My boys have been big Mad Lib fans for years. Many years ago when they were much younger we had fun teaching about parts of speech via Mad Libs. At that time my boys had a gift subscription to National Geographic For Kids & at the back of each magazine was a Mad Lib. Each night at dinner Mr S would ask for paper & pen & we'd go around the table naming parts of speech to fill in the blanks. Then we'd have a great drum roll before he'd read it out, & most nights there were a few hardy slaps on the back to make sure no one choked on vegetables while laughing.
We found a great man free Mad Libs online for all sorts of themes from seasons to well known characters. Then a couple of years ago for Christmas I bought each of the boys 2 Mad Libs. One that was open ended & one a little more specifically themed. These books still make their presence known when the kids copy off a Mad Lib & spend ages collecting data from people.
Let's face it, Mad Libs are fun! They are silly short stories or paragraphs with missing words & when you supply the missing words you change the story a bit. Sometimes words supplies keep the entire meaning & text of the Mad Lib the same, at which point people within this home scream "Unfair!" & the Mad Lib is done again. Other times the context is so humorous the reader often has to pass the paper to someone else because they are both crying & laughing simultaneously & we can't understand anything they are saying.
One evening last week while Nana was visiting the boys were restless. Countless rain can do that to a person. I suggested Mad Libs & the boys requested one based on the Harry Potter books we'd been reading. We don't own any Harry Potter Mad Libs, all though there a few slightly random ones out there you can google & try out. So I suggested something a little less difficult to come by & Mr S went round & round the room waiting for the boys to explain various parts of speech to those who couldn't remember. Nana dubbed the game wonderful because it made her think about things she'd long forgotten.
When they got to the end of their game I presented them with a homemade Harry Potter Mad Lib. This was easy & difficult all at the same time. It was easy because all you have to do is copy a well known passage from a book, then go back through & remove parts of speech with blank spaces & noting what type of word needs to be reinserted into the blank.
However, I also found it difficult with these books but the author is an incredibly talented writer. Her writing is so immensely descriptive & flows so beautifully that finding starting & stopping points proved a little more difficult then I'd anticipated. It took me much longer then I thought it would, but the results were worth it because the boys were really excited!
I quickly gathered my intel filling in the blanks as we went, but I'm afraid I fell apart at the end laughing so hard I had to pass the paper to Mr S who never even got a word out of his mouth before he fell apart laughing. It took us a few minutes to compose ourselves & finish reading out the last sentence, which caused the entire house to erupt in laughter & then beg to do it again.
Of course now they want me to do it with more of the books we've read & they love so much. Taking the well known passages & turning them into Mad Libs. All though, I'm thinking they should use their own knowledge to remove words & create Mad Libs. You never know what we might end up with then!