This activity can be used in a number of different ways and for a number of different tenses. I have used it to practise using there is / are and the present continuous. However it’s up to the teacher or students to decide on this.

Del Spafford


  • Paper and pencils


  • A selection of ‘scene’ pictures for each member of the class. (The pictures should contain a number of different aspects such as people ‘doing things along with vocabulary related to the scene’) Examples of these can be found in many teaching resource books particularly those aimed at young learners. The activity itself can be used at all levels.


  • Draw or find a picture of a landscape or scene. Make sure you fill the picture with people doing things and vocabulary related to the scene.
  • Give out blank pieces of paper and pencils. Describe your picture and ask the students to draw a picture based on your description. Students then describe their pictures to each other and compare results. At this point don’t allow them to show each other their pictures. After they have described the pictures the students can then show each other their pictures and compare drawings. You can then show your picture in order for students to compare. 
  • Ask the students to draw a picture similar to the example. They should be encouraged to choose different scenes such as in a park. At the fun fair. At a sports event. At a concert etc.


  • Give out a selection of pictures depicting various scenes. It’s ok for students to have the same pictures as long as they are not working together in the next part of the lesson.
  • Put students into pairs. Make sure they have a different picture from each other. Ask students to write a description of their picture similar to your example. Monitor and correct where necessary. 
  • It might be good at this point to highlight any common errors and put these on the board. Elicit corrections and leave these on the board. 
  • Ask student A to dictate what is happening in his or her picture. Student B draws a picture. 
  • Student B then dictates what is happening in his or her picture. Student A draws a picture. 
  • Both students now write sentences about each others picture. Draw students’ attention to the language on the board and monitor and help where necessary. Students can ask each other for clarification but dictation directly from the text should be discouraged.
  • When finished students compare pictures and texts to find commonality.


  • Try the activity again using different scenes and different vocabulary.
  • Give a description as homework and ask students to create pictures based on the description.

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