I learned this game from students in a course I taught at Meiji University. This description game gives people a way to practice communication and verification of understanding.

Set up the room with four chairs facing away from the whiteboard. Leave space behind the chairs for people to stand.

Form four groups of four-seven people. One person from each group sits in a chair, the rest of the group lines up in a column, facing her (and facing the board).

Each of the people in the chairs (the Describer) is given an image (photos, paintings, etc).

The Describer has one minute to describe the image to the first person in the column facing her, the Drawer. The Drawers can ask questions for clarification. All groups do this at the same time.

The Drawers then go to the board, and, on the Joker's signal, start to draw the image based on the description they heard. They have only five seconds.

When time is up, the Drawers go to the end of their group's line and the people now at the front of the column step foward as new drawers in round two.

Same as round one.

Repeat until all have gone once.

At the end, the Describers reveal the original image and the Joker(s) decide which drawing most closely matches its original image.

De-brief: what makes for a successful drawing in this game? Is it about visual similarity? Is it about objective details (number of items, relative sizes, etc)? Is it about subjective qualities (lightness, rigidity, atmosphere)?


1. Form four teams.

Show an image to four people (one from each time) standing or sitting together. Give them one minute to look carefully at the image, then hide it and ask them to draw the image on the board, given them only ten seconds. Be careful not to show the image to the rest of the participants.

Show the same image to the next group of four people, this time for 30 seconds. Ask them to add to or alter the image drawn by the first player.

Repeat until all have played.

2. Form four teams of four or five. Standing in lines, facing away from the front, except for the players closest to the front. They are the first players.

The joker shows a gesture to the first players from each line. No speaking. Time limit of 30 seconds or so.

The players then turn to the next person in line, who turns to face the front, and they explain the gesture verbally, with no body language or gestures. Time limit of 30 seconds or so.

The second players then turn to the next person in line, tho turns to face the front, and they make the gesture that was described to them. Again, no speaking. Time limit: 30 seconds or so.

Repeat twice.

Joker writes the clue on the board. When the time is up, the last person in each line then has to answer the clue on the board. The jokers then reveal the original sentence that was behind the first gesture.

For example: "He doesn't have enough time to eat lunch at his job." Write the clue like this: "He doesn't have enough _______ to ________ at _________."