Celebrating National Humor Month!
National Humor Month was created in April 1976 to bring public awareness to the therapeutic value of humor. Scientific research shows that when we laugh, we reduce stress and pain, build up our immune systems and recharge our bodies. From a literacy perspective, reading humor helps to build strategic comprehension! Humor requires inference: combining what we read or see with what we already know.
10 WAYS TO CELEBRATE NATIONAL HUMOR MONTH IN THE CLASSROOM
1. Read funny books. Start with HIP’s ONE CRAZY NIGHT and WINNER – both stories with ensemble casts of kooky characters, like a sitcom! And don’t forget the BATS MYSTERY SERIES, 6 novels that put funny characters in exciting situations.
2. Read funny poems. April is also National Poetry Month, so dust off your Shel Silverstein, Jack Prelutsky, Dennis Lee collections for some funny poems. And discover some new poets for kids, such as Amy Ludwig VanDerwater and Ken Nesbitt.
3. Start every day with a word play riddle for the students to figure out. (What do you call a can opener that doesn’t work? A can’t opener!)
4. Have students rehearse and tell a (teacher-approved) joke. This is a great fluency-building activity.
5. Brainstorm words that mean the same as laugh or funny. Here’s a start: chortle, guffaw, snort, giggle, roar.
6. Encourage students to use some of these words in a personal narrative piece on “I laughed my head off when…”.
7. Sing some silly songs. (Remember “The Name Game“?…Shirley, Shirley, Bo Birley…)
8. Collect some funny memes about current events.
10. Provide students with a comic strip with the last frame removed for them to write and illustrate a humourous ending.