Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Teaching with Humor

As I was doing my daily blog hopping, I came across a great book study that has been happening and bringing many great blogging minds together. Make sure to check out One Extra Degree and follow the rest of the book study schedule. Click the book study link to the left to visit her blog.

This chapter's topic: HUMOR

I tend to think I am pretty funny. I may have a sarcastic sense of humor (lost on my students when teaching 2nd grade), but I love to make kids laugh! I get this from my dad… A man who was known for letting off stink bombs while telling stories to me and my cousins, or crafting tales of a booger man named Wesley. He always found a way to make us laugh. In turn, I strive to make others laugh around me because I think that if we bring joy to others…it's contagious. As teachers, we have an opportunity to spread joy and share our sense of humor. We have a daily audience…and there is no better audience than a group of children. Here are some ways to add a little extra hint of delight and humor into your classroom.

1. Read in accents. Kids LOVE funny voices. As a librarian, it is my joy to read aloud to students and make the characters and their stories come to life. I love to transform into a squeaky squirrel, a British rabbit, or a dastardly pirate. Changing voices and accents when reading is my opportunity to be on stage.  It sends K-5th graders giggling, but they sit there enthralled as they enjoy hearing their teacher become different characters. One of my second graders was giving a book recommendation about "Tops and Bottoms" by Janet Stevens and said, "What I liked most about this book was the voices. Especially the rabbit. He sounded so funny." Should I spoil the secret? That bunny was actually-me?!? The students are so into the story, they forget that we are the ones creating these voices. :)

2. Use old magazines and have students write funny captions or thoughts. They will crack themselves up… The otter might be saying: "Girl, this water is COLD!" Or the monkey thinking, "Mom-you really need some new shampoo." Can you think of something the hippo might say?

3. Be an announcer: As the oldest of four kids (3 younger brothers), we were always playing together. However, we always wanted dad to come watch and announce our games. He had an uncanny talent for bringing out games of basketball to life and fill the game with commentary like we were on TV complete with a play by play and announcer voice. I have put this "announcing" into practice in the classroom and kids love to have you announce their successes. I am no "Jeff Probst", but kids do love the attention and it adds a little bit of fun to the daily routine.

4. Spontaneous Movement breaks: Yoga, impromptu dance party, balance challenges…get kids up and moving and the laughter will follow. Teach them some moves from "Hitch"…I love showing them the sprinkler or my signature shopping cart. They think it is hilarious to see their teacher dance. It also helps break up the day and add a little sparkle.

Take a page from the Mary Poppins playbook…"in every job that must be done there is an element of fun. You find the fun and SNAP…the job's a game." Teachers-help find the fun. Share your humor. Remember bring joy to the classroom. It's contagious.


  1. Replies
    1. I am a bit starstruck… Thanks Amy! It truly is a great way to use old magazines. Laminate and create a center for students to work on. Or even have them write a story with the image as the story starter.

  2. I LOVE the old magazine idea! :) Thanks for linking up!

    1. Of course! I have loved reading your blog… Great ideas!

  3. I think we may have been separated at birth! HA!

    Crisscross Applesauce in First Grade

    1. Well I would love to hear your funny dad stories! :)

  4. Great post! I love that you try to bring joy to others because that's how you were brought up. I'm sure your Dad would love that you said that :)

  5. I LOVE the speech bubble idea with old magazines!! I'm sure the kids love that idea!! Thanks so much for sharing!