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Easy Creative Writing With Mad Libs

May 24th, 2010

There are many fun ways to enhance the English language learning process and make studying more enjoyable for students. One of the best ways is through the process of creative writing and similar techniques. While creative writing can be a more advanced practice for a group of English language students, a good starting point is a popular method that is known commercially as “Mad Libs.” The purpose of Mad Libs is to create an English language story by choosing nouns, verbs, and adjectives to add to a story that is already mostly written. A Mad Lib story has blank spaces where the words are added by writing the words into the story. This allows for students to try different words of each kind to see how the different choices of words can change a story. Native English speaking children commonly use this fun tool as a form of amusement while being creative with English vocabulary words. Students of the English language can use Mad Libs as a more serious tool for using English vocabulary words to construct English sentences and then stories from the sentences.

One student holds a piece of paper or book containing the Mad Lib story and asks the other student for words to fill in the blank spaces. The student writing in the blanks asks the other student for any noun, verb, or adjective they would like to use, depending on what is asked for in the blank spaces of the story. This can make for a very amusing and illogical story and that is why children enjoy writing Mad Libs. A more serious approach for English language students is to first make a list of vocabulary words that are being learned. A student can make a list of nouns, verbs, and adjectives to use in the blank spaces of the sentences in the story. The student can then fill in the blanks in the story with vocabulary words that are in the list. Afterward, the student can read the story to see if it makes logical sense. It is likely a good idea to have a native English speaker read the story to make sure the words used are appropriate. Here is a Mad Lib for you to print out and try:

He goes to the noun to verb a/an noun. The noun is adjective. He picks up the noun to verb it. The noun makes a/an noun. He is amazed. He shows his friend the noun and they verb together about it.

It is easy to see how the short story can change a lot, depending on what words are chosen to use in the sentences. It could be about person going to a garden and finding something special. It could be about a person going to another planet and finding something amazing to share with a friend.
There are many Mad Libs available online for students to print and use for practicing the English language. Mad Lib software is another option. There are also numerous Mad Lib books available for purchases at English language bookstores.
Have fun with creative writing using this easy and enjoyable learning tool.