Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Book Study: Chapter 6: Humor

What better way to start this post on "humor" than a good ol' kindergarten style joke...
What drink do alligators like? 
*boom, boom, ching!*

Now that right there was a high-quality kindergarten joke. All you kinder teachers know what I mean!
Usually, the quality of a joke (to a kinder) depends on how little the joke makes sense! The more random - the better!

Student: Knock, knock. 
Me: Who's there? 
Student: Jelly beans. 
Me: Jelly beans who? 
Student: Jelly beans in your house! *child laughs hysterically*
*confused teacher look + well rehearsed fake laugh*

(Oh, and if YOU want to get your class roaring... just throw the word UNDERWEAR into your lesson at any point for a guaranteed laugh. *please use responsibly*)

Ok... enough with the jokes... the real reason for this post is to link-up with Amanda at One Extra Degree for Chapter 6 of the book study Worksheet's Don't Grow Dendrites by Marcia L. Tate. This chapter is all about using humor to enhance learning.

"What we learn with pleasure, we never forget." (Allen, 2008, p. 99)

I find that humor lessens stress. Less stress = a better state for learning and retaining content.

I also find that humor unlocks the joy of reading for my students. My (and their) favorite read-alouds have an element of humor. I love when I have to wait for the laughter to subside before turning the page. I find that these books end up on the book shelf most of the year due to popular demand.




I've even found these humorous books to influence their independent writing. During free choice time a few weeks back, a group of students were writing books inspired by Old Black Fly by Jim Aylesworth.
"But the fly got tired so he rested on a wooden table."

"The naughty unicorn was knocking everything down."

I try to incorporate a little humor is through class cheers. When I call on a student to model....or they give an excellent answer... we give them a wacky cheer to celebrate. I'll say... let's give __so and so__ a "Yabadabadoo!" "Woop! Woop!" "Excalente!" "Yee-haw!" or "Cowabunga Dude!"

Let's not forget about dressing up....
This was me on the 100th day of school.
100 year-old "Granny Hanny"

One way Tate suggests for incorporating humor is through riddles. I do a version of riddles this time of year by sending the following note and a plastic egg home with each student. They create clues to help the rest of the class guess the item they hide in the egg. As students return their eggs, we use them as a quick activity during transitions.
Click HERE to head on over to Fun in First Grade and grab your free note that explains what to do.
Another way we add a humorous twist to just about anything is by using crazy voices! We read our addition sentences, skip count, sing the months of the year... by talking like robots, mice, football players... There are ENDLESS possibilities!
(Real Teachers Learn has some printable voice cards to get your creativity brewing.)


  1. I enjoyed reading your reflections. Thanks for linking up!

  2. Jokes made up by kids are the best - they get me giggling every single time because they make absolutely no sense! HA!

    Crisscross Applesauce in First Grade

  3. So fun! Gotta love dress up days :)

  4. You are so very right about kinders and the jokes they make up!! It is quite hilarious!
    I absolutely loved the idea of the eggs and a riddle. I'm going to do that next week. It will be perfect with my egg unit! Thanks so much for posting! I'm really enjoying this book and I enjoyed your post!!

    1. Thanks Linda! Egg unit - perfect!
      I had a few students complete their "egg riddles" at turn them in this week. We read them today and there were lots of laughs! The item I couldn't guess was a button! :)

  5. Love Pete the Cat books! We had our kids dress up like they were 100 years old also and I joined in the fun as well! The kids love when teachers participate in dress-up days! Enjoy the rest of the weekend!


    1. Pete is the best!
      That must have been an adorable picture with everyone dressed up like they were 100 years old! :)