Teaching Ideas: How to Describe Physical Appearance

Describe Physical Appearance

How to Describe Physical Appearance

Vocabulary to Describe Physical Appearance


TallHe is quite tall
ShortHe is very short


SkinnyShe is skinny
ThinHe is slim
FatShe is fat
OverweightHe is overweight
SlimMy brother is slim


BlondeShe is blonde
Brown hairShe has brown hair
Red hairHe has red hair
Black hairBoth of them have black hair
Grey hairShe has grey hair


Grey eyesShe has grey eyes
Green eyesMy sons have green eyes
Blue eyesI have  blue eyes
Brown eyesHe has brown eyes
Dark eyesI have dark eyes

Type of Hair

Long hairShe has long hair
Short hairHe has short hair
Wavy hairShe has wavy hair
Curly hairHer hair is curly
Straight hairShe has straight hair

Grammar to Describe Physical Appearance

The Verb to Be

Examples of affirmative and negative sentences with the verb to be

I am handsomeI am not that handosme
He is a very good- looking guyHe isn’t good-looking at all
She is tallShe is tall
We are in shapeWe aren’t in shape
They are skinnyThey aren’t skinny

Examples of questions with the verb to be

Are you in shape?yes, I am
Is she tall?Yes, she is
is he beautiful?
Yes, he is
Are they skinny?Yes, they are
Is she tall?Yes, she is

Verb to Have

I have blue eyesI don’t have blue eyes
She has long hairShe doesn’t have long hair
He has black hairHe doesn’t have black hair
It has black furIt doesn’t have black fur
We have green eyesWe don’t have green eyes
They have short hairThey don’t have short hair
You have brown eyesYou don’t have brown eyes

Examples of  Question with the verb to have

  1. Do you have green eyes?
  2. Does she have blue eyes?
  3. Does he have short hair?
  4. Do they have green eyes?
  5. Do we have black hair?
  6. Do you have short hair?

Dialogue about Physical Appearance

Describe Physical Activity

Lesson Plan – Describe Physical Appearance


  1. Provide a sheet with the vocabulary if that’s possible so you spend more time teaching and your students learning .
  2. Now that they have the vocabulary, take your time and teach them how to pronounce some of these words.
  3.  Show images and start describing the physical appearance of the people in the slides, pictures or flashcards.
  4. You can also get a good-quality video that describes people’s appearance


Speaking or Writing

Activities that most teachers do are the following:

  1. Students describe themselves.
  2. Students describe their classmates.
  3. Students describe people in pictures, flashcards or slides.


To test the listening skills of your students, you can consider some of these listening tasks:

  1. A2: Listening – Describing People
  2. B1: Listening – Describing People

You can download this worksheet and make copies for your students so they can complete task that ensure the successful repetition of the new vocabulary

You can also have a look at this text since they have units about the topic:

  1. Interchange #1 – Unit 9- What Does She Look Like?


If you want students to produce, create a Powerpoint Presentation and add pictures of celebrities such as famous musicians, singers and other artists. Try to include celebrities that they like so they enjoy the task even more. Take the following considerations:

  1. Include good-quality pictures.
  2. Include one picture per slide
  3. make sure the celebrities have different traits.

Ask the students to describe the people in the slides, make sure they give at least three characteristics so they use most of the vocabulary you taught.


  1. Spend some time dealing with pronunciation so students don’t make too many mistakes during practice time.
  2. Make sure students don’t start using the new vocabulary to call their classmates. Sometimes students use words like fat and obese  to offend a classmate.
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