Slice of Life Tuesday: Mad Libs

screen-shot-2017-02-22-at-10-42-06-amThis slice is brought to you by…..Report card procrastination!

Yes, you read that right.  I’m still working on report cards because my school year is not yet over.  8 more days to go and surprisingly, I’m not in full on panic mode.  My to do list just keeps getting longer and longer.  Anyway, back to my slice….

Who remembers Mad Libs?  My brother and I used to have books and books of these.  I feel like we begged my mom to buy us new ones every time we went to the store.  We were obsessed with them.  We’d fill them out together all the time and even took them on road trips.  Of course, we just had to come up with the most ridiculous nouns, inappropriate body parts, and silliest adjectives and verbs.  Reading them back would cause us to double over laughing and tears would be streaming down our faces.  The more ridiculous it sounded, the more hysterical we’d be.

I had forgotten all about Mad Libs until recently, when one of my girls, L, brought in a Mad Lib she had done at home.  She couldn’t wait to read it to me and was belly laughing the whole time.  I think most of her plural nouns were bananas or hot dogs. This little girl has the most amazing sense of humor.  Anyway, she asked me if I had any Mad Libs in the class.  Of course I didn’t (because I had forgotten about them).  But what did I do? – went right to my computer, did a search, and printed out a bunch.

That afternoon, my class was buzzing with chatting and laughter over these Mad Libs.  L was the ring leader – getting every one excited.  The excitement did fizzle a little bit, but yesterday interest sparked again when L went to the pile of printed Mad Libs and asked if she could do one with me.  We sat at my table while she asked me for verbs, adjectives, plural nouns, etc. and wrote all of my responses in the spaces.  When it came time to read it back, she started to giggle before she even began (which then made me giggle, too).   It’s like she just knew it was going to be funny.  She read smoothly, with intonation, and even stopped to point out how parts didn’t make sense.  More and more kids started to come over to our table as they heard us giggling. All of a sudden they all wanted to do Mad Libs again with each other.  They were working in teams and the laughter just brought a smile to my face.

When my brother and I were playing with Mad Libs, I’m sure we had no idea that we were learning at the same time.  We didn’t realize we were learning about adjectives, nouns, plural nouns, verbs, and adverbs.  Or that we were practicing reading with fluency.  We were even noticing (through laughter) when sentences didn’t quite make sense or sound right, but ridiculous or not, those sentences followed the grammar rules! To us, we just were having fun.  I’m sure my kiddos don’t completely realize the learning that’s happening either (unless I point it out).  Learning in a playful way is just amazing.  We have to strive to find ways to keep learning playful, fun,  and exciting for everyone!

Thank you to the team of writers at Two Writing Teachers for this wonderful writing community where we can write and read slices and grow together as writers.  

5 thoughts on “Slice of Life Tuesday: Mad Libs

  1. Sounds like I should try Mad Libs with my sixth-graders as part of a Parts of Speech unit. They always seemed over-the-top ridiculous to me and I couldn’t get into them, BUT I do remember my daughter talking about them when she was in grade school. I will find some online as you did to start. THANKS FOR THE IDEA!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I remember Mad Libs like it was yesterday! I am proud to say that we have a THICK pad of them at home! My three girls (17. 15, and 11) pull it out periodically and we too have a quite a gigglefest! We all to be open to, and recognize playful learning!! It is THE BEST, bottom up, kid centered way for every single one of us to learn!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My online ESL students (first online course ever) loved Mad Libs. Then I used them in Developmental Writing classes to make parts of speech fun (they were on the department final). Everybody wants to have fun and writing is not always fun for everyone….enter the MadLib

    Liked by 1 person

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