Friday, March 25, 2005

In praise of Madlibs

A couple quick thoughts today:

First, there are a number of gifted magnet schools in the Twin Cities area attempting to serve highly gifted students in the way that best meets their needs, even though the state has not mandated gifted education nor set aside funds to provide it. I tend to think that such a program, born of a motivated districts recognized need might work better than a state-mandated bureaucracy.

Second, Madlibs are one of the best games you can play with your gifted child, imho. The basic premise is a short story with a number of words removed. Without knowing what the story is about, one person asks the other for a word that matches the part of speech of the missing word. Hilarity ensues!

If you don't have any Madlibs books lying around your house from Scholastic book orders, you can play Madlibs on the web here or here. (These sites are not related in anyway to the Madlibs published by Scholastic, but they sure are fun.)

Madlibs are age-appropriate at any intellectual age, lets your kids (and you!) show off your huge vocabulary, and are also educational, by helping kids categorize the words they know as adverb, adjective, noun, etc. Last night my boys started challenging each other to think of words that could be used as more than one part of speech--moose (single and plural noun), fish (single noun, plural noun and verb), dogged (verb and adjective). I was even able to teach Chester a number of new words including voluminous (adj.) and Oy Vey! (exclamation). One caution, though. If you use the multiple use words too many times in a single Madlib, it will start to make sense and then isn't funny anymore.

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