When it comes to teaching English to children you will need a lot of instructional materials in different forms. Children learn by imitation and by example. They are more conducive to learning when there are tangible things they can see and feel. Teaching them through games make them enjoy the learning process more without them feeling any pressure. Mad Libs is a very good word game for kids of different ages. The stories in the game require the players to give words to fill the blanks with hints on what type or form of word to give. The stories may make sense or it can become weird and absurd. The idea is to allow the players to think of words that they know and combine them to form sentences or phrases. Take a look at some tips on how to use Mad Libs to teach English.
- Get copies of Mad Libs books that are suitable for the children’s grade level. This will facilitate their learning as the book and the words will be appropriate and familiar to them and they will have an easier time understanding grammar and constructing sentences using the different parts of speech. There are also online resources that you can visit and print out some Mad Libs stories suitable for different ages. One site a teacher can visit with several samples that can be downloaded and printed is Teachnology.
- Coach the students about the differences in nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs. Allow them to learn new words through pictures and how to differentiate between a verb and a noun and the rest of the parts of speech. The more words they know the better it will be for them to participate in the Mad Libs game.
- Print out some Mad Lib worksheets and start teaching the children how to play the game. Tell them the objective of the game and what is required from them. There are Mad Libs worksheets that are based on children’s stories and fairy tales that will help them play the game easily, as they know the subject matter, more or less. It does not mean that they will get the lines of the story correct. Make sure that the children will not be stressed and ridiculed if they supply the wrong word. Get them to understand that it does not matter if the story ends up incorrectly as the object of the exercise is for them to learn new words and the English grammar. Make them feel that it is always a new adventure and their imagination will help them create new stories and have fun creating them.
- Explain to the children the meanings of each part of speech. This is the fun way for them to learn how ordinary words and phrases can be put together to make a complete sentence and how sentences get constructed with the combination of articles, nouns, verbs, pronouns, adjectives and more. The discovery will delight the kids and encourage them to find out and learn new words.
Make their learning experience with Mad Libs more fun and meaningful by making them act out some lines from the worksheets using the words that they have supplied. It will definitely give them a huge laugh when they come up with a story that is not what they are used to. With the help of Mad Libs children will learn English and at the same teach them how to do some quick thinking, as in ad libbing, from which the word Mad Lib came from.