15 best drawing games

1. Pictionary Students are given a word or sentence and have to draw it until their partners guess what they are drawing. 2. Slow pictionary In this variation on Pictionary, students draw very slowly or a line at a time to make guessing more difficult. This is good for the language of probability and possibility, […]

1. Pictionary
Students are given a word or sentence and have to draw it until their partners guess what they are drawing.

2. Slow pictionary
In this variation on Pictionary, students draw very slowly or a line at a time to make guessing more difficult. This is good for the language of probability and possibility, such as “It must be…” or “It’s probably…”

3. Idioms pictionary
With careful planning, pictionary can also be used to present language students have never seen before. For example, as long as students know all the individual words in an idiomatic phrase they can draw the literal and idiomatic meanings as described on their card until the other students guess the meaning and/ or the wording.

4. Picture dictation
Students describe a picture they have to their partner, who tries to draw what they hear. This can either be done with the person describing being able to see the picture as it is being drawn (easier) or not (more communication and question formation). This is good for prepositions, and shapes and dimensions for Technical English classes.

5. Comparatives picture dictation
In this slight variation on Picture Dictation, the person describing the picture looks at what their partner is drawing and gives advice using comparative adjectives to make it as close as possible to the original, e.g. “The nose should be longer”. When all the teams have finished, judge which drawing is closest to the original, maybe letting teams criticize the other teams’ efforts using the same language.

6. Picture dictation pictionary
In this combination of Picture Dictation and Pictionary, students draw what their partners describe from their picture and stop as soon as they can identify what it is. To make it more difficult, you could limit them to one guess per picture.

7. Blindfold tracing
Following the instructions of their partners, students draw a line on a picture on the whiteboard or photocopy without seeing it. Give points for staying within the right limits, being a neat drawing and/ or identifying what they have drawn before they take their blindfold off. This can also work well for the language of giving directions.

8. Drawing race
Students race to draw something that is described to them, e.g. “There are some bananas on the table”. Good for “some”, “any”, countable and uncountable, prepositions of position and movement, adjectives etc.

9. Drawing challenge
In this slight variation on Drawing Race, students are challenged by other teams or by the teacher to draw something seemingly impossible, e.g. a car drawn only with triangles or an angry potato. Time limits can also be set.

10. Drawing sentence challenge
In this variation on Drawing Challenge, students can only change one word or part of the sentence on the board to make it difficult or impossible to draw, e.g. changing “The spider is on the man” to “The mountain is on the man”

11. Drawing sentence extension challenge
A more complicated and grammar intensive version of Drawing Sentence Challenge is to make students add to the sentence rather than substitute, e.g. going from “The cat is playing the flute” to “The cat is playing the flute that the elephant is sitting on”

12.Pick a card drawing sentence challenge
For classes where you want to practice particular vocab or your students don’t have imagination, you can vary Drawing Sentence Challenge by giving them a pack of cards they pick from and then put that word into the sentence to draw themselves or challenge another team.

13. Pellmanism drawing challenge
If you also want to practice particular grammar, you can still keep the chance and challenge elements of Pick a Card Drawing Sentence Challenge whilst limiting the language by having half sentences or pairs of words that students pick from, make a sentence and then try and draw, e.g. “The man is running” plus “on a bus”, or “violent” plus “mice”.

14. Mystery pictures
The teacher or students draw a picture that is difficult to identify, e.g. something from an odd angle or something from very close up. The other students have to guess what it is.

15. Mystery pictures dictation
In this combination of Mystery Pictures and Picture dictation, students draw a picture that is difficult to identify from a description and then try and guess what it is.

Written by Alex Case for TEFL.net March 2008
Alex Case is the author of TEFLtastic.


  • Ban says:

    I use to play these with Elaine for a week before she had to move houses which was quite far away so I then decided to play these games with my group of friends called the 7ds. Dancho, Meliodas, always beats me which is really unfair since he plays these games way more than me. I don’t really play it with the other members since they are usually uninterested but I do play it with my master Hawks!

  • Elizabeth says:

    I play almost all these games with Sir Meliodas! It lets your creativity come through and I love that. My sisters Veronica and Margaret also play with me sometimes, but Veronica always ends up beating me. Next time I’m going to play these with more of my friends like Diane and maybe Gowther (he’s insanely smart though)! Sir Meliodas said I would get a punishment if I lose!! Wish me luck ?❤️

    -Elizabeth & Hawk

  • Ging Freecss says:

    I love playing these games with my son, Gon! Just kidding, I never play any games with him because I’m never there.. But apparently his friends says these games are fun.

  • Dora says:

    I’m an Artist 47 yrs
    They never want to play pictionary with me because my partner would always guess it right every single time….
    Or everyone wanted to be my partner
    Love the game

  • Anna says:

    I’m not a teacher, I’m a student but my teacher has tryed these before. Very fun for a class of 30 children. Would highly recommend that you try these

  • mel says:

    these are great ideas, thank you so much

  • anchal goswami says:

    thank u

  • Alex Case says:

    Thanks Aicha, that’s a nice idea

  • Aicha Khalfallah says:

    Almost all the pupils of differnt levels like drawing very much that’s why I use drawing as a way to consolidate some grammer structures or vocabulary items. For instance , I taught them the weather. I asked them to draw the weather conditions on their birthdays .It was a useful idea to consolidate some adjectives ( cloudy , snowy , warm , hot…) because they were very motivated to do such activity and we chose the best drawings.


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