Mad Libs

The Mad Libs ESL activity is a fun way to start the class or practise parts of speech.

Students for Mad Libs ESL Activity:1+Time for Mad Libs ESL Activity:15-25 mins
Resources for Mad Libs ESL Activity:
Mad Libs Text

To do the Mad Libs ESL activity with your students, you will need a pre-prepared text that you can project on the board, or a paper handout. This text should have missing words, labelled with the appropriate parts of speech (e.g. noun, adverb, exclamation). A great source of simple ESL Mad Libs templates is WooJr.

  1. Write/project a list of the missing parts of speech on the board.
  2. Students write down a word for each of the gaps. Make sure they understand the meanings of the parts of speech labels but encourage them to be imaginative and funny too!
  3. When everyone has an appropriate word for each gap, reveal the text.
  4. The students take turns reading their version of the text aloud in small groups.

As an extension, you could even ask pairs/small groups of students to choose their favourite story and act it out for the class.

Target Language

The Mad Libs ESL activity is a great way to review/introduce a class on parts of speech. You can check students’ understanding, and they can practise thinking of words for each category.

There are plenty of ESL Mad Libs templates available online, and a suitable one could be selected for any level. The range of different parts of speech included should of course reflect that level too.

If you have time, why not try creating a text yourself? You could use the vocabulary you have been learning recently and your students’ names!

Got a picture or video of this activity in action? How about snapping one next time you use it? We'd love to showcase your submissions- find out more here.