8 Activities to Celebrate National Humor Month
From there to here, from here to there, funny things are everywhere. — Dr. Seuss
The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.
— e.e. cummings
Nothing can bring people together like laughter. And that includes your students! Sharing a good laugh can help kids get to know one another, enhance teamwork efforts and even diffuse conflicts. Not to mention that laughter is good for us mentally and physically: a good chuckle can help relieve stress, burn calories and even boost your immune system!
So is it any wonder that a whole month has been devoted to celebrating all that makes us laugh? Join in the spirit of National Humor Month this April with activities that are guaranteed to bring on the giggles.
- Funny Read-alouds
Start off every class this month by reading a light-hearted picture book, short passage or poem aloud to students. Check out Scholastic’s “Ultimate List of Funny Books for Kids” and Brightly’s list of “10 Legitimately Funny Books to Read Aloud with Your Kids.” And you can’t go wrong with classic works by Shel Silverstein, Roald Dahl and Beverly Cleary.
- Joke Bookmarks
Hand out Upstart’s Joke Bookmarks to students. Put students in groups of 4, each student with a different bookmark. Have them tell the jokes to each other and see if anyone can guess the answer. Then, have students work together to write their own jokes. After each group turns in their jokes, read them aloud to the class and see which group’s jokes get the biggest laughs. For inspiration, provide students with joke books from your collection.
- Laughter in So Many Words
As a class, make a list of all of the different words for “laugh”: chuckle, giggle, guffaw, snicker, chortle, snort and so on. Talk about how each of these words conveys a slightly different meaning. Then challenge students to write poems or short stories using as many of the different words for laugh that they can. As an extension, make a list of all of the laugh-related idioms the class can think of, such as crack up, side-splitting, bust a gut, laugh your head off, in stitches and so on. Challenge students to include at least two of these in their story or poem. Then, have students illustrate their work, and put it all together for a class humor anthology.
- Favorite Jokes
Make a display of all of the joke books in your collection. Then, challenge students to flip through the books and find a joke that they find particularly funny. Provide art materials, and have students create posters by writing the joke on poster board and illustrating it. Hang the posters up around the school.
- Crazy Collages
Provide students with poster board, scissors, glue and old magazines and newspapers. Instruct them to cut out funny pictures and/or headlines that make them laugh and glue them to the poster board to make crazy collages. For an extra challenge, have students pair headlines with different photos to make funny statements. Hang the collages up around the room to provide some daily giggles!
- Laugh Journals
With all of the negativity swirling around us in the news, it’s important to take notice of all of the laughter in our daily lives. To help students appreciate all the humorous moments that happen at school and at home, have them keep laugh journals. In their journals, they can write down or draw pictures of any events of the day or things people said that made them laugh. Periodically during the month, students can pair up and share what they wrote with each other. (Don’t forget to remind students of what is appropriate and not appropriate to share.)
- Funniest Moments
Ask students, “What is the funniest thing that has ever happened to you?” Divide students into small groups and encourage them to share their funny stories with each other. Then, have students take it a step further by interviewing their family members about the funniest thing that ever happened to them! Have them take notes during their interviews and share some of the stories with the rest of the class.
- Silly Furry Friends
Anyone who has a dog or a cat knows that animals can be a great source of joy and laughter. Hold a funny animal show and tell. Invite students to bring in silly pictures of their pets and tell a funny pet-related story. For students who don’t have pets, encourage them to find funny pictures or stories featuring animals online to share. You might also read aloud a giggle-inducing story about pets, such as I’m My Own Dog by David Ezra Stein.
What activities have gotten your students laughing uncontrollably? Share your ideas with us on Twitter @demco.