People, rooms, lives

This activity can be used at any level from elementary up. The aim of the activity is to get students talking about people's lives and homes using pictures as prompts.

girl in room
Nik Peachey

At lower levels it can be used to practise present simple in the third person. For higher levels it can be used to practise expressions for giving opinions or for using modal verbs for deduction. It can be used at any level to teach or revise a wide range of vocabulary or just as a warmer to get students talking.


You'll need a collection of 8 - 10 pictures of rooms without people in and a similar number of pictures of people. You can either cut these from magazines or download the ones below from our website.

© All images are copyright Chris Tribble, King's College, London University and used with his kind permission.


  • Tell your students that you are going to show them a number of pictures of different rooms.
  • Put the students into groups and give each group a picture and ask them to try to guess what the person / people who live in the room are like. Ask them to try to think of ten things they can guess about the person by looking at the room.
  • For students who find these kinds of activities more difficult you could give them these questions to answer. (download the questions below)
  • Once the students have looked at one picture get them to change pictures with another group and repeat (you can do this just once or more than once).
  • Once the students have discussed some of the pictures try to get them to tell you about the people who live in the rooms. With higher levels make sure you then ask them to justify their answers.
  • Once each group has told you a little about the rooms, show them the pictures of the people. Ask the students to try to decide which person lives in each room. The students can either work in their groups to do this or as a whole class. Be sure to get them to justify their answers.
  • Once they have decided together tell them if they are correct.

Note: If you use pictures from magazines, it's not important that the people match up to the rooms. If you use the pictures we have provided then room 1 matches to person 1 etc. 

rooms.zip680.7 KB
people.zip393.04 KB
rooms.pdf39.31 KB
Language Level


Submitted by tuleclow on Sat, 07/25/2009 - 03:03


I want to use this activity with my class - I think the pictures and the list of questions are great - but I really want to know what countries the people are from! If I ask my students to speculate but can't tell them if they guessed right... part of the fun will be lost... they are teenagers...


Submitted by DanRatcliffe on Wed, 10/14/2020 - 08:52


Hi, the picture 7 (people) is tiny and doesn't print very well. Can you re-upload with a larger version?

Hi Dan

Thanks for letting us know - as this activity is quite old now, we might not be able to upload a better version of the same picture, but we can look into provided an alternative image so that it's easier to print.

Best wishes,

TE Team

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