If you want to have a bit of fun with your students, then considering using, “Draw a Picture” ESL speaking and listening activity. It makes an excellent warm-up at the beginning of a class. This listening drawing activity is also ideal for practicing descriptive words and numbers with beginners.
I’ve used this listen and draw activity with kids, teenagers, university students and adults and have had great results with all of them. And the best part? Very minimal materials and preparation are required for this ESOL draw a picture game. If that’s not some ESL teaching awesome, then I’m not sure what is!
Keep on reading for all the details you need to know about this listen and draw activity.
How to Do this Draw a Picture Activity
Time: 10 minutes
Materials Required: Blank Paper, plus the picture that students will be drawing.
Age: Kids, Teenagers or Adults
Drawing a picture is a fun way to practice body parts or descriptive words (big, small, long, etc). It’s also ideal for working on ESL prepositions. The students sit back to back and one person is the “talker” and the other one is the “drawer.” If you haven’t already guessed, it’s basically a partner drawing activity.
The person talking describes something that they’re looking at to their partner (a face, body, city, etc) and that person draws what they hear. Make sure that the student who is drawing doesn’t look at the original picture of this warm-up activity isn’t as fun.
The results from Draw a Picture are usually hilarious and I like to show a few of the best results to the class! It’s perfect for a quick warm-up game, or time-filler, and I find that it lends itself particularly well to the unit about describing people’s appearance that you can often find in beginner level textbooks.
You know what else I love about this listening drawing activity? It requires very little in the way of preparation or materials. Just a paper and pencil for the students, and a fun picture to draw from the teacher. It’s nice to have a few of these activities in your back pocket in case of last minute class or something similar.
Procedure for this Listen and Draw Activity
1. Two students sit back to back but close enough to talk to each other.
2. Give student A a picture of some kind, based on whatever you are studying. I usually put something up on the PowerPoint and have the drawer sit with their back towards the screen.
3. Student A describes the picture to student B who must draw it, without looking at the original picture. Student B can ask some questions to student A to clarify if necessary.
4. Compare the original picture with the drawing and laugh a lot!
Teaching Tips for this Partner Drawing Activity
Here are a few things to keep in mind if you want this speaking and listening activity to run smoothly.
- Remember that students are sitting back to back. This means that they’ll have to speak a bit more loudly to be able to hear each other. Because of this, I recommend only using it for smaller classes, or with larger classes when students are able to spread out over a large classroom.
- Emphasize that the game isn’t fun if students cheat and look while they’re doing it! Wait until the end to reveal the results. I mention that it’s not a competition and mostly just for fun. Plus, speaking a little bit of English of course.
- It’s often better to not draw someone in the classroom. This can very easily end up with some hurt feelings, particularly with teenagers or children so be careful with it. Adults can get hurt feelings too, so just avoid this! I generally choose an alien, cartoon character, monster, or something similar as the fun picture to draw.
An ESL Warm-Up for Advanced Students
Drawing a picture is a fun activity for just about any level of student. However, if you teach advanced students and are looking for something to start your class off with it, consider “Just a Minute.” Learn all about it in this short video below:
Did you Like this ESL Speaking Drawing Activity?
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Have your Say about this Listen and Draw Activities
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