Technologically and linguistically adventurous EFL teacher, trainer, writer and manager

Drawing challenge

At IATEFL Harrogate 2014, many of us were very impressed by the artistic endeavours of Christina Rebuffet-Broadus, who introduced us to the idea of sketchnoting.

I have to admit that her beautiful, and beautifully-organised, notebook made me a bit jealous, since my artistic skills are somewhat lacking. Carol Goodey and James Taylor seconded this, and I thought it would be fun to make us all feel a bit better by setting a drawing challenge, and proving we can all make our artwork understandable! Maybe it will be the first step towards out own sketchnoting at future webinars and conferences 😉

The rules

1. Choose four things you often have to draw in the classroom, or that you’ve had bad experiences drawing in the past (!). I suggest a person doing a particular action or job, an animal, a vehicle, and a miscellanous object, but you can draw whatever you like.
2. Draw them in any way you see fit (on a board, on paper, on a tablet…) but don’t spend any more time on it than you would in a lesson.
3. Share the results for us to guess what they are. 🙂

My offerings


My drawings

After that, I think you’ll agree, it’s a good job I’m a teacher, not an artist, as I often tell my students!

I look forward to seeing your artwork. 🙂

Challenge accepted!

David Harbinson was the first to take up the challenge, and has also shared his version of sketchnotes from a recent webinar.

Martin Sketchley shared his version of a skeleton from his YL classroom, and added four drawings for you to guess.

Maria Theologidou added a twist to her contribution by sharing a great activity for practising past simple and past continuous through drawing.

Comments on: "Drawing challenge" (17)

  1. Some friends invented a drinking game on the back of something like this…..we realised how no one can ever draw a badger or a bicycle properly. Try it…..
    Anyway, trying to draw both in the pub resulted in the game ‘3 second draw’ where someone says an object and everyone has to draw it. The one who said the object chooses the best and they choose the next item.


  2. Wow, Sandy, I feel so honored to be mentioned on your blog and to have inspired your drawing challenge–what a fantastic idea and a great way to show people that they don’t have to be artists to doodle and sketch things out! Very empowering! I’ll add my own four drawings this weekend!
    In the meantime, here are my guesses for yours:
    1. A person running
    2. A horse
    3. A car and camper
    4. A candlesnuff 🙂

    Great idea–love it!


  3. Reblogged this on iLoveTEFL by Christina Rebuffet-Broadus and commented:
    Join in the fun with Sandy Millin’s Drawing Challenge!!


  4. davedodgson said:

    I’d say:

    1. Someone running
    2. A horse
    3. A caravan
    4. A megaphone?

    This might make for a quick fun post over the weekend. Tag it #drawingchallenge on Twitter?


  5. […] Sandy Millin has had an idea for a fun and interesting Drawing Challenge. And because I have many better things to be doing, I thought I’d give it a go. My drawing is terrible, in fact I very rarely draw on the board if I can help it. Except for #1 below, which I use occasionally with my adult learners, I haven’t really drawn in class since working with YLs. Every now and again, I do want a picture in class to show an example, so I’ll either prepare it on a PowerPoint beforehand, or I’ll cheat and ask one of my students to come up and draw for me. […]


  6. […] reading some wonderful blog posts and saw that David Harbinson took up a drawing challenge which Sandy Millen started.  I really enjoy including drawings to complement vocabulary – I believe that it […]


  7. Numbers 1-3 have been guessed correctly. Number 4 is still up for grabs 🙂 It’s connected to geography…


  8. I should be getting ready for work but I’m sitting here trying to guess what number four is! I still have no idea. Is it a snow capped mountain, with people climbing it and a ledge half way up for them to sleep on? 😉


  9. Wow, I’ve been using sketches in my lessons since I started teaching but I never actually thought I could sketchnote! I’ve never been a real artist of course -although I once took drawing lessons- but I’ve decided to take part in the challenge anyway!


  10. […] the students to draw a relevant picture. They shouldn’t worry about their artistic skills, just draw anything that they feel represents the […]


  11. Emma Johnston, one of my colleagues, has just introduced me to this TED video by Graham Shaw showing you how to create really simple cartoon people: It works!


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