I have recently come to the realization that a Mad Lib is more powerful than a Klodike Bar when it comes to 8th graders. My students will do anything if it means they get to do a Mad Lib at the end of class… and of course I milk this for all it’s worth. Transitions between activities have never been more smooth, silent reading time has never been more silent, answers written in complete sentences have never been so… well we’re still working on this, but my little gems really seem to kick it into gear if they see the Mad Lib tablet resting on my desk.
After a successful class period, I slap the word list on the projector, and the creativity starts flowing.
Me: Give me a noun, and make it a good one.
Students: a boot, a booger, a potato, a donkey, jumping… (clearly we still have some work to do when it comes to parts of speech).
Then I hear it; the most creative answer of all, an adjective noun combination, two words for the price of one.
Student: A blue waffle.
Me: Ooh. I like that. Look how we can add an adjective in front of our noun to make it be more creative.
As I start writing, the snickering begins and I to hear things like, “Oh my God, who said blue waffle?” and “I can’t believe she’s really putting that.” Then there is a horrified gasp from a group in the back, while a student up front asks her neighbors, “What’s a blue waffle.”
At this point, I know something is not right. My pen stops and I start to cross out my words.
Me: You know what. I can tell by your reactions, that this is not appropriate. I think we need to stick to something that is more suitable for class. How about a “park bench”?
Student: That’s probably a good idea. A blue waffle is disgusting.
This of course causes a barrage of, “What’s a blue waffle?” “I don’t get it.” “Miss Lewis, can you whisper to me what it is?”
All I can say is, “I don’t know what it is, but you can sure bet I will Google it when you leave and make a few phone calls to parents.”
Student: Just don’t hit Google images.
During my next class, I find a minute to sit in the corner, with my computer turned against the wall, crossing my fingers that nobody walks in or comes over to my desk and I Google “blue waffle.” I knew it was a bad sign, when most results were blocked from my school computer. I was able to see a partial link that read: Blue Waffle [bloo-wof-uh l] : A battered or infected lady cake of blue or green colouring, often brought about by extreme rammage to the female taco with …