Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Mad Libs

Happy 2016!

This one is straying a little from the active games that I've tended to focus on, but I'm really looking forward to it trying it with my classes when school starts.

This came to me in the usual round-about way - I was googling craft ideas for Miss 7, got distracted and eventually saw a reference to MadLibs in a side bar and had to google that as I had no idea what it meant. It's a cloze activity, but with a twist - or maybe a blindfold? :)

It turns out that Mad Libs are stories where you have to fill in the blanks in advance, without knowing the context, just the word type (noun, verb,, adjective, adverb, pronoun etc...). What a great way to get students to be more aware of the parts of speech!

Here's an example in English -
Before you read the story in the image below, write down one of each of the following in order:
1) adjective
2) verb
3) verb
4) verb
5) plural noun
... and so on.  this is just a taster, after all.

There are loads of examples online (I did a super quick google on Mad Lib French and there were a few there already made up), but it would be so easy to create your own that were focused on particular grammar points or vocab.  Here's an example of one that could be adapted for high school second language classes below (How to date the coolest guy / girl in school) that gets students to identify vocab related to clothes, parts of the body etc.

 The best part is, students are not just motivated to read through the story as they copy in their previously identified words, they will most likely want to share them with their friends by reading aloud (or translating the story.)  Then there's discussion about what other words would have worked (or not!)...I can see a lot of potential in this.

I think I won't tell the students in advance why they are writing down the words, just get them to make the list before handing out (or showing on the projector??) the story-with-blanks. 
What do you think? Would you use this with your classes? What changes or suggestions do you have?

Selamat bermain!

ps - here's a video example: