Sep 20, 2009

300: Passive Voice

This is a great movie. The visual effects and colors are unusually gripping. It is one of my favorite epic movies ever. The first scene is excellent for passive voice practice since the narrator uses the target struture to explain Leonidas's journey to become a Spartan king. I'm sure your students will enjoy the scene and use the passive voice in the simple past tense in a contextualized manner.

A. Talk to a partner about the following questions:

1. In a few cultures, couples are allowed to have only one child. Do you think it’s fair? Justify your answer.

2. If you could have only one child, would you still have the baby knowing he/she would be sick forever? Explain.

3. Is it possible to train someone to be a king or a hero? Justify your answer.

4. In ancient Greece, Spartans used to reject and kill all the handicapped children? The whole population consisted of healthy, strong people. What’s your opinion about it?

B. Before you view the segment, rewrite the following sentences using passive voice.

1. Spartans inspected the boy when he was born.

2. Spartans would have discarded him if he were too small or misshapen.

3. Spartans baptized him in the fire of combat.

4. They taught him not to retreat or surrender.

5. They taught him that death in the battlefield was the greatest glory.

6. Spartans took him from his mother and plunged him into a world of violence.

7. They called it the agoge.

8. Rod and lash punished the boy.

9. They taught the boy to show no pain or mercy

C. Watch the movie segment and check your answers.



Answer Key


1. The boy was inspected when he was born.

2. He would have been discarded if…

3. He was baptized in …

4. He was taught not to…

5. He was taught that…

6. he was taken from… and plunged into…

7. It was called the agoge.

8. The boy was punished by the rod and lash.

9. He was taught to …

A peer of mine said that he had used a slides presentation with links to my passive voice activities. I was sent the link and came across this really cool and thorough class on passive voice. I'm glad Simon Friend used my blog for his video activities. His slides are effective, fun and constructive. Thanks Simon Friend for these really cool slides. Thanks for linking my site to it.


Anonymous said...

I totally love your blog!!!

All the activities are great and have a defined purpose. Thank you for haring with us :D

Claudio Azevedo said...

It's so great to hear that. I'm really glad you enjoy it! See you around.

Anonymous said...

Hey, where can I download the segments from? I tried downloading the movies but it was too much work and I want to use them for my classes

Claudio Azevedo said...

You can download the videos with real player. Download the free version at After you install it, all you'll have to do is to scroll the mouse over the screen and you'll be automatically offered the choice to download it. That's how I download youtube videos, and you can do it here too. Downloading the segment from this very blog is easy. Let me know if you managed. See you.

Anonymous said...

I downloaded real player onto my computer, but when I try to download the clip, it tells me that the video is not downloadable from this site. Any idea how to get it to work?

Claudio Azevedo said...

When you open realplayer, go to Tools, then Preference, finally Download and recording. There you'll have an option to click on activate downloads from the web and to show the button automatically. Just follow the steps and you should be able to do it. If you still have problems, let me know. The terminology may br different for my realplayer version is in Portuguese. See you.

Anonymous said...

this site is incredible! thanks so much! is it nomal that downloading from real player takes a lot of time? I clicked to download and it has said "waiting" for about half an hour. take care!

Claudio Azevedo said...

Thank you very much. In fact, it should not take that long. Mine take about 3 to 5 minutes. Isn't it your internet connection?

Karloz Mrk said...

Claudio, your blog has helped me a lot and it has given me lots of ideas!!1 Keep up the awesome work!!!
I think it would be great if you could share your youtube channel or the url of the videos in orther to download them because some times I don´t have access to the internet in the classroom

Claudio Azevedo said...

Dear Karlos,
I`m glad the site has been helpful. Unfortunately, the video segments are uploaded directly to blogger. I do not have a youtube account or the videos URL in youtube. Blogger and youtube belong to google, so the videos are hosted there becase blogger does it, but I myself do not have a youtube account. Sorry about that. You have either to download the segment directly from the blog or use the site in your classes. See you around

MARTA said...

Dear Claudio,
I used this activity with my Top Flex 4 group (Intermediate level) last night. It worked as a great post-reading activity of a text on the discovery of DNA. Students were inspired to discuss ethical issues by using the passive voice.
Thanks a lot! Your work is awesome!

Claudio Azevedo said...

Great to hear that, Martinha. I'm glad your students liked it and that it was profitable for them. Thanks for the feedback.