Engaging Students with Humor

I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living. – Dr. Seuss

April Fool’s Day is almost here! Spice up a lesson plan, activity or project with humor. Humor is a great way to ease the anxiety of learning and can make learning difficult or stressful topics engaging and fun. Below are our some free web tools and apps your students will enjoy using to enhance their listening, speaking, reading and writing skills, while engaging with your topic or preparing for a test. For ideas on how to effectively use these tools for learning, check out my webinar recordings, Engage Learners with Humor and Teach English with Jokes, or my articles in the GO Teach magazine and The Education Horizons Journal, LOL! Teacher! Using Humor to Enhance Student Learning and Let’s Laugh! 10+ Resources for Inspiring Laughter.

Enjoyed these ideas? Get your copy of Learning to Go and The 30 Goals for Teachers.

Tips and Resources

  • Check out my infographic on Integrating Humor in the Classroom.
  • Here is my webinar recording of Using Jokes for Learning and resources.
  • Show funny video clips! Here’s a list of the funniest TedTalks and the Epic History Rap Battles.
  • Big Hug Labs has many different ways to create humorous photos and presentations.
  • Create Memes with Meme Generator. I recommend this for adults and not students.
  • Students can create games including humorous characters with TinyTap appHopscotch, 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.
  • Talking Tom and Ben News is an iOS, Android, and Amazon app where students act as newscasters. They report the news in pairs as either Tom, a talking cat, or Ben, a dog. Check out the other talking characters from Outfit 7 to get your students speaking English via funny characters.
  • Quizizz is a web tool and app that works on any device to create fun games and quizzes. Teachers have the option of showing a meme after a question is answered.
  • MouthOff is a free iOS and Android ($1) app where students choose a mouth, put the phone in front of their mouths, and talk to watch the mouth move.
  • Bitstrips is an iOS, Android, and Kindle app for making fun comics with avatars that look like the students and their friends.
  • Voki is a web tool for students to create animated talking characters.
  • Blabberize is a website students can use to upload their drawings and images and draw a mouth to make the images talk.
  • YakIt Kids and Chatterpix Kids are iOS apps students upload their images and drawing to and add a mouth to animate the images.
  • Plotagon is a web tool and app that allows students to create animated avatar videos.
  • SockPuppets is an iOS app for creating short movies with talking socks.
  • Puppet Pals and Toontastic are iOS apps for creating short videos with fun characters that students animate.
  • Tellagami is an iOS app for creating a talking adult avatar.

Challenge: Try one of these resources to integrate humor in your curriculum this year!

If you enjoyed these ideas, you may want to get your copy of The 30 Goals for Teachers or my $5.99 ebook, Learning to Go, which has digital/mobile activities for any device and editable/printable handouts and rubrics.

Bookmarks

Humor & Learning, by shellyterrell

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Shelly Terrell

Shelly Sanchez Terrell (@ShellTerrell) is an award winning digital innovator, an international speaker/consultant, and the author of Hacking Digital Learning with EdTech Missions, The 30 Goals Challenge for Teachers, and Learning to Go. She has trained teachers and taught English language learners in over 20 countries as an invited guest expert by organizations, like the US Embassy, UNESCO Bangkok, Cultura Inglesa of Brazil, the British Council in Tel Aviv, IATEFL Slovenia, HUPE Croatia, ISTEK Turkey, and Venezuela TESOL. She has been recognized by several organizations and publications as a leader in the movement of teacher driven professional development as the founder and organizer of various online conferences, Twitter chats, and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Two of the projects she co-organized were shortlisted for ELTons, #ELTChat and the Virtual Round Table Language and Technology online conference. She was named Woman of the Year by the National Association of Professional Women, awarded a Bammy Award as a founder of #Edchat, and named as one of the 10 Most Influential People in EdTech by Tech & Learning. Her greatest joy is being the mother of baby Savannah and Rosco the pug. Shelly has an Honors BA in English with a Minor in Communication and a specialization in Electronic Media from UTSA, a Masters in Curriculum Instruction ESL from the University of Phoenix, and a CELTA from CELT Athens. She regularly shares her tips for effective technology integration via Twitter (@ShellTerrell), Facebook.com/ShellyTerrell, and on her blog, TeacherRebootCamp.com, which has won several awards and recognitions as one of the top ESL, Edtech and Elearning blogs. Find over 400 of her slide presentations at https://www.slideshare.net/ShellTerrell/presentations

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