Drawing Dictation ESL Listening Activity

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Have you ever tried doing a drawing dictation in the classroom?

Drawing dictations are fun for all ages and are an excellent method for improving active listening skills.

Student Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced

Age Group: Kids, Adults

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Drawing Dictation ESL Listening Activity

Drawing Dictation ESL Activity Preparation:

Not much is required to prepare for this activity. If you want, print out a collection of pictures for your students before class begins. As an easy alternative option, the students can use their smartphones or tablets for the exercise.

Also, make sure that the students have some paper to draw on.

Drawing Dictation ESL Activity Guidelines:

To start the lesson, model the task.

Pick a student volunteer from the class and hand them a random picture. Tell the class that you have no idea what the picture looks like. If you prefer, get the student to find a random picture from the internet.

When they are ready, tell them to describe the picture to you.

As the student describes the picture, draw what they describe on the board for everyone to see. Encourage the student to be as descriptive as possible.

Ask the student specific questions, such as:

  • What is in the background?
  • What is next to the _______?
  • Is it on the left side or the right side?
  • What is in front of the _______?
  • What else is in the picture?

After completing the picture, have the student show you the actual picture to see how well you duplicated the scene. For fun, have the class rate your drawing on a scale of 1 to 10.

Next, divide the class into small groups or pairs. Each group will have one drawer and the other students will describe another drawing. You can give the groups different photos/scenes to describe or they can find their own on their smartphones.

Assign a time limit of approximately 5 minutes to complete the drawing. After 5 minutes, lead feedback, and see how the groups did with their accuracy. Then, have a few groups describe their drawing scenes in front of the whole class.

Remember to make notes of any errors and elicit correct grammar.

Follow-Up ESL Activities:

To conclude the lesson, you could have the class describe another random photo while you try to replicate it on the board. If time permits, try the Pictionary ESL Board Game or Taboo.

More ESL Listening Activities for Kids and Adults:

View the listening activities archive.

View more ESL activities.

Related ESL Resources Online:

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3 years ago

It is an excellent exercise. Thank you.

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