. The activity could also be used as a warmer or a plenary if the students are already able to use the target language confidently.

Level: B2

Time: 30 minutes


  1. To change the sentences from the active into the passive voice or from the passive into the active voice.
  2. To get a winning line of four noughts or four crosses in either a horizontal, vertical or diagonal row.

Materials (Click on the worksheets below to download the PDF files):

  1. Round One Worksheet, one per pair.
  2. Round Two Worksheet, one per pair.


  1. Divide the students into pairs and hand out a Round One Worksheet to each pair.
  2. The players start with Round One.
  3. Each player takes a turn to change one of the sentences from active into passive voice. If they manage to do it correctly, they add either an O or an X to the board. The first player to line up 4 of their symbols in a row wins. The students must write each answer in the space provided below the table.
  4. Repeat the procedure with Round Two Worksheet.
  5. Monitor at all times and go through some of the most problematic sentences together at the end of the class.

Fast finishers:

  1. Ask students to write 4 sentences in the active voice and 4 in the passive voice using a variety of tenses, e.g. Stuart is going to buy Karolina coffee this afternoon. Karolina was invited to a storytelling event by Brittany. When the students have finished they swap their sentences with their partner and change the eight sentences into active or passive voice.

Related posts:

Noughts and Crosses

P.S. “Never use the passive where you can use the active.” George Orwell

2 thoughts on “Two-round boxing match

  1. This is a very nice activity. Do you think it would be a good idea to follow up by asking students to write short stories about something that happened to them over the week with 1 active and 1 passive sentence going one after the other?
    BTW, I also started blogging to combat burnout and to learn more through trial and error (And I’ve noticed that Cunningham’s Law actually works quite well). I recently made a lesson about an underwater restaurant, I was able to find a fascinating video and it helped my students immensely. Feel free to use it and I’d love to hear any tips and suggestions if you liked it (And even if you didn’t). 🙂


    1. Hello,

      Thank you for your lovely comments. I love both your idea on how to expand my activity (1 active and 1 passive sentence after another) and your lesson plan. I think the video is definitely attention grabbing and the perfect length to use in the classroom. I also really like the worksheet ( your logo is very pretty) as well as the activities. I think it is good you include the table and that the grammar section is short, sharp and sweet and the activities all relate to the video. I am definitely going to use the activity in one of my classes and recommend it to my colleagues. Karola


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s