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 students and teachers alike.
Research suggests that humor produces psychological and physiological benefits that help students learn. Humor in the classroom has been found to not only hold student attention but also helps students to remember what they have learned.n Incorporating humor into your classroom presentations can enhance many different areas of learning. Here is a look at how humor can help develop interpersonal and intrapersonal skills.
All of our programs also focus on interpersonal skills, social skills and use humor to teach. One program in particular that focuses on interpersonal skills and building healthy relationships is our Circles Curriculum.
Interacting with fellow classmates using humor and role-playing is a great way for students of all ages to develop interpersonal skills. Try having students act out skits in pairs to help them learn how to collaborate together to create something interesting and meaningful. For instance, designate one student as the comedian, one as the serious person, then switch and have them reflect upon their experiences. If you’re stuck on scenarios to give them, try having one partner teach the other a silly dance step-by-step. One great way to learn is by watching others. Start by showing students some clips of the Marx Brothers or Laurel and Hardy, and have them act out one of their routines, building their repertoire of interpersonal abilities and sense of timing. Listening to classic one-liners such as, “Last night I saw an elephant in my pajamas. What he was doing in my pajamas, I’ll never know!” will not only keep students laughing, but will inspire them to come up with their own quirky jokes. The occasional use of pantomime and games like “charades” in your classroom can also put a playful spin on a lesson that might otherwise be ordinary. Preparing and enacting such skits with their peers helps students be more comfortable performing in front of an audience. Be creative and find what’s most engaging for your students! This is guaranteed to generate laughter and is a pleasurable learning experience that will long be remembered.
Self-understanding or intrapersonal intelligence is often developed along with a sense of humor about ourselves. When we learn to laugh at ourselves, we replace negative feelings with positive ones. Model this ability in the classroom by laughing when you make a silly mistake on the board or draw a stick figure to illustrate something. This will teach students to laugh at themselves when they make an honest mistake, a much healthier reaction than shame, anger or self-depreciation, and something easier to bounce back from and begin anew. Being able to laugh at oneself is an important trait for students to pick up, for it makes them seem more approachable and is a component of their overall like-ability. Further, laughing, smiling and generating smiles in those around us, connects us and benefits us.
At JSC, humor is incorporated into many of our programs and curricula. Using improvisational comedy players to teach the lessons we wish to impart, we entertain while teaching. Students become engaged and interested. To learn more about why we use humor in our programs and to get more information about ordering the head over to about us or request a catalog!
Copyright 2013 James Stanfield Company. All Rights Reserved.
Source: Dickinson, Dee. “Humor and the Multiple Intelligences.” N.p., n.d. Web.
The child who is ‘left behind’ most is the one who leaves school without transition readiness.
Dr. James Stanfield, Ed.D.