Learning and education are often considered to be serious activities.
And while it is true that they are serious activities, they don’t have to be carried out in a serious manner, one which is devoid of fun and laughter and even the occasional smile. It does not take a genius to know that children respond better to a happy face than a neutral one. So how can you as a teacher make learning fun and enjoyable?
Here are seven ways of injecting humour into your classroom.
- Use comedy or parody to teach – Whether it is making up a silly story to illustrate the concept of integers or whether it
is parodying Julius Caesar, don’t be afraid to jazz up your lessons a little bit. Most children will appreciate the effort at the very least, plus comedy gets the point you want to make across faster in most cases!
- Don’t be afraid of cracking jokes – Don’t be self-conscious about cracking the occasional joke. Want to lighten up a dry Geography lesson? Make a joke about it. If it is bad, don’t worry about. Self-deprecating make a bad joke about how bad your joke was. That at least is bound to get a laugh out of your students and you can once again attack the lesson for the day with some renewed vigour and a lightened heart.
- Adopt an accent – Or even a differently pitched voice. And encourage your students to participate in the lesson using the same tone or different kinds of tones. Now imagine a lesson the structure of the atom told in a nasal voice or a gruff, rough tone. The next time your students think about the atom, they are bound to remember they way you taught them about it and therefore remember it even better!
- Substantiate concepts with funny real–life examples – Concepts are easier to understand with examples. However they can be further improved if the example in the question is funny. Don’t fret if you don’t have any funny examples. You can always call upon your students to share funny examples or even potential funny situations!
Add humour to homework – Giving your students an English assignment on noun and
pronoun agreement? As a small additional task, also ask your students to write a limerick which utilizes proper noun-pronoun agreement. Adding an element of nonsense or fun to homework motivates your students to actually work on it and the next day, your class can share the limericks with your and with each other!
- I can’t joke; I’m not a funny person by nature – If this is you as a teacher; that is okay. Don’t force yourself to joke and be funny if it is not something that comes to your naturally or makes you comfortable. There is nothing more off-putting to children than an adult or teacher forcing humour. You can still add an element of humour to your classroom. Invite your students to share funny thoughts, joke and examples. Illustrate points by using cartoon clips or jokes you have sourced from elsewhere. You don’t have to be a humourous person in order to add a little fun to your classroom or get your students to enjoy the lesson!
Laugh at yourself – And don’t be afraid of doing so. You being capable of laughing at yourself when you do something silly or funny instantly makes you a far more approachable person to your students because it tells them that you don’t take yourself that seriously!
How do you make your lessons fun and enjoyable for your students? Share your humorous suggestions with us in the comments below!