Describing appearance.

esl lesson describing appearance

Level: Pre-intermediate (A2-B1)

Type of English: General English

Tags: people and places describing people Vocabulary lesson

Publication date: 07/24/2013

In this lesson, students learn how to describe other people’s physical appearance. The worksheet presents common adjectives used for describing what someone looks like as well as questions for asking about another person’s looks.

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esl lesson describing appearance

Type of English: General English Level: Pre-intermediate (A2-B1)

esl lesson describing appearance

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esl lesson describing appearance

Type of English: Business English Level: Pre-intermediate (A2-B1)

esl lesson describing appearance

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ESL Describing People | Five Super Fun Games For Describing Appearance

Describing People Games ESL

Describing people and describing physical appearance in English is one of my absolute favorite lessons to teach. There are plenty of fun games and activities about describing people that students really enjoy. In this post, we have put together a list of our favorite games and activities to teach descriptions and describing physical appearance in English .

Describing People Activity 1: Who Am I?

This first game to teach descriptions in English requires little to no prep. In this game, each student should write a short description about themselves, without including their name. For example, a student might write “I am tall. I have black hair and brown eyes. I wear glasses.”, etc.

Once students have written a short description describing their physical appearance, they should fold up their piece of paper and give it to the teacher.

Then, the teacher would mix up the descriptions and then choose one and read it out to the class. The students should listen to that description and then try to guess who the teacher is describing.

This is a great game for reviewing lessons about describing appearance and students of all ages really enjoy it.

Describing People Activity 2: Draw A Monster

This next activity is a fun game to teach descriptions to kids. To play this game, give each student a piece of paper and a pencil. Then, show the above video. The students must read the sentences which are describing the appearance of a monster.

After reading about the monster’s physical appearance, pause the video and ask the students to try to draw the monster based on that description.

Once students have finished their drawing, press play on the video to reveal what the monster looks like and compare the students’ drawings to the monster in the video.

Kids really love this game and will be laughing out loud when they see the strange monster drawings they made.

Describing People Activity 3: Guess Who

ESL Descriptions Game

This next game is inspired the classic board game ‘guess who’. In this classroom version of the game, the teacher would invite one student up to the front of the class and ask them to turn around / close their eyes.

Then the teacher will point at one student in the class to be ‘it’. After choosing one student, the student at the front can open his/her eyes.

Next, the other students in the class must describe the appearance of the student that the teacher chose, and the student at the front must guess which student they are describing.

For example, to describe the student they might say, “He has blonde hair.”, “He is wearing a red jacket.”, “He is short.”, etc.

Once the student at the front guesses who the students are describing, then it’s another student’s turn to go to the front of the class and close their eyes.

If this game is too easy for students, another great way to play this descriptions game is to get the student at the front of the class to ask questions to figure out who is ‘it’.

For example, the student might ask “Does he have glasses?”, “Is he wearing a red jacket?”, “Is he tall?”, etc.

Describing People Activity 4: Drawing Dictation

This descriptions game is great for describing appearance and for introducing description words to kids and beginner English language students. In this activity, the teacher will be drawing a person on the board based on the students’ descriptions.

To start, review parts of the body and face with students. Next, the teacher should ask the students how he/she should draw the person on the board by asking them to describe the different parts of the body.

A great place to start is with the eyes. Ask students, to choose, “big eyes or small eyes?”. Then, ask them about the nose. “Big nose or small nose?”. And so on, until you have drawn the entire person based on these descriptions.

This is a great game as students, especially kids, find it really funny when you draw a silly drawing on the board.

After playing one time, you can give each student a piece of paper and give them a chance to draw a person as you describe the appearance of a person.

Describing People Activity 5: Walking Dictation

This last activity to for describing appearance is based on the esl game, ‘walking dictation’. But rather than dictating what to write, the students will be describing the appearance of what the teacher showed them.

To play, divide the class into teams and provide each team with a piece of paper and a pencil. Next, invite one student from each team to come to the front of the class. Show these students a picture of a person or a monster/animal, etc.

Next, these students must go back to their team and describe the appearance of what they saw. The other students in the group must then try to draw the picture as accurately as they can.

After five minutes or so, ask students to stop drawing and to hold up their pictures. The team with the most accurate drawing is the winner.

Describing People – Related Resources

Here are some related resources for teaching descriptions / lessons about describing appearance that are currently available.

  • Describing Appearance PowerPoint
  • Describing Appearance Game For Kids
  • Adjectives To Describe People

Pocket Passport

Describing appearance ESL lesson

In this ESL beginner-level lesson, you will learn grammar, vocabulary, and phrases to talk about everyday English topics: an English conversation lesson for describing appearance – people that you know using the present simple tense and adjectives.

This ESL lesson also comes with a downloadable PDF you can access when you are a member of Pocket Passport.

This ESL video lesson for daily English will help ESL students learn vocabulary, grammar, improve listening and be confident English speakers.

