When we write in the active voice, we use verbs to illustrate an action. This is most common way we use these parts of speech. Verbs can also be used to describe a state of being or happening rather than having it carry out an action this is the passive form. We do not commonly use this form in writing. This form of writing purposefully avoids the first person account. When determining if a sentence is in active or passive voice, the use of any version of "to be" before a verb, such as "had been seen by" or "were sent by" is a good indicator of passive voice.
Teach your students the difference between the two voices, as well as good times to use each, with the exercises in the following collection of worksheets. Questionnaires and answer keys are provided. Note: Passive voice is used by many crime reporters in newspapers when specific perpetrators are unknown but the facts must be presented.