Emily Bryson ELT

Draw what you see!  Say what you draw!

The Japanese art form, Hirameki, is basically looking at splodges of paint and drawing what you see.  It translates as ‘inspiration that comes to you in a flash’.  It’s a great activity to use in class to get students thinking, incorporate life skills and have a bit of fun with art – without any pressure to create any Van Gogh-esque masterpieces.


I often find that one of the life skills that students struggle with most is creativity. Exercises like ‘What happened next?’ can lead to awkward silence, but not with Hirameki.  Once they get the concept, they’ll be on a roll with their critical thinking, self-expression, communication and peer feedback skills.


It’s great for teaching language like Wh- questions (e.g. What is it?), phrases like ‘looks like’ (e.g. It looks like a dog.) and modals of deduction (it could be…, it might be… it must be…).  I love using it with any level of class as it’s great for drawing (pun intended) out all sorts of weird and wonderful language.


The best bit is that is suitable for all levels! I recently used it with my ESOL Literacy class and found that it boosted their confidence, allowed them to practise their pen control skills and gave them the opportunity to support each other in finding the right words.  They talked excitedly about stingrays, seals, eagles and hot air balloons!  Most definitely not pre-A1 words but a refreshing break from survival English.


I’d love you to try this in class so you can use the images in this blog or create your own.  You can find lesson notes for this and many more activities and teaching tips in my 50 Ways to Teach Life Skills book which is available from just £1.99.

Emily Bryson ELT. Book cover. 50 ways to teach life skills.

If you use this, please share your creations on social tagging me (@EmilyBrysonELT) and using #DrawingELT. 

Loved this? Want to learn more Graphic Facilitation techniques for your classroom? Join my Online Courses! Follow this link or click the laptop to find out more: www.emilybrysonelt.com/all-courses/

Emily Bryson ELT. Engaging Learners with Simple Drawings. Graphic Facilitation for English Language Teaching Professionals. Online Course. Group Programme. Simple drawing of a laptop with the text 'online course'.

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