Describing Things ESL Games, Activities and Worksheets

Describing Things Scramble

ESL Describing Things Game - Reading and Vocabulary: Matching, Forming Descriptions - Pair Work - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 25 minutes

In this describing things game, students race to form descriptions with made or used + preposition expressions. In pairs, students begin by separating cards into three types and placing them face-up on the table (sentence beginning cards, made / used + preposition cards, and ending cards). Next, students line up the sentence beginning cards in order and match each one with an ending card. After that, students complete each sentence with a made / used + preposition card, e.g. 'This mirror is made of glass'. The first pair to complete all the descriptions correctly wins.
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Made + Preposition

ESL Describing Things Worksheet- Vocabulary Exercises: Gap-fill, Matching, Binary Choice - Speaking Activity: Brainstorming - Pair Work - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 30 minutes

In this describing things worksheet, students learn how to describe things with made + preposition expressions. First, students complete descriptions with words from a box. Next, students look at the made + preposition expressions in bold in the descriptions and match them with their functions. Students then underline the correct preposition in each description. After that, students complete descriptions with the prepositions: in, of, from, with, by or out of. Next, students match sentence halves together, adding a suitable preposition. Lastly, students complete descriptions with the correct preposition. Students then work with a partner and try to think of one thing to complete each description.
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Think of Something

ESL Describing Things Activity - Vocabulary: Word Association - Pair Work - 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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Describing Objects

ESL Describing Objects Worksheet - Vocabulary Exercises: Matching, Categorising, Identifying, Gap-fill, Writing Descriptions - Speaking Activity: Describing, Guessing - Pair Work - Intermediate (B1) - 30 minutes

This free 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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Origin

ESL Describing Things Game - Speaking: Describing, Guessing - Pair Work - Intermediate (B1) - 25 minutes

In this engaging describing things game, students describe things that come from different countries. Each pair is given a set of cards that show things countries are famous for, such as types of food, animals, sports, company names, products, etc. In pairs, students take it in turns to pick up a card and give clues about what is on the card to their partner. The first clue must be about the nationality of the thing being described, e.g. 'It is Australian'. Their partner then tries to guess the answer. If they guess correctly the first time, they score five points. If they guess incorrectly, the student gives another clue for four points and so on. The student with the most points at the end of the game is the winner.
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The Describing Game

ESL Describing Things Game - Vocabulary: Describing, Guessing - Group Work - 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 - Writing: Imagining, Answering Questions - 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.
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Whatsitsname?

ESL Describing Objects Game - Speaking: Describing, Guessing - Group and Pair Work - 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.
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Advertising Products

ESL Describing Products Activity - Vocabulary and Writing: Matching, Writing an Advertisement, Presenting - Pair Work - 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 pictures of products and the meaning of each adjective on the worksheet. Next, in pairs, students look at the adjectives 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 the name of the product. Students then take it in turns to read their advertisement to the class who has to guess which product it is.
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Ancient Artifacts

ESL Describing Objects Game - Speaking: Describing, Guessing - Group Work - Upper-intermediate (B2) - 20 minutes

In this 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 - Vocabulary: Matching, Forming Sentences from Prompts - Group Work - Upper-intermediate (B2) - 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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Adjectives of Size, Shape and Colour

ESL Describing Things Worksheet - Vocabulary and Writing Exercises: Matching, Gap-fill, Listing, Writing a Paragraph - Advanced (C1) - 40 minutes

In this describing things worksheet, students practice adjectives of size, shape and colour to describe rooms and objects in the home. First, students match adjectives of size, shape and colour from a box to definitions and complete sentences with the adjectives. Students then use the adjectives to complete a description of an apartment. After that, students think about how they would describe the place where they live and write new adjectives of size, shape and colour that can be used to describe their home and the objects typically found there. Lastly, students write a short paragraph that describes where they live using the adjectives from the worksheet.
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