Timed Races: vocabulary review, questions and answer practice, fluency exercises

I use small cards for relay races. Most ESL teachers are familiar with these races, where students pass something asking questions and answering and trying to get the ball or whatever around and be the first to finish. That's great but there are many losers and this gets real boring real quick.

So, I time them. I set a minimum time goal for the first round (practice.) If teams can complete the circuit in that time they win round one. Each team completes the circuit and they have a record for how fast they did it. OK! Now let's try to improve on that time (fluency.) Each time they do it they will get better and they don't have to worry about Mario's team that always finishes first. They only have to beat their own time to win!

It can be as simple as "what's this?" "It's a fox." / "What's he doing?" "He's watching TV." to more advanced "What happened?" "He was run over by aliens." and even longer 2 or 3 questions in one pass:

What's that?

It's a carrot.

Do you like carrots?

No, I don't. They're disgusting.

What's your favorite vegetable?

I like tomatoes.

For kindergarten or lower, you can use an egg-timer and tell them to see how many rounds they can do in 1 minute. One time around - one stamp, 2 times - 2 stamps and so on

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