02 Feb, 2020
Modern Day Mad Libs
When perusing a bookstore recently, I saw a “50 Years of Mad Libs” book. You remember Mad Libs, I’m sure — the book of stories with underlines in place of missing words where you are asked to fill in a noun, verb, adjective, pronoun, number, etc.
I remember belly laughing while filling out Mad Libs pages with my friends and siblings. Why? Because the stories were ridiculous. They made no sense, which was absolutely the point. Those books asked us think of nouns, verbs, etc. on the spot, while coming up with the most absurd words we could think of.
If you think about it, some of the best ways of learning come from things that make us think. They challenge us. I believe the Mad Libs format of having kids think about words, placing them into sentences, and laughing at the results connects them with vocabulary and allows a richer experience with words.
I came up with a modern-day Mad Libs that I wanted to share with all of you. Choose a book, any book, and have your child write a paragraph from it onto a sheet of paper. Then, show them how to erase some words, add a few underlines, and write nouns, verbs, numbers, etc., beneath them.
They could do this with any type of book that has words; a picture book with minimal words, a middle-school chapter book, or anything in between. All the book needs is some words and all your child needs is a piece of paper and someone to play their game.
I believe that lives can be enriched with words, and I especially believe that making words fun is the best way to do it. That’s why I wrote Reading Is Fun! Imagine That!
Here’s an excerpt from my book that I think would be perfect for a Mad Libs game.
“We’d like to form an orchestra, and test the sounds we make,
No instrument can cost a thing, and when they’re played, won’t break.
Jim brought several bottles and he tapped each like a bell,
Most bottles sounded pretty good, the rest did not ring well.
Julia had found a set of cans, and hung them from a stick.
She played each with a kitchen spoon, which seemed to do the trick.
All Alex did was slap his cheeks, to play some simple tunes,
Maggie had asked her dad to teach, some rhythms played with spoons.”
Just take away a few words, add a few blank lines, and voila! You have a Mad Libs game. Happy playing!
Join our mailing list and receive a FREE excerpt from the book!
She would like to see them in all of California’s elementary schools.-Rosaline Turnbull Past President of the California Parent Teacher’s Association
Yours is a comforting voice during a challenging time. Your stories are charming. Each one is uniquely warm and inspiring, and the messages are uplifting for children and parents alike. The books deserve to be in homes across the country — and the world. They remind me of one of my all-time heroes: Mr. Rogers! They are kind, nurturing, and so encouraging.-Tom Soma Former Executive Director of Ronald McDonald House Charities
I think these books are perfect for children. They are colorful, bright, and the illustrations are awesome. I regret there were no such books in my childhood.-Ludmila Levine Chairman of the American English Department
They are fun to read. Both the writings and drawings are original. They are amazing. There are so many things that could be learned. One student commented she was also learning about American culture.-YiLing Chen Taught Women English
practical, playful, serious, affectionate, enigmatic, and varied.-Claudine DeFaye Former Professor
These books are absolutely incredible. An excellent job of inspiring children’s creativity activities.-Mosun Johnston Smith Former Teacher
The detail and care you’ve put in these stories is remarkable. I celebrated the wonderful wisdom those students reflected to me while reading your books.-Andie Cunningham Instructor