Watermelon Race is a perfect ESL game for teaching students how to talk their way around difficult or unknown vocabulary.

Watermelon Race - Easy ESl Games thumb

One of the best ways to come up new ESL games is to combine two or more classroom favorites that your students already love playing. Watermelon Race was created by combining the games Watermelon and Relay Race. This game is an amazing way to practice circumlocution (talking around unknown vocabulary) and speaking (working in teams is a great way to motivate even the shyest students).

The Details About Watermelon Race:

  • A Watermelon Race requires almost no setup.  There is however an optional topic list you can download if you think it will help your students.
  • A game should take between 10 and 20 minutes depending on the size of your class.
  • This game is great for intermediate to advanced learners and can be successful with beginners as long as you’re very careful with the topics you select.

This game teaches circumlocution.  Circumlocution refers to the ability to talk your way "around" unknown words or phrases while still being able to convey the proper meaning.



Here's How To Play Watermelon Race

1) Split your class into even groups of between 5 and 10 students.

2) Download our example topic sheet and give each student a piece of paper with a noun on it. When it’s their turn to play students will have to describe their noun (a person, place or thing) without saying the word that is written on the paper. Each mystery noun must always be referred to as “my watermelon”. Other group members are allowed to ask questions about the “watermelon” but they MUST call it “your watermelon”.

3) Choose one player from each team to go first.

4) When you say “go”, the speakers must race to explain what their watermelons are to their teammates.

​E.g.

​Speaker - "My watermelon is fast."

Speaker - My watermelon is red."

Speaker - "My watermelon has 4 wheels."​

Group Member - "Is your watermelon a car?"

Speaker - "Yes, it is!"​

5) When a group member correctly guesses what the “watermelon” is the second player on their team must immediately begin describing their own “watermelon”.​

6) Repeat this process until the group has successfully guessed what each player’s “watermelon” is.​

7) The first team to complete the speaking Relay Race by guessing everyone’s secret noun a.k.a. “watermelon”, wins!​

Watermelon Race:

    • ​It's a fast paced speaking game.
    • It's great for higher level students.
    • It's a great game!