English-Language Learners

A Month of Classroom Laughs

By Commentary Intern — April 01, 2013 1 min read
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By guest blogger Lyndsey Wallen

April Fools’ Day: The day when teachers should casually check their chairs for rubber snakes and be prepared for the ever-popular “your shoe is untied” joke.

Hopefully your day was relatively uneventful—or the classroom jokes were your own, like giving students a fake quiz or rearranging the classroom, (although these teachers learned the hard way that there’s no joking about a trip to Disney World).

Given that April is National Humor Month, there’s no reason the fun should end here. Take a look at these ideas for how to spice up your lessons with humor-related activities, and feel free to use them over the next 30 days:

1. Edutopia has a nice roundup of April Fools’ Day classroom activities. If you’re questioning the productivity of humor-based lessons, look at this post from Scholastic Teacher detailing the benefits of laughter in the classroom.

2. Busy Teacher put together some ideas for incorporating the holiday into lessons for English-language learners. Play games involving humor-related vocabulary, read silly books, and have students come up with their own jokes.

3. Lesson Planet has some ideas for engaging—and fooling—students as well. Have your students research the history of hoaxes and examine how April Fools’ Day is celebrated around the world. Then get everyone laughing with a Reader’s Theatre script.

4. Make science lessons fun with some surprising experiments. Teaching Science Well has a list of science pranks that will shock and awe your students.

5. As always, Pinterest has a wealth of information for classroom activities. A basic search will lead you to tons of April Fools’ ideas. We Are Teachers has dedicated a whole board to April Fools. Check out this idea for a silly permission slip that involves parents in the April Fools’ fun.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Teaching Now blog.