Drawing For ESL/EFL Teachers

stickfigureninja1.jpgI’m not afraid to draw in class even though, once my artistic abilities become known, students tend to start shaking their heads and laughing when I pick up a pen.

If you need to draw, it’s to convey an idea or meaning of a word, so it’s okay if you’re a terrible artist, as long as you get the point across. You will get better. And if not, you will come to enjoy your reputation as the antithesis of Monet. Really.

If you’re really bad – like me – it may help to practice your drawing in your lesson plan. You don’t have to copy your first draft up onto the board, but the fact that you have thought out what you need to convey (and okay, the fact that you practiced once) will help. One side effect is that you will be able to impress all your friends and family with games like Pictionary.

If you want to get your students drawing, Pictionary vocabulary revision is usually a winner. Or, try Drawing Blind:

Make sure your students have the vocabulary to explain what they see in a picture and where it is (There is/there are, on the left/right, in the corner, etc.). Get two students up the whiteboard, blindfold them, and tell them their task is to listen to their respective teams and draw what they hear. Prepare a picture yourself in advance and – without telling the two teams – give them the same picture. They have a set amount of time to explain. After the time is up, you, the teacher, are the judge: you decide which picture is closer to the original.

Obviously the language practiced is quite low level – Elementary or Pre-Intermediate. But because of the blindfolds, it can still be a true competition with fun-loving higher level students.

A few resources to hone your skills: