What Aren’t They Doing?

This game is a mix of two grammar points : Present Continuous and Negation.

How to use this activity?

There are 8 photos of different groups of people in different situations. Students play individually, in pairs, or in small groups. One person (the presenter) chooses a photo (they can choose or it can be chosen by you) which they will describe to the others (players). A player rolls a number on a die (real or online) corresponding to a clue at the top of the page. The presenter must then follow the directions of the clue.

For example:

A student rolls a 2 and the presenter says, “There is a man, but he isn’t watching television with his friends.”
Another student rolls a 1 and the presenter says, “There is a woman, but she isn’t wearing a Christmas hat.”
Another student rolls another 2 and the presenter says, “They aren’t drinking beer.”


After the first clue is presented, there is a potential for 10 points to be scored by both the presenter and a player. After each clue that follows, one point less will be earned by both parties. This incentivizes the student describing the photo to describe the other photos in the negative in order to give the fewest amount of clues.

The student describing the photo has given 5 clues and another student chooses the correct photo. Both the presenter and the player earn 6 points.

It would be too easy to keep saying “He isn’t flying a plane” “He isn’t swimming in the ocean” etc…

The 8 photos were chosen to have pairs with similar situations and plenty of things to describe. The die element of the game does not need to be followed – I just love rolling dice… This game can be played with your own photos, or with a simple google word search. Screen share the photos that appear when searching “on the beach” and play the same way. It’s a unique way to practice the negative form while also hammering home the idea that we use the present continuous to describe actions in photos!


  1. jill collinge

    This looks fab and I’d love to try it – but I’ve tried with Safari and Chrome for the Mac and it just doesn’t download. I agree that students really do need to practise the negative (and questions) almost more than the positives.

    • Ian Kime


      I’ve just fixed the download link, so it should work now. If you are still having trouble just send an email to contact@eslexpertz.com and I will send it to you directly.

      I’m glad you agree with me 😉


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Ian Kime

Ian Kime

I have been teaching English abroad since receiving my CELTA certificate in Poland in 2018. I enjoy tracking my individual students’ development but love having lessons with big groups! Now that I teach online, I am accompanied by my sidekicks Olaf, Mała, Pirate and Bandit on a regular basis.

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