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A small diversion in the midst of sorting out bits and pieces about my professional development as a teacher (more on that in a future post or two) and documenting the TESOL France experience over at mikeharrison.edublogs.org, here is a quick idea for a drawing game that you can do in class.

What you will need are the following: a die (or a few dice with a big group), blank paper (any will do – printed too many worksheets? use the back!), and finally, most importantly, a group of willing students (3-4 minimum is probably best; artistic ability not required)

The end result will look something a little like this (hopefully…)


This is a game that you play by rolling a die and draw particular parts of the beetle that have been designated on a key. If we look a little closer, you’ll see what I mean. Numbers below correspond to the number rolled on a die.

  1. antennae – a beetle has two of these; can only be drawn once you have a body and head
  2. eyes – a beetle has two of these; can only be drawn once you have a body and a head
  3. a head – the beetle has just one; can only be drawn when you have a body
  4. body – you need to draw this before you can draw any other part of your beetle
  5. spots – beetles have 4 spots; can only be drawn once you have a body
  6. legs – beetles (like all insects) have 6 of these; can only be drawn once you have a body

The winner is the first student to draw a completed beetle. Can be played in one big group or several smaller groups; students have artistic licence for other features of their beetles (for example, they can draw as many stripes as they like and don’t need to roll any dice to do so). You could also add or remove features of the beetles and corresponding dice scores if you want to.

I have used this most often as a filler or end-of-year type activity, but you could definitely encounter a teachable moment or two during the beetle games, whether to do with in-game banter (‘My beetle’s loads better than yours!’ ‘I’m so gonna win this game’ for example) or functions of language to describe the finished drawings. I’ll leave those to you to develop =)

(Thanks to my grandmother for teaching me this game!)