Draw a Picture While Someone Else is Talking | Fun ESL Speaking Activity

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Drawing a Picture

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.

I’ve used it with kids, teenagers, university students and adults and have had great results with all of them.

How to Do Draw a Picture Activity

Skills: Speaking/Listening
Time: 10 minutes
Level: Beginner-Advanced
Materials Required: Blank Paper

Drawing a picture is a fun way to practice body parts or descriptive words (big, small, long, etc). The students sit back to back and one person is the “talker” and the other one is the “drawer.”

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.

The results are usually hilarious! It’s perfect for a quick warm-up game, or time-filler.

Teaching Tips for this ESL Speaking 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.
  • 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.

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:

Need More ESL Activity Ideas?


Yes? Thought so. Who doesn’t, right? Then the book you’ll need to check out is 101 ESL Activities for Kids (6-13) over on Amazon.

You’ll have dozens of top-quality lesson plan ideas at your fingertips. It really is that easy to make your classes better.

The key to happy, engaged students who are learning lots of English is a variety of interesting activities. This book will help you do just that.

It’s well-organized into various sections: reading, writing, listening, speaking, warm-ups/icebreakers, 4-skills, grammar, etc. So you should be able to find what you need in under a minute. It’s lesson planning made easier, guaranteed. If it’s not, get in touch and I’ll refund your money. It also is that easy.

101 ESL Activities is available on Amazon in both print and digital formats. Keep a copy on the bookshelf in your office as a handy reference tool.

Or, take the e-version with you to your favourite lesson planning coffee shop on your phone or Tablet.

Sounds like exactly what you need to help you plan for your ESL or EFL classes? Check it out for yourself here, but only if you want some ESL awesome in your life:

—>101 ESL Activities for Kids<—

Have your Say about Draw a Picture

Do you have a fun ESL warm-up activity that you like to use in your classes? What do you think about this one?

Leave a comment below and let us know what you think about it.

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