Thursday, February 19, 2009

Hey Kids, Let’s Play Mad Libs!

If you came of age after the 1970s, you might not be familiar with this little, time-wasting activity that not only produced a lot of yuks—particularly on long, boring car trips—but also taught many of us English grammar (well, the various parts-of-speech, anyway).

Here’s how it works— just be aware that I had to modify it for the Internet (I am sure some bright bulb has written a Javascript program that allows you to do it properly, but who has the time or the inclination to search? My hair hurts just thinking about it).

Below is a selection (don’t peek!) with key words left out and only numbers in their places. Up top is a corresponding list of numbers and the part-of-speech or word category each number represents. On a separate piece of paper, come up with a [funny] example of each required part-of-speech or word category. If you lack creativity, ask your 7-year-old for help. Then, once you finish coming up with the missing words, read the selection below (with feeling, of course), substituting your words for the numbers. Ready? Well, let’s proceed anyway.

  1. Adjective
  2. Inalienable Right granted by the Constitution
  3. Verb
  4. Relative (plural)
  5. Verb (past tense)
  6. Group of people from history (plural)
  7. Noun
  8. Topographical Feature (look it up)
  9. Inalienable Right granted by the Constitution (different from #2)
  10. Verb

...and here's the Mad Lib:

My Country Tis of Thee
by Samuel Francis Smith
(sung to the tune of My Country Tis of Thee)

My country tis of thee,

(1) land of (2)

Of thee I (3)!

Land where my (4) (5)

Land of the (6)’ (7)

Of ev’ry (8) side

Let (9) (10)!

Gee, wasn’t that fun?

No comments: