Children, including those with special needs, thrive in an atmosphere in which humor and laughter are frequently present. Bringing a sense of humor to teaching and learning is an essential part of what makes daily life in the classroom palatable, lively, interesting and human for student and teacher alike. Humor has been found to not only hold student attention but also helps students to remember what they have learned. Incorporating humor can enhance many different areas of learning. Here is a look at how humor can help develop language skills.
It’s no secret that children and teenagers love playful verbal puns, jokes and humorous stories. Children love to play and learning to have fun with language helps them make new vocabulary and sentences their own playthings. This can be done in ways that do not involve stigmatizing individual people or groups or hurting someone’s feelings, but instead in such a way that appropriately develops linguistic intelligence.
Studying the mechanics of writing and language can be deathly dull, even for adults. How can we expect young children and adolescents to find dangling modifiers and proper nouns interesting? What if the teacher, in reading a story, or a student composition to the class, adopted musical comedian Victor Borge’s amusing method of making certain repetitive sounds to stand for exclamation points, periods, or question marks, in what has been termed “verbal punctuation?”Children could be encouraged to anticipate what punctuation comes at the end of a sentence and participate in together making the sound along with the teacher. This is just one example of an activity that uses humor to promote linguistic intelligence. Have another idea or activity? Comment here and tell us about it!
To find out more about why we use humor in our programs click here!
Dickinson, Dee. “Humor and the Multiple Intelligences.” N.p., n.d. Web.
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The child who is ‘left behind’ most is the one who leaves school without transition readiness.