How many times have you heard your students say, "This is boring!" or
"Learning should be fun"?
If you struggle with keeping your students'
attention, you can try adding humor to your English lessons. Humor is
an effective way to engage students and increase attention. Plus,
it is a lot more fun for everyone!
There are many benefits of using humor while teaching
is a great way to create a comfortable classroom environment, relieve
stress, and bond with your students.
In addition, it increases
engagement by keeping students interested and eager to learn.
many simple ways to bring humor into the classroom.
Never use humor
to make fun of a student or at the
expense of a student's self-esteem. Never tell offensive, rude, or
sarcastic jokes. Humor
be positive and a fun addition to the classroom!
The number one way to add humor to the classroom is to be honest and be
yourself. Do not be afraid to laugh at yourself when you do something
silly or wrong. Tell funny stories about mistakes you have made,
especially mistakes you've made when speaking or writing in English.
This is not only a great way to relieve stress, but it also helps you
connect with your students and show them that you are human too.
Everyone makes mistakes, and it is okay to laugh at our own mistakes!
However, even though it is okay to laugh at yourself, it is not okay to
make fun of others. Never make fun of students for making mistakes in
their English. Teach them that it is okay to make mistakes, and
sometimes our mistakes are funny!
2. Add funny items to worksheets, tests, quizzes, and homework
This is an easy way to add humor to your lessons. Insert funny
questions or reading passages in worksheets, tests, and homework. Use puns
jokes to make homework fun. These questions help ease stress when
students are working and helps keep them engaged.
Another way to do this is to use funny, high-interest stories such as
and Jerry Short Story Collection from Really Learn English.
short stories are an amusing way to engage your students in reading
One tip: Make sure that you only use humor that your students can
understand with their level
English. Also, avoid using humor that
students may not understand due to a lack of background knowledge
necessary to understand it.
3. Show videos
You do not have to be a comedian to bring humor into your classroom.
Videos and video clips are an easy way to bring humor into your
lessons. Many teachers use videos for "brain breaks" to relieve tension
or stress while learning. Videos are also a great way to begin a class
period or to introduce a new lesson or idea.
In an English classroom, you can watch funny television episodes in
English to practice comprehension and listening skills. You can also
use captions to help students follow along. Search for funny English
instructional videos on Youtube.
Here are some examples you can use in your classroom right now!
Studio C can
be a great
addition to any classroom, especially for teens and adults. Studio C is a
television show produced in the United States by BYUtv. You can watch
Studio C on the
BYU website or by searching on Youtube.
Studio C videos are great in the classroom because they are clean,
family-oriented comedy, and the episodes are only 3 to 5 minutes in
length on average.
This Studio C episode teaches about the word "literally" in a fun way!
Like videos, cartoons (humorous drawings) are also a simple way to add
humor to your
They also help develop skills in reading
(in small chunks),
and writing. In addition, cartoons and comic
strips usually use authentic, real-world language and slang.
Editorial cartoons are popular cartoons that usually focus on a
specific current event or political or social situation. You can
analyze these cartoons with students in terms of the specific political
or economic issue it identifies.
Students can discuss the cartoon in
small groups, practicing their English
conversational skills. You can
explore the persuasive techniques that the cartoonist uses. These
cartoons can also be used to start conversations and as writing
Cartoon comic strips are a short series of images in sequence. The last
image in the comic strip is usually the punch line of the joke.
Teachers can use these cartoons in a variety of ways:
identify and analyze the use of italics, underlining, bold
and different fonts
act out the comic
retell the comic with and without the visual aid of the
describe the images to another student
prediction skills - tell what is coming next
write the comic strip as a story (in paragraph form)
identify missing words (see explanation below)
jigsaw activity (see explanation below)
Teachers can use comics for vocabulary
practice or using grammar
in context. This is a simple activity. Print out a few comic strips and
remove words from the comics with white-out or by coloring over with a
Have students identify the missing words using the
context of the story or by inserting vocabulary words from a list.
Another variation of this activity is to delete and entire part of the
dialogue in the comic. Have students fill in the bubble with
appropriate dialogue that makes sense in the joke.
Cut a comic strip apart. Ask students to put the pieces together in the
correct order. Have students read the completed comic aloud and justify
for the order.
This activity can also be completed in groups. Give each member of the
group one part of the comic strip and have them work together to put
the comic strip in order. This activity promotes English conversational
skills and is fun.
5. Bring your lessons to life
You can use humor to bring your lessons to life through games, voices,
funny pictures, acting, and more. Here are a few ways you can bring
your lessons to life:
Use children's picture books to introduce a new concept.
book with fun voices or have students act out parts of the story. You
can even use wigs, hats, costumes, and props to add to the story.
Practice new vocabulary
by combining words to make funny
combinations of words. For example: jumping
and tiny giants.
also draw images to illustrate the funny combinations of words.
Start with a quote of the day or a quote of the week. Not
quote needs to be funny, but humorous quotes are a great way to bring
laughter into your lessons.
Have a joke day. Ask students to bring in their favorite
English to share with the class. Make sure you have rules for which
jokes they can use. Jokes should not be offensive or rude.
Use props to bring your lessons to life. For example, wear
funny beach hat when learning about summer vocabulary, dress in
colorful rain boots and a rain coat when learning weather vocabulary,
bring a "crystal ball" when students are learning to make predictions
Use impersonations. Try practicing different accents or
impersonate a famous celebrity.
just a few ways that
you can add humor to your English lessons and your classroom. Learning does not have to be
best piece of advice is to be yourself
and have fun with your students!