In the Family Tree Dictation ESL activity, students have to draw a family tree based only on the description of their partner.
If they haven’t already done it in a previous activity (e.g. Family Tree), students will first need to draw their own family tree in their notebook.
Assign each student a partner who doesn’t already know their family tree. Sit the partners opposite each other.
- Students describe their family tree to their partner. The partner has to draw that family tree in their notebook.
- However, the partner cannot at any point look at the original family tree. They have to try and draw it using only what they hear.
- Encourage the student listening to use questions to ensure their information is complete. For example, Do you have any cousins?
- When they have finished, they compare the original tree and their drawing to see how similar they are.
- The students swap roles and repeat.
The Family Tree Dictation ESL activity is a great way to practise speaking and listening with family vocabulary. It is ideal as an extension for beginner students after they draw their own family tree, and is often a better choice for adult students than the full Family Tree project.
For a similar activity in which students write the information instead of dictating it, try Family Tree Fill-In. They could do that activity instead of this one, or in addition to it, with a different partner.
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