Want some ideas for bringing humour into your classroom? Then look no further as we’ve 10 ideas for you right here!…
1. Tell your students to do the ‘Dying z’ whenever a question is too hard
I can’t remember which of my favourite childhood TV programs this came from – was it ‘Tiswas’? All I remember was a television studio full of people lying on their backs with their arms and legs waving in the air pretending to be dying flies. It’s a great stress reliever (I still do it before going to the bank) and always causes a laugh.
2. Use theme music
A CD of TV and film theme tunes is a great investment. You can play ‘Chariots of fire’, ‘Rocky’ or ‘Mission impossible’ at the start of lessons, Benny Hill when you want them to change activities and ‘Countdown’ when you want them to answer spot questions. Just for starters.
3. Tell a funny story
It must say something about me but I have a very good stock of funny stories about mistakes I’ve made, embarrassing moments and accidents I’ve been involved in. Students LOVE to hear a funny story half way through the lesson, “Right, put your pens down, I’ve got another for you…” – especially when it’s about their foolish teacher.
4. Put students in pairs and get them to practice reciting tongue twisters
Give them a few minutes to practice and then have a ‘Twist Off’ at the front of the class – the fastest tongue gets the prize.
5. Take snapshots of your students and display the photos on a notice board in your room.
Kids love to see themselves in photographs and even if the photo’s aren’t funny, the students will enjoy seeing them on display.
6. Encourage class comedians
It’s easy to get frustrated with the class clown and the disruption they cause but if we instead see them as a positive influence we can benefit from their humour whilst giving them some help and guidance on appropriate limits and boundaries. By encouraging their humour – in the right way, perhaps by offering them fve minutes of ‘cabaret time rather than constantly interrupting you – they can actually have a far better influence on the group than you probably currently believe.
7. Get a big, bright red pair of boxing gloves (or some vampire fangs, or a big inflatable hammer or a policeman’s helmet etc.)
Put them on whenever the class gets too silly. (Note to teachers who see this as an appealing reward for bad behaviour: You’re right; but some teachers can make this work. My favourite primary school teacher used to do this and we thought it was hilarious. He knew how to make us laugh, but he had our total respect because he also knew when and how to impose discipline. He was the model of ‘firm and fair’.
8. Get a huge pair of fluffy ear muffs
Put them on whenever the class gets too noisy
9. Have a mask and snorkel
Put it on whenever the class gets too smelly. (Often a problem in my classroom in Gateshead).
10. Use sound effects
Rapturous applause when students answer questions, a machine gun when they’re being cheeky etc. Technology makes this easy – most mobile phones can be plugged in to a speaker system and can be used to access all manner of sound effects.
I hope your students find some of these ideas funny. I took them directly from my book ‘The fun teachers tool kit’.
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