Human Mad Libs

by Tammy
(Eugene, Oregon, USA)

A fun word game for 3-5th graders.

Definition: Human Mad Libs involves an assortment of words that all belong to the same story. In my classroom I made a short story about Harry Potter and It started with the traditional once upon a time.

The first time I played this game with my class we made a lot of silly sentences that resulted in the kids rolling on the floor laughing.

It takes the traditional idea of Mad Libs and makes them a tactile, hands-on way of teaching the kids the parts of speech and how to make a complete sentence.

The kids physically get up and put themselves in the correct places in sentences to make a silly story.

Items Needed: 1-short story to take the words from many- pieces of 8 1/2 x 11 computer paper at least 2-markers to write the words from the story on. 5 Pieces of paper numbered 1,2,3,4,5 A kitchen timer Game

Setup: A short story is written on the pieces of notebook paper one word at a time. Every student starts with one piece of paper with the words and the extra pieces of paper are stacked in the center of the room to be drawn from. Place the numbered papers all around the room.

Length of Game: 20-50 minutes

Game Play: Every one congregates in the center of the room and gets a full size sheet of paper with a word (or words) written on it in BIG letters.

On the chalkboard (or dry erase board), review the parts of a complete sentence with the kids. The game starts with the teacher whose paper reads, "Once Upon A Time".

The story begins to build, next we ask for a noun to come up and one student with a paper containing a noun will stand next to the teacher.

The teacher uses this opportunity to discuss the parts of a sentence and how every sentence needs a subject. The story now reads "Once Upon A Time an owl".

Both the student and the teacher remain standing in the front of the room. The teacher asks the kids what's missing and they say a verb is missing from the sentence. The teachers asks for a volunteer verb to come up. The story now reads,"Once Upon A Time an owl sang...

We then continue on making the sentence more specific, the teacher asks for a student with an adjective come up. Now the sentence becomes a story about "a blue owl that sang".

Once again the teacher asks for a volunteer adverb to come up. When the adverb comes up the sentence now reads, the blue owl quickly sang.

The teacher explains to the class that we all have to make sentences with those four parts. The class now understands the game play.

The teacher asks the students to put themselves into complete sentences with a noun, a verb, an adjective, and an adverb and stand under a number, only one person from each part speech can stand by a number, if two adverbs are together, one of them has to move to a different group.

This part gets a little chaotic, so I like to set a timer for one minute and help shuffle the kids into groups. When the timer sounds, we all stop and stand under our numbers.

Now we go around the room reading the silly lines for the story. One sentence the kids made for example is "an orange Harry Potter licked quiddage".

As we finish reading each sentence, the students in that group each draw new papers out of the stack in the center of the room, we continue from group to group until all the sentences are read and everyone has a new piece of paper.

I set the kitchen timer again and everyone has one minute to form new sentences with the new pieces of paper. We repeat the steps of the game until there are no papers left to draw.

The kids in my classes absolutely loved this game and begged to play Human Mad Libs whenever we could.

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