No Image Available

Seb Anthony

Read more from Seb Anthony

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1705321608055-0’); });

Listening exercise – drawing animals


Does anyone have a listening exercise where a delegates describes an animal and the other delegate has to draw what they are saying and then see how true to like the picture is?
Gwen Turpin

7 Responses

  1. You do…
    Hi Gwen,

    Sounds like you already have the exercise – I read your question and understood exactly what would be required – Also it’s a nice idea to get people to interpret different styles – you could do mime (Kinesthetic) to drawn picture (Visual) or Visual to Mime to spoken (Auditory) – isn’t there a ‘party’ game that’s on sale that does that? – Or ‘perm any one from three’ – you have a whole range of communication exercises – WELL DONE (Thank you – I think I’ve got some new toys to play with on my training courses).

    All the best.


  2. I agree…
    Hi Gwen,

    I agree with Robert, in that you’ve already got the basis of the exercise.

    We’ve used it to good effect with a variety of groups and using a variety of subjects.

    Generally, we get people back to back, with one of the pair facing the front of the room, where we draw something on a flipchart. The person facing the flipchart then describes the picture to their partner (who can’t see it!) who interprets the instructions and draws the picture themselves – with sometimes hilarious consequences!

    With some groups, we’ve found it better to use abstracts rather than real objects (or animals!) to stop people making assumptions about what they’re drawing.

    Hope this helps,

    Colin Hamilton
    email: [email protected]

  3. All squared up
    A variation on this theme involves using a “simple” diagram made up of six or seven squares.

    The squares are arranged roughly in a column, but at varying angles, they may or may not touch nearby squares, etc. Sitting back to back A describes the diagram to B who tries to duplicate it, etc.

    (Don’t give everyone the same diagram or the drawer could catch information from nearby couples.)

    Alternatively, give each person a similar set of kid’s building blocks and seat them back to back, each with their own work surface. One person builds a structure, horizontally, vertically or both, describing what they are doing as they go along.
    The partner has to build a matching structure.

    We find these activities particularly effective with people who haven’t done much on listening skills before. They tend to think that with such clear-cut shapes, duplication should be easy, and tend to be suitably impressed with the need to develop their listening skills when they see what a bodge up they’ve made of such a seemingly simple exercise.

  4. Exercises
    Hi Gwen,

    I have a couple of exercises you can use for this, just give me a call, you have my number!

  5. variation on a theme
    I have done a similar exercise repeatedly using a simple (very simple) circuit diagram. The object of this wasn’t to test listening skills but to “prove” the value of diagrammatic representations of process rather than text description.

  6. Walkie Talkies
    Hi Gwen

    I’ve used a similar listening exercise but with a twist. I split delegates into two small groups and locate the groups in two different rooms. Group A is given a diagram/picture on A4 paper and has to relay this image to group B in the other room. Group B has a sheet of flipchart paper rather than A4 paper. In order that the group can communicate I give them a set of walkie talkies (in this case an inexpensive child’s pink Barbie walkie talkie).
    I’ve had great success with this exercise; it helps with listening skills and helps improve teamwork. It’s also great fun for both delegates and trainers.

  7. Folding paper
    I have seen a variety of this type of exercise – mainly variations of what has been explained below. I have used both a vareity of shapes on paper, plus communicating along the lines of the ‘walkie talkie’ option below (but I love the idea of pink barbie ones!!)depending on exactly what I want to get out of the activity.

    Also try getting the group to stand (great for leg stretching) in a circle with their backs towards the centre – big enough so that they have arm waving space. Each holds up a piece of paper (flipchart of A4 doesn’t really matter). Facilitator (or chosen participant)gives them folding instructions (eg top left corner to centre of right side – tear hole in second fold etc) and see what you end up with!


Get the latest from TrainingZone.

Elevate your L&D expertise by subscribing to TrainingZone’s newsletter! Get curated insights, premium reports, and event updates from industry leaders.


Thank you!