Watermelon Race

Watermelon Race

Watermelon Race Overview:

When you're looking to freshen up your ESL games repertoire, a creative approach is to merge two classroom favourites. That's how Watermelon Race came to be, blending elements of Watermelon and Relay Race games. This engaging activity is especially effective in practising circumlocution and encouraging even the most reserved students to participate in team conversations.

Setting up Watermelon Race:

Watermelon Race is a minimal-prep game, with an optional downloadable topic list that might be handy to guide your students. It's versatile in accommodating varying class sizes, lasting about 10 to 20 minutes. This game is especially suitable for intermediate to advanced learners but can be tailored to beginners with thoughtful topic selection. At its core, the game trains students in circumlocution – the art of explaining ideas without directly stating the specific terms.

Playing the Game:

Begin by dividing your class into even groups, ideally ranging between 5 and 10 students per group. Hand out papers containing nouns to each student. The challenge here is for students to describe their assigned noun, referred to as “my watermelon”, without directly mentioning it. Teammates can engage by asking clarifying questions, but they must adhere to the “watermelon” reference.

Once set, pick the first representative from each group. On your mark, these representatives kick off the race, trying to make their teammates guess the 'watermelon' based on their descriptions. For instance, clues like “My watermelon is fast,” “It's red,” and “It has four wheels” would lead to a team member guessing, “Is your watermelon a car?” If correct, the next member from the team steps in to describe their 'watermelon'. The game progresses in this relay style until every team member's 'watermelon' is guessed. The team to first unravel all their watermelons emerges victorious.

Watermelon Race offers a dynamic, paced environment for students to flex their speaking muscles. It's particularly enriching for higher-level learners, and the blend of suspense and teamwork makes it a classroom hit.

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