Wednesday, August 6, 2014


41st ELT Blog Carnival: Teaching with Humor

Humor is more than just a funny face!
Welcome to the 41st ELT Blog Carnival! For quite some time I have had an obsession with using humor in the class. I find the more my students laugh, the more they learn! It seems I am not alone as this carnival has ten other teachers eager to share how they use humor in the classroom.

My hope is that you go through these blog posts and the descriptions intrigue you enough to click on the blog posts and get inspiration on how to get your students to laugh a little and relax enough to really learn.

Enjoy :-)

 1. Nick has an amazing collection of comedic sketches on YouTube. His contribution to the blog carnival is a list of DOs and DON'Ts when using these clips in the classroom. He uses several examples on different occasions these clips fit well in class and I am sure you'll be excited about using some of them in your classroom. Read more: Using "COMEDY FOR ELT" clips

2. David has a great blog to get you laughing that comes from his lessons in a can series of blog posts. It contains several links with jokes you can use including a slide with 22 jokes! You can have your students listen to these be read, or you can use them as reading activities. As David says, "it can be very funny and it is a good way to lighten up the day/lesson!"  Read more of the jokes for yourself at his blog post with: Funny Jokes

3. Alina has created a super cute blog filled with comics. Each of these comics contains a joke that uses the grammar form her students are learning. What a great way to use visuals to help students really comprehend jokes! I love how she was able to find so many jokes that fit her grammar needs perfectly. Interested? You can read it for yourself at her blog: Grammar With Comix

4. Here is a great oldie by Ivan Sokolov! It was originally published by the Bulgarian English Teachers' Association IAFTEL in 2001! It is a really well researched article on how and why humor is effective in the class. Be sure to read it to get a better idea of how and more importantly why to use Humor in the EFL Classroom

5. Vicki Hollet has created some lovely and informative videos for English Language Learners. This video is a short and humorous example of how to handle a phone call if you are busy. If you are looking for an example to use in class this is perfect! The grammar is simple, the humor is obvious, and the pronunciation is clear. Be sure to watch the video How to Handle Calls When You're Busy

6. I am a huge fan of using short videos in class! The Alltac blog has a great lesson using a funny video about students taking a make-up exam. In addition to the video being funny there are two pages of teachers notes. One page gives you ideas of how to incorporate the lesson, and the other page gives you materials for an activity. See the video and read more at the Alltac Blog.

7. Emily Richardson 's blog covers a plethora of ways to get students laughing in class. From fake mustaches, jokes, stories or just general vocabulary Emily has plenty of ways you can get your students giggling. You can read the rest of her blog post titled "Laughter is the best medicine." (Be sure you check out the cheer-leading video at the bottom of her post! It makes me smile every time!)

8. Roberta wrote a great post for World Laughter day back in May. She goes through the reasons humor is great in class (I agree with every single one of them!), as well as some sites that you can use to find jokes. Finally she goes through a simple way to use jokes in the class that could be adapted to work with so many different levels. World Laughter Day 

9. Raquel has a FANTASTIC lesson that's funny and practical! She uses clips from Friends as a starting point for discussing stress and other medical symptoms. In addition to clips, she also has QR codes set up for infographics. Raquel assures me that this lesson went over really well with her students, and I can see why! See for yourself: Explaining Symptoms

10. How does summarizing a movie make students laugh? When they do it in 5 seconds! It wouldn't be a blog carnival without a contribution from Larry Ferlazzo. I get a lot of my English game ideas from Ellen; Larry seems to get a lot of his from Jimmy Fallon! This is a quick post where he points out that one of the more recent games Jimmy Fallon played with his guests could be used in class. Read his post (and see a video) and I am sure you'll find a way to get your students laughing over this game:  Jimmy Fallon's Game

11. Finally, originally I was going to make a post on some jokes I use for reading comprehension. However, my summer became much busier than I expected. Instead I offer a fantastic doodling activity to do with students. It is a great way to practice adjectives, relative clauses, complex sentences etc. The exciting part about this game is students are ALWAYS interested. They are usually laughing half the class! I love when they have fun and learn! See for yourself: Doodling for Complex Sentences

I hope you enjoyed reading this carnival as much as I enjoyed putting it together. As always I encourage you to share the carnival with other teachers you feel may interested. As a special incentive we have FOUR funny items that the carnival contributors have put up for raffle:
  • There are THREE Digital Prizes to be won
    • From Emily you have the chance to receive a copy of her Pirate Joke book! 
    • David's goodie is a PowerPoint with audio filled with Funny Stories, the printables that go with it, worksheets that go with the lesson and a Joke of The Day PowerPoint.
    • Vicki has offered the worksheets that go with the amusing video on how to handle phone calls when you're busy.
  • In addition to these great digital prizes, to show everyone you appreciate the humor found in English, I will send this, "You've cat to be kitten be right meow" iPhone 4 case you can proudly display. (Note as this will be mailed, only people with U.S. addresses can win. If the winner of the three digital prizes does NOT have a U.S. address, another winner for the phone case will be selected).
The contest will run for one week and then the winner will be announced. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Humor is such a great way to engage students and to put them at ease in the classroom. Can't wait to start putting these ideas to use in the new school year!

  2. Thanks for adding allatc's Multiple Choice lesson to the carnival, Carissa. Looking forward to trying out everyone's ideas after the summer holiday :-)

  3. buenas noches gracias por compartir este blog saludos cordiales


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