Describing Places - ESL Worksheets, Activities, Lessons and Games

Around the House

ESL Listening and Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate - 20 minutes

In this challenging teaching activity, students play a game of taboo where they describe and guess words connected with houses and buildings. The class is divided into groups of four and each group is given a set of cards. The students shuffle the cards and place them face down in a pile on the desk. Students take it in turns to pick up a card from the pile, without showing it to anyone. The student with the card describes the word in bold to the other students. The student is not allowed to say any of the words shown on the card or variations of the words. The first student to guess the word being described wins the card. Students continue playing until all the cards have been used. The student with the most cards at the end of the game is the winner.
 

Describing Places

ESL Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate - 60 minutes

In this rewarding three-page lesson, students learn adjectives for describing places, famous landmarks and buildings, and practice writing descriptions with the adjectives. Each student is given a copy of the lesson and a dictionary. Students begin by writing synonyms and antonyms for the adjectives shown on the worksheet. The students do this by looking up the adjectives in a dictionary and writing down any new synonyms or antonyms they find. Afterwards, the students' answers are reviewed as a class. Students then think of a famous landmark or building and write a description of it, using the tips and adjectives from the first exercise. However, they don't write the name of the place in their description. When the students have finished, they take it in turns to read their descriptions to the class. The class then tries to guess the famous landmark or building being described. The students then move on to answer questions and describe pictures of two famous landmarks. Students name the famous landmarks in the pictures, write adjectives to describe them, and use the adjectives to write descriptions of the landmarks. When the students have finished, the answers are checked and the students read their descriptions to the class. Next, students think about the worst place they have ever been to and write down six negative adjectives to describe it. Students then write a description of the place. After that, students write about the same place, but as if they were a travel agent and had to sell it as a holiday destination to tourists. Students write down six positive adjectives to describe the place and a new description. Finally, the students read out their two descriptions to the class and feedback is given.
 

Ideal Holiday Destinations

ESL Writing, Listening and Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate - 35 minutes

In this insightful worksheet activity, students describe their ideal holiday destination. Students then find out about their classmates' holiday destinations and discuss which one they would prefer to visit, and why. Each student is given a copy of the worksheet. The students complete the first column on the worksheet with notes about their ideal holiday destination, including information like the location, climate, landscape, historical sites, etc. When the students have finished writing, they are divided into pairs. Students then take it in turns to ask their partner about their ideal holiday destination. Students record their partner's name at the top of the second column on the worksheet and make notes underneath. When they have finished, students change partner. Each student asks their new partner questions about their previous partner's holiday destination, noting down the information in the last column. When they have finished, students find a new partner and discuss which of the six destinations from their two worksheets they would prefer to visit, and why. Afterwards, there is a class feedback session. Students discuss which holiday destinations they liked the most and the similarities and differences between them. As an extension, students create a short promotional talk about their ideal holiday destination, describing it and explaining why it's ideal.
 

It's a place where...

ESL Listening and Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate - 20 minutes

In this intriguing worksheet activity, students describe places by saying what you can do there. This activity can also be used to practice places in a town. The class is divided into pairs (A and B) and each student is given a corresponding worksheet. Each student's worksheet contains the same map as their partner, but different places on each map are missing. Students take it in turns to ask about one of the missing places on their map, e.g. 'What's number 3?' Their partner then describes the place by saying what you can do there, e.g. 'It's a place where you can meet your friends and drink beer'. The student then guesses what place is being described from their partner’s description. If the student guesses correctly, the name of the place is written on the map. If not, their partner continues to describe the place until the student gets it right. This process continues with students taking it in turns to describe places until all the places have been marked on the two students maps. When the students have finished, they check their answers by comparing worksheets.
 

Adjectives that Describe Places

ESL Writing, Listening and Speaking Activity - Intermediate - 35 minutes

In this enjoyable worksheet activity, students complete a crossword by defining and guessing adjectives that are commonly used to describe places. 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 with the people in their group, students invent and write down clues for the adjectives 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 adjective and the other student tries to guess what it is. If the student guesses the adjective 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.
 
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