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The EFL Playhouse: A Resource for ESL/EFL Teachers of Young Learners

Police Artist

Skill: accurately describing people; comprehending descriptions
Group Size: 4 to 12
Prep Time: > 20 minutes
Playing Time: 5-20 minutes
Interest Level: ages 4 to 14
Ability Level: beginning to lower intermediate

Paste pictures of various people on 4 x 6 or larger cardstock. Clothing catalogs are ideal sources of pictures. Cards should reflect a wide assortment of ages, nationalities, clothing, hair styles, and eye and hair color.

Each student will need paper (scrap paper is fine) and colored pencils, markers, or crayons.

One student selects a card. He or she then describes the person on the card to the rest of the class. His or her description should be as detailed as possible. For instance,

"The person is a woman. She has long, wavy brown hair. She is European or North American. She has green eyes. She is wearing small gold glasses. She is wearing black pants. She is wearing a green blouse. She has a brown watch on her left arm. She is wearing black boots."


"The person is a man. He is Oriental. He has short, black hair. He is wearing a gray, three-piece suit. He is wearing black slip-on shoes. He is wearing a white and red pinstriped shirt."

After the description is complete, the teacher evaluates the drawings. The student whose drawing comes closest to the original picture chooses the next card.

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