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Practicing Parts Of Speech With Madlibs

Learning parts of speech is an important part of any student's school career. Unfortunately, many students finish their education without a firm grasp on the difference between an adjective and an adverb, or even between a noun and a verb. A teacher can give students a fun way of practicing recognition of different parts of speech by asking the students to take part in a game of MadLibs. In MadLibs, the teacher has a prepared story with blank spaces for different kinds of words. The students will provide words to fill in the blanks, but without knowing the story.

Here is the beginning of a story:



Quote

Once upon a time, Little Red Riding Hood went for a walk _________ the ________. She was carrying a basket filled with ____________ to take to her grandmother. Her grandmother was a _________ _________ _____________. But she really like to visit with her granddaughter. But unknown to Little Red Riding Hood, there was a ___________ living in the _________, and he was _________ _______.

Before doing the activity with the class, the teacher must make note of the parts of speech (and, in the case of nouns, whether they are plural or singular). So, for the story shown above, the teacher would make the following list:

1. preposition
2. noun
3. plural noun
4. adverb
5. adjective
6. singular noun
7. singular noun
8. noun
9. adverb
10. adjective

The teacher now begins the activity by asking each student to write on a sheet of paper the numbers 1 through ten. Next the teacher tells the students to write a preposition next to the number 1, a noun next to the number 2, and so on.



When all the students have finished, the teacher begins reading the story, pausing at each blank, and pointing at a different student to fill in the blank from their paper. Of course, the results can be downright silly--for example:

Quote

Once upon a time, Little Red Riding Hood went for a walk under the ocean. She was carrying a basket filled with beetles to take to her grandmother. Her grandmother was a violently morbid anteater. But she really like to visit with her granddaughter. But unknown to Little Red Riding Hood, there was a smog living in the soda bottle, and he was quietly insane.

The story is absolutely ridiculous, and makes no sense, but the children love it. In the process of writing the story, the students will have had a fun time, and will have practiced recognizing parts of speech.



Member Comments

Comment by skywalker on Mar 9, 2005
Quote
When all the students have finished, the teacher begins reading the story, pausing at each blank, and pointing at a different student to fill in the blank from their paper.


This part of it doesn't work as well with younger kids. Younger kids lose track of which number they are on, so when you point at them, they give you number six when you want number seven.

I find it works better for the teacher to collect the words FIRST, then read the story. That way the teacher can say "Jane, what did you write for number 1? Jack, number 2?"

Then when the teacher reads the story, there is no break in continuity while the teacher tries to get the right word from a student!
Comment by Marcus J. on Mar 10, 2005
Yes, that does make sense. Thanks for suggesting it.

Commenting has been disabled by the author for this article

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