Funky Sentences

Students work in groups to formulate passive voice sentences following guideline keywords given by other students.

Archived from Englipedia.
Originally submitted by Raegina Taylor on April 13, 2008.

For each group of four students:

  • Student 1 receives a set of 5 cards with "#1" written on the back.
  • Student 2 will receive a set of 5 cards with "#2" written on the back.
  • Student 3 receives a set of 5 cards with "#3" written on the back.
  • Student 4 receives a set of 5 cards with "#4" written on the back.


Divide the students into groups of four, have them choose a team name and a team spokesperson. Hand out the writing papers.
Students janken for order 1, 2, 3, 4. Give each student a set of cards according to their ordered number.
Explain and write up on the board the instructions for each ordered student. Explain that each card is to have a different thing written on it.

  • Student 1: Write a person/animal on each card, eg ‘my dad’, ‘George Bush’, ‘a purple ugly crocodile’. Encourage them to use their imagination
  • Student 2: Write a verb (in plain, present form) on each card. Eg kill, kiss, run, walk, sleep etc.
  • Student 3: Write the name of a tense eg past tense, present, future, perfect continuous.
  • Student 4: Write ‘by+person/animal’ eg ‘by Cinderella’ or ‘at+time’ or ‘in the garden’.

Each student then mixes up their pile (shuffle). The groups switch their pile of cards with other groups. The cards should be kept in their separated piles as written by person 1, 2, 3, 4.
One card is drawn from each pile and the students make a sentence in the passive voice using the information given on the cards.
A point is given for each correctly structured sentence. Some sentences won’t make sense. For example, "The alligator was written by George Bush." However, an extra point could be given for suggesting an alternative option.
Get the groups to read out their sentences to the class. This is helping in their reading, other groups listening and comprehension. Other groups can receive extra points if they can recall the topic of each sentence of the groups who read out their sentences.


  • Collect the papers at the end of the lesson, to save time and grade/correct and hand out points according to your discretion.
  • Students translate their sentences into Japanese if they finish before other groups.


  • Be sure to monitor this activity in all groups closely. Some students work slower than others, so be sure not to put all high-level students together etc
  • The translation helps students to grasp the humour in the activity. Trying to piece together a sentence with random directives can be lost on lower-level students, but the translation of it helps them in this.

Total 0

Estimated time: 35-50 min

Submitted by: Englipedia Archive

April 08, 2019


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