Thursday, September 21, 2017

Secret Agent Sketch

Salvēte omnēs!

Here is an activity that I use as a whiteboard game, although the possibilities for what you can do with the pictures are many - I am excited to see if anyone else puts a different spin on it. And my standard disclaimer applies, I can't be sure I didn't borrow this from someone else, but to the best of my recollection, I developed it myself.

So what's this about secret agents? Students, as much as they would like to, don't play the role of the secret agent - hidden letters do. To see what I mean, can you find all the letters of the alphabet hidden in this image?
image credit:

This is the kind of drawing students will be creating and inspecting.


This is a low-prep activity, at least the way I use it. All you need are:
  • Student hand-held whiteboards
  • A list of vocabulary words that are easily 'drawable'
It is also helpful to have students sit next to a partner (although they all do their own work), but you can have them move around the room too if that works with your class energy levels.


1. Give students a word to draw - make sure it is spelled out on the board / projector / word wall.
2. Give them 2 minutes to draw a picture of the word (i.e., what the word means).
3. They should also hide 'secret agents' in their sketch - the letters of the Latin word.

example sketch of 'videt' (sees)
Can you find all the letters?
4. When the 2 minutes is up, students switch whiteboards with the partner.
5. Students then try to find the letters of the word in order in their partner's sketch, circling them as they go.
6. Lastly, they review the letters & meaning with the partner before switching back their boards for the next word.

I hope this is a helpful tool! I find it pretty great as second activity to do with new vocabulary, especially if you limit yourself to 3 or 4 words. Let me know if you try anything different with it.

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