“The kind of humor I like is the thing that makes me laugh for five seconds and think for ten minutes.” – William Davis
Getting our students to laugh in our classes engages them. Humor is a powerful instructional tool that helps ease the classroom atmosphere and supports relationship building. Humor can help shy learners open up, provide a stress relief during critical times (exam time, back to school, etc.), and make difficult concepts more accessible to struggling learners. Humor also helps teachers grab students’ attention when delineating rules, explaining homework, etc. When we laugh our brains pay attention and we relax and open up. However, we need to be mindful how we integrate humor or we risk offending students or perceiving fun is our main concern. The following is an infographic with tips, resources, apps, and more to help you get your students laughing out loud (LOL!) for their learning. For the best outcomes, adapt the strategies to match your sense of humor, wit, and comfort level.
Apps, Tools & Resources
- Try these tools to get students creating with humorous characters in comics- Makebeliefscomix, Toondoo, or the ComicsHead iOS/Android app.
- Students can retell a past event, recreate a conversation between characters, or animate images, paintings, animals, drawings, interviews, and historic figures talk using tools like Powtoons, Talking Ben & Tom Newsreporter, YakIt for Kids, Tellagami, Chatterpix Kids, ToonTastic, Puppet Pals, Sock Puppets, Blabberize, Voki, and BuddyPro.
- Students can create games including humorous characters with TinyTap app, Hopscotch, or Code Monkey.
- Bill Nye has a new video series #EmojiScience where students can snap an emoji and receive science videos.
- Teach with humorous literature! Try the OMG Shakespeare series or books like Diary of a Wimpy Kid! Find some of my favorite humorous authors in this Pinterest board.
- Use humorous writing prompts! Find several examples on Emojinate that gives you 5 random emojis to help students create a short story.
- Show funny video clips! Here’s a list of the funniest TedTalks and the Epic History Rap Battles.
- My article, Let’s Laugh! 10+ Resources for Inspiring Laughter, has more resources.
Challenge: Try one of these ideas or resources to get your students laughing and learning!
If you enjoyed these ideas, you may want to get your copy of The 30 Goals for Teachersor my $5.99 ebook, Learning to Go, which has digital/mobile activities for any device and editable/printable handouts and rubrics. Subscribe for FREE to receive regular updates!