Do you have a dull unit about how to describe stuff? I did, but I managed to make it more interesting for classes of teenage ESL students.
I had a unit on describing buildings and I wanted a creative way to engage teenage ESL/EFL students. So, I drew these strange houses in black pen to help teach them how to write and talk about describing strange houses.
There are 6 houses on the sheet:
- A boot house
- An igloo style house
- A telephone house
- A tree house
- A musical instruments house
- An apple house
Note, the watermarks you see in the image thumbnails do not appear on the paid-for download.
First, I teach the students about the vocabulary of houses. For example: look like/strange/ideal/detached/balcony/chimney/attic/basement/overlook/ ...and so on.
Next, I photocopy the sheet so that I can cut out enough houses to give one house to each student in the class. (I usually copy a few more in case they don't like the house they are given and want to change it).
Then, I have a list of questions on the board that they must answer in full sentences about the picture of the house. Examples:
What does it look like?
What does it have? (e.g. a balcony)
What doesn't it have?
What does it overlook?
Is it your ideal house? Why/Why not?
Would people criticize it? Why/Why not?
What would you do if you lived there?
Then, you can check their writing and have students stand up to talk about the house.
(Final activity for production/project is the students design their own themed house and describe it).
I used these pictures with grade 11 (upper high-school) ESL students in Thailand. They liked the pictures - well, sometimes they didn't like the one they got and they changed it for one they were ok with - teenagers!
Hope it provides a useful activity for you.