EFL - ESL activities and games on how to describe people

This ESL lesson plan contains activities and games for teaching beginners how to describe people using the verbs 'to be' and 'have got'. The best way to view this content is through the TEFL Handbook app. If you have an Android device, be sure to check it out.

Lead-in activity

The sample board below acts as a warm-up or lead-in activity for the target language in this lesson. Start off by adding both verbs and eliciting the adjectives associated with each. After that, draw some characters on the board and elicit sentences that describe them.

EFL - ESL Lead-in activity for describing people | Beginner

ESL activities for describing people

Describe the teacher

A fun and interactive ESL writing activity. You are going to write a description of yourself on the board in the third person. Elicit as much as possible from your students and have them copy what you write. If you have used the sample board, you could leave the list of adjectives at the top and pull from that.

Describing myself

This ESL activity challenges students to take what they have learned so far and apply it to themselves. Each student writes a description of themselves. Fast finishers can read theirs at the front of the class.

My partner

The students swap books with a partner. Using the descriptions in their partners' notebooks, each student must then describe their partner in the third person. Before they begin, revise the correct forms of the verbs 'to be' and 'have got' in the third person.

Meet the family

Here we have a very creative ESL speaking activity that provides the perfect opportunity to demonstrate the target language. Students will draw and describe family members. Or, if they are in a creative mood, they could invent a family of monsters, cartoon characters and celebrities.

ESL games

Hot seat: Describing people

Students have to describe another classmate to their partner. On each turn, one student will sit with their back to the rest of the students, facing their partner. The teacher points to one of the students behind the hot seat. The student in play must then describe the chosen student to their partner in the hot seat. Depending on the age or level of the students, set a time limit, or limit the number of guesses to one or two.

More ESL lesson plans for beginners

We hope that you were able to grab a few ideas from this lesson plan. Our suggested next lesson focuses on questions about time. Also, be sure to check out our full list of ESL lesson plans for beginners (A1 Upper), as well as the complete collection.

Are you an Android user? Then you should give our app a go! The TEFL Handbook app has over 100 lesson plans, 300+ ESL activities, over 100 ideas for games and has been designed for the ESL the classroom.

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