Level: minimum intermediate speakers, no maximum.


This activity exercises spoken description skills and listening/following directions skills.


Paper with at least one clean side. Big chalkboard!


  1. Find a partner who doesn't speak your home language. Remember this person. One group of three in the class is acceptable if necessary.
  2. Sit in a private spot where you can't see your classmates' desks and they can't see yours.
  3. After your teacher gives you a sheet of paper and says START, for sixty seconds, draw as complex a picture as you can, the more abstract, the better.
  4. When your teacher says STOP, turn your paper over, write your name on the back, and the name of your partner(s). Circle your name.
  5. Go to the blackboard. The people who will draw first are the artists. The people who will talk first are the poets.
  6. Your teacher will give the poets a drawing from another team. Don't show it to anyone! When your teacher says START, the poets will describe their pictures and the artists will draw them on the chalkboard. Poets may not use their hands and artists may not talk.
  7. Your teacher will say STOP when the first group is finished. The class will discuss comparison between the re-creation and the original. If they are the same, the first group to finish is the winner. If the drawings are not the same, the other groups continue to play until another group finishes, and so on.
  8. For round two, poets and artists switch jobs and the cycle is repeated.
  9. For round three and four, you will need to make new drawings. For variety, your teacher may tell you to find new partners.

Note to Teachers:

Listen for students having trouble finding adjectives, adverbs, and prepositional phrases that accurately communicate what they see. At your discretion, pause the game to teach or review some helpful vocabulary.