Te Kete Ipurangi Navigation:

Te Kete Ipurangi

Te Kete Ipurangi user options:

ESOL Online. Every child literate - a shared responsibility.
Ministry of Education.

Picture Dictation

The teacher describes a picture, or sequence of pictures, to students who draw what they hear. The aim is for close listening, the drawing should be quick and simple.

Normally the exercise takes about 20–30 minutes, depending on the length of the dictation.

Prepare a text that is appropriate to the level of the learners, is written in simple visual terms and has a series of steps.

   1. Tell the students the number of visuals they will be drawing, or the shape of the picture if there is only one.

   2. Read each step aloud to the class twice, allowing time for the drawing.

   3. Where there is a series of visuals, the students work in pairs to retell the sequence.

   4. The students check their visual against the original.


   1. Have one or two confident students drawing their pictures on the board so that the other students can copy when they are unsure (if they judge they are correct).

   2. Picture dictations can be done in pairs, one students reading and one drawing.

Published on: 18 Dec 2017