Describing People's Appearance - ESL Activities, Worksheets, Lessons and Games

Appearance Crossword

ESL Physical Appearance Adjectives Activity - Writing, Listening and Speaking - Elementary - 30 minutes

In this fun crossword activity, students describe and guess words and adjectives related to physical appearance. The class is divided into two groups (A and B) and each student is given a corresponding worksheet. Both groups have the same crossword, but Group A has the words down and Group B has the words across. Working together, the students invent and write down clues for the physical appearance words written on their crossword. When the students have finished writing, they pair up with someone from the other group. The students then take it in turns to ask their partner for a clue to one of their missing words, e.g. 'What's 1 down?' Their partner reads out the clue for that word and the other student tries to guess what it is. If the student guesses the word successfully, they write it on their crossword. If not, their partner continues to give more clues until the student is able to guess the word. When the students have finished, they check their spelling by comparing crosswords.

Describe a Classmate

ESL Describing Appearance Game - Writing, Listening and Speaking Activity - Elementary - 30 minutes

In this entertaining describing appearance game, students describe a classmate's appearance and the class tries to guess who it is. Each student is given a copy of the worksheet. Students secretly choose a classmate to describe. Students then tick the boxes on the worksheet that describe the classmate's height, build, eye colour and hair. After that, the students tick the clothes their chosen classmate is wearing and write down the colour of each item. Students then use the information on the worksheet to write a description of their classmate's appearance. When the students have finished, they take it in turns to read their descriptions to the class. The class then tries to guess who is being described.

Describing People

ESL Describing People Lesson - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking Activity - Elementary - 60 minutes

This rewarding four-page lesson helps to teach students how to describe people's appearance and clothing. Students begin by learning how to use the 'verb to be' to describe height, body build and age. The students then practice the language and write short descriptions of people. After that, students learn how to use 'have' and 'has' to describe hair colour, hair length and facial features. After practicing the language and vocabulary, students take it in turns to describe people from the worksheet. Next, students learn how to describe what someone is wearing. Students learn about the various forms of the verb 'wear' and brainstorm items of clothing. Students then write about what they are wearing now and what they wore yesterday. In pairs, students then put what they have learnt together by describing pictures of famous people. Afterwards, students complete two gap fill exercises to practice the language from the lesson. Students then move on to describe themselves and a classmate. When students describe a classmate, they secretly choose someone to describe. The students then take it in turns to read their descriptions aloud and the class tries to guess who is being described. Finally, students take part in a drawing activity where they read descriptions and draw pictures of three thieves. When the students have finished, they compare their drawings. Then, some students draw their pictures on the board and the descriptions are reviewed with the class.

Describe and Draw

ESL Describing Appearance Activity - Listening, Speaking and Drawing - Pre-intermediate - 30 minutes

Here is an excellent worksheet activity to help students practice describing people's physical appearance, clothing and body posture. The class is divided into pairs (A and B) and each student is given a corresponding worksheet. In their pairs, students take it in turns to describe people on their worksheet for their partner to draw. The descriptions include physical appearance as well as clothing and body posture. Their partner's task is to listen carefully and draw the people on the worksheet. As an extension, students describe a famous person to their partner. Their partner draws the person and guesses who it is. The drawings are then shown to the class for them to guess.

Pen Friend

ESL Describing Appearance Activity - Reading and Writing - Pre-intermediate - 25 minutes

In this light-hearted describing activity, students invent a person and write a letter to a pen friend as that person, describing their height, weight, facial features, clothing and general appearance. Each student is given a copy of the worksheet. The class is divided into large groups and each group sits in a circle. The students begin by inventing a name and age for the person writing the letter. Students complete the first sentence with the information and fold the letter along the dotted line, so that the sentence they have written is hidden. Students then pass the letter to the person on their right. After that, students invent the next piece of information about the person's appearance and complete the second sentence, e.g. 'I'm very tall and quite odd-looking'. When the students have completed the second sentence, they fold the paper along the dotted line as before and give it to the person on their right. This process is repeated until all the sentences have been completed. When the letter is finished, the students open out their letter and read it aloud to the group. This is their new pen friend! The letters should make an entertaining read. The students can then use the same worksheet to write a reply to their new pen friend.

Describing Someone

ESL Describing People Activity - Reading and Writing - Low intermediate - 40 minutes

In this productive worksheet activity, students find adjectives for describing someone's appearance, personality and character in a dictionary and then use the adjectives in descriptions of people. Each student is given a copy of the two worksheets and a dictionary. Students begin by writing adjectives to describe someone's physical appearance, according to categories shown on the worksheet, e.g. height, build, etc. The students do this by looking up adjectives they already know in a dictionary and writing down any new synonyms or antonyms they find. For example, if the category was 'build', students might look up the adjective 'slim' and write down the synonym 'slender'. Afterwards, the students' answers are checked as a class. Students then look up ten adjectives to describe someone's personality and character in a dictionary and write down synonyms or antonyms of the adjectives on the worksheet. After the answers have been reviewed, students think of someone they know very well and write a paragraph describing him or her. Students write about the person's appearance, personality and character using the adjectives from the first two exercises. The students then write a short dialogue in pairs where they describe a famous person's physical appearance, personality and character to a friend. Finally, pairs present their dialogues to the class and the other students say whether they agree with the descriptions or not.

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