Mad Libs – CI style

Here’s a slight variation on storytelling if you feel you need a change-up in the routine.  In a “Mad-Libs” style, students provide the details for a story without knowing how they will fit until the story comes together.  You can use my model or adjust it for a different set of structures.  I’m sure I will come back to this again.

1. Project a numbered list of terms you need for the story (a person from class, a food, an adjective, an animal . . . etc.)

Here is my list: Mad Libs List

2. Solicit class input for each item.  The teacher writes on the screen/board while one volunteer students makes a list on paper.

3. Project the story with numbered blanks.  Each  number corresponds to the list the class has created.  The volunteer student reads off the items on the list, and the teacher (or another volunteer) inserts them into the corresponding blanks of the story.

Here is my story that corresponds to the list above: Mad Libs Story

4. Read the story, act it out, question, circle . . . etc.

*One variation would be for each student to write his/her own list for step #1.  You would have many different stories.

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2 Responses to Mad Libs – CI style

  1. Jrooke says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful ideas! I look forward to using this Mad Libs with my students next year when we discuss the irregular verbs in the preterite.

  2. bryantz83 says:

    I love Mad Libs, and have incorporated them into my classes as well. I like how you adapted it as well! Mad Libs are fun and often funny because they don’t always make sense, but I have seen students struggle with this as well.

    I made a twist on the game M.A.S.H that works similar to Mad Libs, but that I can have a bit more control of. I first did it with the class, asking the details similar to how I would for a story. When done, I Circled the results in the “story.” Then I partnered up the students to work together.

    Here is a description of the game:
    An online version in English:

    Here’s an example of what I did with my Spanish 2 students. I can send you a copy of what I did with level 1 if you like.

    (Can be C.A.M.P by replacing Hotel with Parque)


    San Francisco
    Nueva York
    San Juan, Puerto Rico
    Madrid, España

    Presidente Obama
    Jessica Alba

    Dora la Exploradora
    Los Simpson

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
    (Students move their fingers back and forth from 1-10 until their partner says to stop. Where they stop is the number they use to cross off options)

    Cuando eras niño/a….
    1. Tú vivías en ___________________________
    2. Tú siempre eras ________________________
    3. Normalmente tú ibas a ____________________
    4. A veces tú ibas con _______________________
    5. Generalmente tú veías ___________________

    After completing the game, they used the information to fill in the blanks and read their partner their past. Then they switched cards, and the students re-wrote their past in the “yo” form.
    They used the “yo” form to describe themselves Use for in a Round Robin Circles activity. Finally, we finished with 4 corners activity – ask “¿qué veían ustedes? Etc. It could also work with PQA questioning.

    I hope this was helpful!
    Zachary Bryant

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