We spend one whole day practicing our observational skills, trying to get our hands to move at the same pace as our eyes as we travel around the subject of our drawings. I have students turn away from their papers to do blind contour drawings of their hands, concentrate only on the face of the student sitting across from them and attempt to draw them without looking down at their papers, and then we toy around with using our other senses to "draw" conclusions by sticking hands into paper bags and drawing what we feel (dinosaurs, fruit, animals, etc... nothing gross!) Once students feel pretty confident that they can at least get something recognizable on paper, I challenge them to see how well they can verbally communicate their observations by playing The Police Sketch Artist Game.
We wrap up class with this exercise and, after a few times drawing celebrities of both genders, the partners switch so the witness gets a taste of what it's like to be on the other side and be expected to create "blind". Students always seem to get a kick out of this class and it's so fun to hear the dull roar of so many voices busy at work trying to help each other succeed!