Describing Things ESL Games, Activities and Worksheets

Think of Something

ESL Describing Things Activity - Vocabulary: Word Association - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 30 minutes

In this fun describing things activity, students associate words with adjectives and compare their answers with a partner. Working alone, students go through the questions on the worksheet and write something that they associate with each adjective. In pairs, students then ask their partner the questions from the worksheet and write down their answers. Afterwards, students compare their answers with their partner and see if they both thought of the same things or not. Finally, there is a class feedback session to find out which associations the students have in common and to speculate why. As an extension, students choose five of the adjectives from the worksheet and write as many things they associate with them as possible. Students then read the list of items to the class who tries to guess the adjective.
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Interactive Version - In this describing things breakout room activity, students think of words they associate with adjectives that describe things and then compare their answers with a partner.

 

Ancient Artifacts

ESL Describing Objects Game - Listening and Speaking Activity - Intermediate (B1) - 20 minutes

In this free describing things speaking activity, students take on the role of archaeologists in the far future and play a game where they describe objects and guess possible uses. Students imagine that they are archaeologists in the far future and that the cards represent unknown ancient objects they have dug up. Students take it in turns to pick up a card, look at the picture, and describe the object in detail to the other group members, without saying what it is. The student describes the object's size, shape, colour, what it's made of and what it was possibly used for, according to the description on the card. The other students listen to the description and give their opinion on what they think the object was actually used for. The first student to give the correct use of the object wins and keeps the card. If no one can correctly guess the use, the students move on to try to guess what the object is rather than its use. The student with the most cards at the end of the game wins.
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Describe it

ESL Describing Things Game - Matching, Listening and Speaking Activity - Intermediate (B1) - 25 minutes

In this free describing things game, students match four adjectives to a picture and then describe the picture with the adjectives. The aim of the game is for players to get four adjective cards that describe one of the pictures on the table. Players take it in turns to pick up and put down an adjective card. When a player has four adjective cards that describe one of the pictures, they place the cards in front of the picture and describe it. If all the players agree the adjectives match and the description is appropriate, the student wins and keeps the picture card. The player with the most picture cards at the end of the game wins.
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Describing Objects

ESL Describing Objects Worksheet - Reading, Matching and Writing Exercises - Intermediate (B1) - 30 minutes

This describing objects worksheet helps students learn how to describe things using adjectives, the materials they're made of, and their use. Students begin by matching sentence halves together to make sentences that describe objects. Next, students put the words in bold from Exercise A into their correct category: adjective, material, or use. After that, students read about describing objects and underline words that show the correct grammar rules. Students then move on to complete sentences that describe objects with the words shown. Next, students write three sentences of their own to describe six objects using the words provided. In the last exercise, students think of two objects and describe them in three sentences to a partner, without saying what the objects are. Their partner then tries to guess what they are describing.
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The Describing Game

ESL Describing Things Game - Listening and Speaking Activity - Intermediate (B1) - 30 minutes

In this challenging describing things game, students describe objects with five given words or phrases. Players take it in turns to turn over the top five cards from the pile. The player then thinks of an object and tries to use the five words or phrases on the cards to describe it. The player must make one sentence per card. The other students in the group judge whether each sentence the player makes is acceptable. When a player has used a card successfully to describe their object, the player keeps the card. The player with the most cards at the end of the game wins.
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The Journey

ESL Describing Things Activity - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking - Intermediate (B1) - 30 minutes

In this imaginative describing things activity, students describe in detail the things they see as they are led on a journey. Tell the students that they are going to go on a journey using their imagination. As students approach each situation in the journey, they close their eyes and take a mental snapshot of the picture in their mind before completing questions on the worksheet. When the journey is over, students describe what they saw in each situation. Students are then given an interpretation of the situation. You could also ask the students the meaning of each situation and see if they can guess the psychoanalytical symbolism themselves.
The Journey Preview

Interactive Version - In this describing things interactive activity, students complete an exercise where they describe what they see as they go on a journey.

 

Whatsitsname?

ESL Describing Objects Game - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking Activity - Intermediate (B1) - 35 minutes

In this describing things guessing game, students describe objects for others to guess. In two groups, students discuss and make notes on how to describe the objects on their worksheet, without saying the names of the objects. Students then pair up with someone from the other group and take it in turns to describe an object on their worksheet to their partner. If their partner guesses the name of the object, the student describing the object puts a tick next to the picture. If not, the student puts a cross. The pair that guesses the most correct items is the winner.
Whatsitsname? Preview

Interactive Version - In this describing objects breakout room activity, pairs of students play a game where they describe and guess different objects.

 

Adjectives of Size, Shape and Colour

ESL Describing Things Game - Categorizing and Speaking Activity - Upper-intermediate (B2) - 40 minutes

In this engaging describing things game, students categorize adjectives of size, shape and colour and explain each adjective's meaning. In teams, students have ten minutes to put the adjectives of size, shape and colour into their respective categories on the worksheet. When the time limit has been reached, call out the first adjective from the worksheet and ask the first team for the correct category. If the category is correct, all the teams with the same answer score a point. If the first team answers correctly, they try to explain the meaning of the adjective for an extra point. They do this by drawing on the board, pointing to something that can be described with the adjective or by making a sentence with the adjective that illustrates the meaning. If the team gives an incorrect category or explanation, the next team gives their answer. This process is repeated with each team in turn until all the answers and explanations have been given correctly. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins.
Adjectives of Size, Shape and Colour Preview

Interactive Version - In this describing things interactive worksheet, students do an exercise where they categorize adjectives of size, shape and colour.

 

Advertising Products

ESL Describing Products Activity - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking - Upper-intermediate (B2) - 30 minutes

In this product descriptions activity, students match adjectives that are commonly used to advertise products and then write an advertisement for a product using the adjectives. Students start by reviewing the pictures of the products and the meaning of each adjective on the worksheet. Next, in pairs, students look at the adjectives at the bottom of the worksheet and decide which product or products each adjective describes. After that, pairs choose a product and write an advertisement for it using the corresponding adjectives. Each pair then presents their advertisement to the class. As a variation, you can have the students write their advertisement, without mentioning which product they are referring to. Students then take it in turns to read their advertisement to the class who has to guess the product.
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