For more ESL games and activities, click here.

What is done/Why did you go?

What is done is a no-preparation game that provides controlled practice of passive voice or phrases of purpose while also reinforcing collocations related to different places in town. With some variation it can be altered to have students producing sentences in a different tense.

passive voice
Lots of things are done in the library - books are borrowed, read and returned.


1: Assign students into small groups or pairs.

2: Write on the board the name of a place in town e.g. hospital, bakery, post office. It is even better if you can show students a picture.

3: Give students a couple of minutes to either:

  • think of as many things as possible that are done in this place (if practising the passive),
  • think of as many reasons as possible that someone went to this place.

4: Ask each team to give a sentence about the place using the target language.

5: The last team who can continue to give new sentences wins a point.

6: Change the place in town to play a few more rounds. The team with the most points wins the game.

S1: At the bank accounts are opened.
S2: Money is taken out.
S3: Loans are offered.


You can apply this activity to other forms of the passive voice. For example showing a crime scene photo could be used for past or future passive voice as students suggest what was done (by the perpetrator and investigators) or what will be done (by investigators).

Follow on:

You could set students the task of designing an all-purpose centre, where visitors will be able to do everything they can currently do in a town in one place. Students then write about their centre, design a poster and present to the class.

Example Language:

PlaceThings doneReasons
BankAccounts opened
Cheques cashed
Money deposited/withdrawn
Currency changed
In order to open an account
So as to withdraw money
HospitalIllnesses treated
Relatives visited
Babies delivered
Injections given
Surgery performed
In order to get better
So as to visit my uncle
Police stationSuspects held
Suspects questioned
Witnesses interviewed
Crimes reported
In order to report a crime
So as to help the police
LibraryBooks borrowed/lent
Internet surfed
Documents printed
Homework completed
In order to work quietly
So as to find a book
Clothes shopClothes tried on
Clothes bought/sold
Discounts offered
Clothes returned
In order to buy a new hat
So as to return the trousers that didn’t fit

Don’t Miss A Thing!

If you like this post and the many others on Alex Walls ELT, why not subscribe to our teachers list and get great suggestions to your inbox?

* indicates required
Show Buttons
Hide Buttons
error: Content is protected !!