Thursday, December 6, 2012

Tech Challenge #7 Mad Libs on Laptops

If you are like me, a teacher of teens, you probably cringe at the thought of planning grammar lessons. The students walk into the classroom with a full vocabulary of texting lingo (among other things) that is quickly pushing academic English out of their common vernacular. Students look at me like I'm speaking a foreign language when I ask them to use the words "whom" and  "you're" in their writing when they think "u" and "ur" will always suffice.
Today's Tech Tool: Laptop Computers
My campus has a rolling cart of ThinkPad Computers
This lesson can also be completed in a computer lab.

The Goal: Review Grammar Rules- Particularly Pronoun Usage

This week I let my students play with language rules during our grammar unit in hopes that the lesson would sneak its way into their brains. We spent several boring days going over pronouns and parts of speech as a review. To reward their hardwork, I let my students create their own mad libs using a class set of laptops at the end of the week.

The Lesson:
1. The students worked in pairs to create a 1-2 paragraph story including as many different types of pronouns as they could think of.
2. I asked the students to label the type and case of every pronoun they used.
3. Then the students were to type a version of their story with blanks for a reader to fill in his or her own pronouns that matched the labels. To make the stories even more entertaining, I asked students to create a few blanks for nouns, adjectives, and adverbs.
4. The students saved and printed  their stories. The next day I made copies of a few of the student create mad-libs, and passed them out. The result was a very crazy and very fun review of grammar and pronoun rules for the students.
5. I printed and laminated a copy of each story as it was originally written and a copy of the MadLib version with blanks. Students took turns filling in the blanks with dry erase or vis-a-vis markers as a review before our pronoun test.

This activity could be handwritten, but it is much quicker to create these on the computer. Students also like to include fun clipart to go along with their stories.

Pros:1. 98-100% Participation! There's just something about Mad Libs that the kids love. They seem to forget that they are completing a writing assignment because they want their story to be funny and entertaining.
2. The students get to discuss the different types of pronouns and parts of speech, and in effect get to tutor each other on difficult concepts.

1. Saving and printing can be a circus because groups finish up at different times.

Here is a fun example from my class:

What kinds of lessons have you put together that make grammar fun for the secondary classroom?