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Raiders of the Lost Ark passive voice lesson plan for TESOL TESL TEFL communicative classes

In the following lesson, students are introduced to the passive voice. Unlike many texts, the first thing students are exposed to is when to use passive voice. This lesson plan is not getting students ready for a grammar test, but helping students realize when they use the passive instead of the active voice.

In addition, the internet is used to pre-teach some vocabulary (teachers can print out the activities and do them in class). Online homework saves class time for the teacher and serves as an easy way to introduce students to web-based language learning. In addition the first vocabulary exercise is an interactive drag and drop exercise (students see pictures on the left and words on the right; they must click on each word and drag it over to the correct picture), which will hopefully help students see the internet as a fun language learning resource. For more practice with the passive, try the Raiders of the Lost Ark Information Gap. I usually do it with #4. It should be possible to do the information gap with the last 15 minutes of class and finish this handout in the first 35.

Raiders 1 lesson plan by James Trotta.

Objective- To learn and remember ten vocabulary words and practice analyzing and using the passive voice.

1. (10 minutes)
Do ESLgo.com's Raiders class 1, parts A + B for homework:

http://eslgo.com/classes/raiders/a.php (5 nouns)
http://eslgo.com/classes/raiders/b.php (5 verbs)

Next class you will be expected to know these 10 vocabulary words.

2.
ESLgo.com's Raiders class 1, part C.

Watch the movie from the beginning to the plane flying into the sunset (about 13 minutes). Put these events in order from 1-9.

They enter the cave.
Indiana outruns the boulder.
They find the gold statue.
Indiana whips the man with a gun.
They clean tarantulas off each others backs.
The donkey is tied to a tree.
Indiana escapes.
Indiana is double-crossed by the man who entered the cave with him.
Indiana is captured.

Now, identify which sentences are active and which are passive. Write "active" or "passive" next to each sentence.

3.
As you just saw, passive verbs describe what happens to someone or something. In the present tense we construct a passive verb with is or are + past participle. In the past, we use was or were + past participle. Change these present tense sentences into past tense sentences, and you'll be ready to tell your friends about the action in the first part of Raiders of the Lost Ark.

The donkey is tied to a tree. The donkey _________________ to a tree.

Indiana whips the man with a gun. Indiana ________________ the man with a gun.

They enter the cave. They ________________ the cave.

They clean tarantulas off each others backs. They _________________ tarantulas off each others backs.

They find the gold statue. They __________________ the gold statue.

Indiana is double-crossed by the man who entered the cave with him.

Indiana _____________ by the man who entered the cave with him.

Indiana outruns the boulder. Indiana __________________ the boulder.

Indiana is captured. Indiana ____________________.

Indiana escapes. Indiana _______________________.

4.

So active verbs describe what someone does. Passive verbs describe what happens to someone. The passive is an important part of English and it's difficult to know when to use it. I hope that by showing you how active and passive sentences are used to describe events in Raiders of the Lost Ark, I've helped you understand. There's only one way to get comfortable using the passive: practice.

One more exercise before you go write on the message boards: complete this sentence with the past passive of the verb "allow".

When I was a child, I ___________ (allow) to watch _____ hours of TV a day. You can fill in the second gap with any number, however many hours your parents let you watch.

Congratulations! You've worked hard and learned some difficult vocabulary words. You can remember them because you saw them in the movie. You know when to use the active and when to use the passive.

5. (optional homework)
Go get some more practice on one of the message boards. The TV sentence above should help you get started on the TV message board (http://eslgo.com/forum/tv/index.cgi). If that doesn't sound exciting take a look at the list of forums (http://eslgo.com/forum.php). Look for opportunities to describe what happens to someone or something using the passive.