Using your senses – a describing exercise for drama


Using your senses is a useful exercise for encouraging students to build up a complete mental picture of what is happening in the scene around them. Students can often describe what their character can see but rarely mention their other senses unless it is key to the scene.

The student/students are given a specific scene/place/thing to describe (examples below) then ignore what they can see and define it by how it sounds, smells & tastes, and how it feels (possibly calling on other touch-related senses such as temperature or pain). They can simply describe it in words or, preferably, they can act their response/interaction while describing it. Encourage people to be creative!

This can be used as a solo exercise – where one person has to define all the senses on the fly – or as a group exercise (three to a group), where each member of the group takes a sense (this might need a couple of minutes in groups for planning). Either way, the descriptions should present to the rest of the class so the class to try to guess what it is.

If there is time, ask the groups to use their descriptions as inspiration to devise a short scene. They can choose to focus on one sense if that makes it easier (for example, how noisy it is in Paris).


  • The Eiffel Tower
  • Santa Claus
  • A pig
  • A car full of people halfway through a long journey
  • The toilets in a nightclub/at a music festival
  • Katie Price/Kim Kardashian
  • A school canteen
  • A deep cave

Length: just a couple of minutes for each item – unless your group are *really* good at describing things!

Group size: 1-4 per item

Have you used this game with your class?

  • Did they like it?
  • Did you find it useful?
  • Did you change anything?

We'd love to hear what you think!