Just Joking

article by Karen Jameyson , illustrated by Michel Streich

Learning Intention: 

I am learning to create and participate in group activities so that I can develop my collaboration skills.

Success Criteria: 

  • I can use information from the text to collaborate on ideas for a workout circuit.
  • I can create a workout station with a partner.
  • I can participate in the workout circuits of other groups.

Understanding text:

After reading the text, watch the video The Benefits of Laughing and have a class discussion to recall the ways that laughter is good for our health. Answers should include:

  • Helps heart and lungs
  • Helps keep us strong to fight germs
  • Helps us feel happier and less stressed
  • Uses about fifteen face muscles
  • Uses stomach muscles when we laugh very hard
  • Triggers ‘happy’ chemicals such as dopamine and endorphins
  • Helps build connections with others
  • Boosts our mood.

Oral language:

Discuss ways that they can make people laugh, giving them a good workout, and write suggestions on the board. If you have a digital subscription, you may wish to complete the interactive activity for inspiration. Answers may include:

  • Telling jokes
  • Performing slapstick or physical comedy (e.g. exaggerated movement / facial expressions, using props, pratfalls)
  • Singing silly songs
  • Sharing funny memes
  • Showing funny animal videos

Have students build on each other’s ideas and add examples that they enjoy themselves (e.g. a specific joke or song, or they may wish to demonstrate some physical comedy).

Creating text:

Explain to students that they are going to create a ‘laughter workout circuit’ to share the benefits of laughter with their classmates. To do this, break the class into groups of at least eight and inform them that there should be one workout station for every two students in their group (i.e. if there are eight students in their group, there should be four workout students). Each group should collaborate on what stations their circuit will contain (e.g. one joke station, one meme station etc.).

The group should then be split into pairs with each pair assigned a station to create. For example, if one pair is assigned the joke station, their job is to research / find or write jokes to tell when people come to their station during a workout.

Give the groups time to conduct their research and create the comedy for their workout stations. They may require devices to do this or joke and riddle books from the library.

Assessment as learning:  

Once all groups are prepared, move the desks aside in the classroom or take students to a larger area such as the school hall or playground. Allow two groups to set up their workout circuit while the other group is split between the two circuits as participants (this may need to be adjusted depending on student numbers in your class). Allow time for all students to complete both circuits, then swap groups around so that all students have a turn of running their workout stations and participating in those of the other groups.

After this activity is completed, have students fill in an exit slip by drawing the mood meter template or completing it digitally.