Today I have three new creative picture prompts to help your students practice describing people. All three prompts require some imagination, and could be used to practice speaking, writing, or a combination of both. If you are an ESL teacher, they would work well after studying descriptive adjective, present continuous, or any form of past tense.
Take a look at the prompts below, and then scroll down for some lesson planning ideas to help you incorporate them into your classes.
A Collaborative Speaking and Writing Lesson Plan Idea
- Display the picture on your classroom projector (or print copies, if you don’t have the technology available). Look at the picture with the whole class and brainstorm a list of relevant vocabulary words.
- Divide students into pairs or small groups. Ask each group to come up with a list of 10 specific details about the person referred to in the prompt. Their details might include name, age, job, appearance, personality quirks, daily routine, secrets, dreams, etc.
- After the teams have completed their lists, ask the groups to work together to write a short story about the person who they just described. All ten details should be included in the story. (If you’re teaching a lower-level ESL class, you might ask your students to write a profile of the person in paragraph form instead of a story.)
- Ask the groups to read their stories aloud to the class.
Other Lesson Planning Ideas
- If your students need individual writing practice, you can forego splitting your class into groups, and instead have students write their lists/stories independently.
- Another idea is to write a list of 10 details together as a whole class. After you finish, divide the class into groups and ask each group to write a story about the same person. I would recommend giving them a specific prompt to work with. For example, if you used the third picture (the one with the shoes), and you came up with a character named Anne who is 28 years old and unemployed, you might ask, “How did Anne lose her shoes? Write a story.” After the groups finish, they can take turns reading their stories and comparing their ideas.
What other ideas do you have for incorporating these prompts into your classes? Please share them in the comment section below. Thanks for reading!