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Listen and draw

Average: 3.4 (192 votes)

This is a simple speaking activity that can be used with CEFR A2 level groups to provide practice in using prepositions of place and giving clear instructions. The lesson works well with adults and teenagers.

Katherine Bilsborough


  • Tell students they are going to review some phrases for saying where things are in a picture. Write these incomplete phrases on the board:

… the top / … the bottom / … the left /  … the right / … the middle / … the corner

  • Ask students to copy the phrases into their notebooks and to complete them by adding the correct prepositions.
  • Ask students to compare their answers in pairs and then complete the phrases on the board:

at the top / at the bottom / on the left / on the right / in the middle / in the corner

  • Now write these incomplete phrases on the board:

… the top right / … the bottom left corner

  • Ask students to suggest which prepositions are missing.
  • Complete the phrases with the correct prepositions:

in the top right / in the bottom left corner

  • Draw the following shapes and lines on the board:

a circle - a square - a triangle - a rectangle - an oval

a straight line - a dotted line - a broken line - a wavy line - a zigzag line

  • Elicit the vocabulary for the shapes and lines from the students and label them on the board.
  • Give students time to make further notes.


  • Draw two big squares (frames) on the board.
  • Draw a simple design using geometrical shapes and lines in one square.
  • Explain that you want to copy the design in the second square but you are not going to look at the first square. You are going to follow the instructions that the students give you.
  • Invite a student to give you the first instruction, e.g. Draw a big circle in the middle. Draw it in the second square.
  • Go around the class eliciting instructions and building up the second picture.
  • When an instruction is not clear, draw the wrong thing so that the student has to reformulate the instruction.
  • Now get students to draw their own geometric design in their notebooks. Give a limited time (three minutes) for this.
  • Put students into pairs, A and B.
  • Students take turns in describing their design to their partner, without showing them the picture, while their partner draws.
  • Allow students to refer to the notes they made about prepositions and vocabulary.


As a follow up activity, get students to write a description of their original design in their notebooks. They can exchange notebooks and correct their partner’s writing.

Language level
Language Level: 
Pre-intermediate: A2