Practical English for everyday situations. Good luck with this lesson! After you complete it, we recommend you check out the lesson on Clothes & Fashion so that you can describe what people are wearing. Then once you have done that keep going with a review of Friends & Family so that you can describe what look like and also their style. Good luck!

Describing People You Know

Warm Up Questions

What does your teacher look like?

What does your favorite actor/actress look like?

What does your boss look like?

Describe one of your classmates.

Describe someone in your family.

How have you changed in appearance since you were a child?

Watch, Read or Listen

Watch the following ESL YouTube video on Describing Appearance.

Listening questions, watch the youtube video and answer the following questions ..

Describing People

When is the company party?

Who will attend the party?

What does Mrs. Overby look like?

What does Mr. Jonasson look like?

What does Mr. Kim look like?

What does Mrs. Anderson look like?

What does Mr. Vertigan look like?

What does Ms. Walker look like?

Speaking Activity

Use the illustrations to describe the people from the passage..

People You Know

average | beard | cheek | curly | dyed earring | eyes | fat | freckle | glasses hair | head | height | important | large | little medium-length | mole | mustache | shaved head short | small | spiky | tall | tattoo | thin | wavy | wrist

Match the words on the left with the meanings on the right ..


Sentence Structure

Put the following sentences in the correct order ..


  • Saturday / very / There / important / will / the / company / guests / be / party / some / on / at / .
  • blonde / medium-length / freckles / has / and / hair / Ms / wavy / Overby / . / , / , / ,
  • beard / and / head / his / shaved / Jonasson / a / Mr. / has / .
  • hair / Mr. / and / grey / wears / short / glasses / has / Kim / he / . / ,
  • short / Mr. / Vertigan / a / black / and / hair / has / mustache / , / .
  • and / her / hair / a / on / small / tattoo / spiky / dyed / left / green / has / wrist / She / . / ,

Missing Words

Watch the video again and complete the sentences..


There will be some very _________________ 1 guests at the company party on Saturday. Please try to introduce yourself to them. Ms. Overby has ____________________ 2 , wavy, blonde hair, and freckles. She is short and thin. Mr. Jonasson ______________ 3 his head and has a beard. He has green eyes. He is a little fat. Mr. Kim has short grey hair, and he wears glasses. He is ________________ 4 height and thin. He always shaves. Mrs. Anderson has _______________ 5 , white hair and likes to wear large earrings. She is tall and thin. Mr. Vertigan has short, black hair and a mustache. He has a ____________ 6 on his cheek. He is _______________ 7 short and fat. Ms. Walker is our boss. She has dyed green, spiky hair and a small _____________ 8 on her left wrist.

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esl lesson describing appearance

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Describing Appearance Exercises and Worksheets

Describing people is an essential  topic in all elementary English language courses. Students need to be able to talk about, and write about appearance. Many of the worksheets below use pictures to  help make this an enjoyable classroom topic.

6  describing people and appearance vocabulary and language exercises

More exercises for teaching clothes, accessories and fashion (PDF)

Describe a person worksheet (word)

Who’s wearing what? Using a collection of 18-20 pictures of people

Describing people vocabulary (PDF)

Describing people: appearance vocabulary and exercises (PDF)

Describing a Person: Adding Details

Take a look in the mirror:  What do you see? Elementary ESL Lesson

Dating Service personal description lesson plan template

ESL Lesson idea: Describing Clothes (PDF)

Describing People Teaching Idea-nice handout (PDF)

Party dress code definitions

  • A1-A2 vocabulary

Appearance 1

Do the exercises to learn words to describe people's appearance.

What is your appearance like? Describe a friend or someone in your family.

Language level

My name is Toan. I'm 20 years old and my height is 165cm. Well, I am an Asian person with dark hair and my family also have dark hair too.

  • Log in or register to post comments

I have a question. All Asian people have dark hair or some people have lighter hair like brown or something like that.

I am 61 years old. I am the older in my family. I am a man with a white hair. 😊

My name is Anne. I'm 17. I'm an Asian person so my height is quite modest at 154 cm. I have dark hair so I want to have ginger hair in the future

Hello, My name is Posso. I am a tall black woman and I am in my middle fourty. People say I look younger than my age. I have a brother who is taller than me but I am one of the tallest ladies of my family. Thanks for helping us improve our english.

I'm Youssef, my appearance is that I have dark hair and my tall is normal and I am a young man, hope all happiness for you, and give all thanks for teachers that made that website to helping people are the world, thank you so much to helping us 💛💛💛

I am 28 years old. I am the youngest in my family. I am a lady with a dark hair. I am pretty short because my height is just 150 cm, but i am a little bit taller than my mother now :)

My wife's brother name is Med , he is ginger hair . My first time l know the orange hair called ginger hair .

I am 180 cm tall with dark hair. My wife is 178 cm with brown hair.

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