Why Latin Mad-Libs?
Latin Mad-Libs are an excellent way for students to practice identifying and writing forms as well as translating. I have used them successfully with all levels. If you remember how a mad-lib operates, this is a partner activity. One partner has a story with blanks where words are missing. Below the blank space, the mad-lib indicates what part of speech is necessary. The first partner reads off the parts of speech that are necessary while the second partner gives the first partner random words to write in. Since the second partner has no context for the words he is providing, the story winds up being quite random, whimsical, sometimes disturbing, and at times hilarious. Middle schoolers especially love Mad-Libs but high school students enjoy them as well.
Be warned however, Latin Mad-Libs however require much more skill than the English version. Students need to have a thorough understanding of gender, declension, agreement as well as be able to to identify the stem of words to put the proper ending on the word. Don't be surprised if some students in between giggling fits, complain that "this is hard." Unlike their English counterparts, Latin Mad-Libs are a real grammatical work-out.
In a Latin Mad-Lib it is not necessary to keep the story secret. Students working together simply add what is necessary and then translate it together. For students not yet skilled in using a Latin dictionary, I find that it is helpful to use the Latin Insult activity for nouns and adjectives. No need to recopy it. If you gave them the insult list, they haven't lost it. Once students are done filling in the blanks, I give them the second page of the story which contains vocabulary as well as the title of the piece. Then they translate it together. A typical Mad-Lib takes between 20-40 minutes depending on the difficulty.
Mad-Libs cannot be done with every unit but they often work well to fill an awkward void. For example, the second day of a three day week or a day when half your class has gone on a field trip are excellent times to break out the Latin Mad-Lib. Also, because I've written so many of them over the years, I would hope that this has been successful and not an example of teacher amnesia.
The link to the Mad-Libs for all Levels Folder in the Hilara Googledrive is here: