Put yourself in the picture

This is a speaking task that encourages students to empathise with other people and try to understand them better. The activity uses a number of visuals of migrants and the students have to imagine they are the person in the picture. The activity is based on themes from the British Council OPENCities project.

Download the worksheet with the images of the people and make enough copies so that each students can have one image.


  • Choose one of the images to model the procedure. Show the students the image of the person you have chosen. Tell them the person is a migrant. Ask if they know what a migrant is and explain if necessary.
  • Ask them to try to guess information about the person in the picture. Here are some question prompts to get them thinking.
    • How does the person feel?
    • What is s/he thinking about?
    • Where did s/he come from/
    • What does s/he do now?
    • How long has s/he been away from their country?
    • How do they feel about the country they left?
    • How does s/he feel about the country s/he lives in now?
    • What problems did s/he have in the new country?
    • Why did s/he leave their country?
    • etc.
  • Try to get your students to imagine as much information as they can, it doesn’t matter if it is correct or not, just let them use their imagination.
  • Now give each student a picture. Tell them that they are the person in the picture and that they should try to imagine what their life is like. Give them some time to think about this and make notes if necessary.
  • Now put them in groups so that each group has a person with a different one of the pictures.
  • Tell the students that they are all at a party and that they should find out about the other people at the party.
  • Give them time to talk in their groups. When they have finished ask them how it felt to be somebody else and ask if they were happy.
  • Ask them which person in each group they thought was the most interesting and why.
  • You could follow this up by a discussion of some of the problems of moving to a new country.
Language Level


Submitted by Nik Peachey on Mon, 09/06/2010 - 08:25

Many thanks for all the positive feedback on this activity. I've always really enjoyed using images in the classroom and particularly images of people. The images from the OPENCites project are great for this. I've used quite a few of them for materials around this site, so if you enjoy these activities be sure to check out the other ones. You can find them all listed here: OPENCities

Thanks again.




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