Remember Mad Libs? You know the fill-in-the-blank writing game, that allows the author to manipulate the story by plugging in any nouns, verbs, or adjectives that they choose.
I loved Mad Libs as a kid, teamed with either my sister, friends, or a combination of both, we would make up the most ridiculous stories. The added bonus? We got away with using words like “Butt” and “farting” because somehow in this context… Our parents let it slide.
The sneakiest part about Mad Libs that I didn’t notice until adulthood was that they are a gateway to creative writing, a hidden English lesson! For Audra, my 9 year old, Language Arts is a difficult subject; she has needed special classes, extra work, and studying at home all of which has been like pulling teeth to get her to do. But magic happens when you hand her a Mad Lib. It just amazes me to watch; Mad Libs supplies the foundation, the story line but gives her the power to create the feel of the story. It’s no surprise that a “butt” and some “farting” creep their way into a majority of her stories but I would be lying if I said they weren’t hilarious stories. I see Mad Libs ignite her mind, she remembers what a noun is, what an adjective is, even a adverb without even asking and I have noticed this has been expanding her vocabulary.
Maybe I am on to something, maybe we should hand our kids a good-ole fashioned Mad Lib once in awhile instead of an electronic learning device. If you try it with your own children, let me know how it works.
Taking it one day at a time