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Lesson Plan

Choosing the Best Verb: An Active and Passive Voice Minilesson

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Choosing the Best Verb: An Active and Passive Voice Minilesson

Grades 9 – 12
Lesson Plan Type Minilesson
Estimated Time 50 minutes
Lesson Author

Haley Fishburn Moore

Hopkinsville, Kentucky


National Council of Teachers of English


Materials and Technology






Internet Access

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Verb Observation Chart

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  • Based on computer availability, decide how you want students to complete the assignment. This assignment works best when completed individually, but it can also work well in pairs or groups of three.

  • Familiarize yourself with the Websites students will analyze. You might make bookmarks on the computer browsers for the Websites available for students. Consider the following notes as you choose sites for this activity:

    • Note that many sites include advertisements.

    • Sites can cover issues that may not be appropriate (e.g., coverage of violence on news sites); therefore, you may want to choose specific Web pages for students to explore. For instance, you might direct students to stories on the Mars exploration rather than allowing them to freely choose a site.

    • Choosing several pages on a related topic, from different sources, is a useful way to explore how verb choice differs depending upon the audience and purpose of the writing.

  • Test the Interactive Verb Observation Chart on your computers to familiarize yourself with the tool and ensure that you have the Flash plug-in installed. You can download the plug-in from the technical support page.

  • (optional) Copy the accompanying reproducible Verb Observation Chart.

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