Number one for English language teachers

Memory games: Being observant

Level: Pre-intermediate, Intermediate, Upper intermediate, Advanced Type: Extra

An exercise that can be used either as an introduction to a vocabulary lesson based on clothes, colours and patterns or as revision of this area of language.


  • Ask the students to stand up and find a partner, preferably not the person they are sitting next to.
  • Then ask them to find some space in the room and stand facing their partner.
  • Ask them to study their partner carefully for a couple of minutes and to note, in particular, what they are wearing.
  • Then get them to turn round so that they are standing back-to-back with their partner. They should then tell the other student what he or she is wearing. They can change partners and repeat the exercise three or four times.


You will often find that this exercise throws up a number of new items of vocabulary, words that the students need to express but don’t yet know. Examples might be ‘striped’, ‘patterned’, ‘cotton’, ‘denim’ and so on.

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