worksheet: Punny jokes
Before engaging with the drama text, provide students with the opportunity to gain an understanding of the original story of Robin Hood. Before you begin, ask students to begin a KWL chart for Robin Hood. Read or tell the story of Robin Hood to the students.
Getting into character: Note that the word of the month on the contents page of this issue is “Introduction.” Ask students to imagine they are Robin Hood. They are to introduce Robin Hood’s character, motivations and his achievements.
Next, students use a device to find a suitable portrait of Robin Hood (preferably a front on portrait style, close image). Some students who are artistic or particularly enthusiastic might like to draw their picture of Robin Hood which can be photographed using an iPad and uploaded to an app, such as TalkR for an IOS device or Speaking Photo for an Android device.
These apps make photos, drawings and paintings talk – the technology records a voice and makes the mouth of the portrait move in time with the voice recording, making it seem like the portrait has come to life. Using the app, students can upload their favourite image of Robin Hood. Then they can record their self-introduction as Robin Hood and then share their video introductions with the class.
Students are now ready to read the text “Robin Hood, the (Almost) true story.”
Looking at the title only, what do expect this story to be about?
Looking at the illustrations, do you think that this story will be similar to the original, classic story of Robin Hood that you engaged with to create your video? Explain your answer giving reasons.
Is this a serious or humorous story? How do you know? Highlight the humorous sections.
What is different about the characters of the original Robin Hood story and those presented in this drama script?
Look at the song lyrics sung by the bratty boys and the Merry Maids. Write a list of the rhyming words. Why is rhyme an important part of songs and singing? What does it add for the listener?
Look at the song lyrics at the end of the script:
“And deep in the forest, we are the law,
for we take from the rich, and we give to the poor!”
Explain how these lyrics relate to the original story of Robin Hood.
Debate: That it was wrong for Robin Hood take from the rich and give to the poor.
Ask students to think about both sides of this argument – they could draw up a table with two columns, one for affirmative arguments and the other for negative arguments. They can use this table to help them with the main activity – the line debate.
Line debating – divide the class in half. Half stand along one wall of the classroom and the other stands opposite, facing each other. One side of the room is the affirmative team and one side is the negative team. The affirmative team begins. Students volunteer to deliver their argument to the class. The teacher/judge adjudicates if each argument is valid. If an argument is deemed valid, the speaker may steal a member of the opposition to join their team. If an argument is a repeat argument or doesn’t work or make sense, then that speaker does not get to steal someone from the opposing team. The winning team is the one with the most members at the end of the debate.
A more in depth set of instructions and rules for line debating can be found here: Line debating.
This text provides an enjoyable opportunity to play with words, language and rhyme.
Puns – A playful technique used to create humour in this text. An explanation and some examples may be required before students feel confident in identifying the puns in the text. You can use the website Examples of puns for kids to explain puns. Students are to identify and highlight the puns used in the drama script. Examples include “Nottingham” to “Nothing-ham” and “Fryer Tuck” to “He fried everything—even our porridge.”
Ask students if they can make a pun using their own name. Their first or last name – or both! Share these with the class – Some students may have difficulty with their names, they could perhaps choose a favourite sportsperson or actor’s name to use to make a pun.
Rhyme – students have already identified examples of rhyme in the drama script (see the Understanding section). They can now write a list of words that rhyme with their own name, and the pun that they created in the above activity.
Continuing with the theme of “introductions,” Students write a short song in which they use the puns and rhyming words created above to introduce themselves to the class.
Extension task: Students choose a tune for their song (for example “Twinkle twinkle little star” or “Mary had a little lamb”) and make their new lyrics introducing themselves match the rhythm and rhyme of the song they have chosen.
Students form small groups and choose a well-known nursery rhyme or fairytale and turn it into a script for a TV talk show. Students may need time to research their chosen nursery rhyme or fairytale at the library or using their own devices. Their goal is to create a drama script in which a TV host interviews a main character but mixes up the storyline and characters to make it funny or silly.
Students can rehearse and perform their “TV talk show” to the class. There is the opportunity to use iMovie or Microsoft Movie Maker to create a short film, rather than complete a live performance in front of the class.
Alternatively, you could investigate the concept of fractured Fairytales with your class. Students can use the Fractured Fairytale Interactive to learn about Fractured Fairytales using the sample and create their own fractured fairytale.
Students write a review of their own TV talk show presentation (either their live performance or their video made with iMovie or MovieMaker).
Students should reflect on the following:
- the entertainment value of the performance,
- the level of humour,
- the ability of the group to work together,
- the best aspects of the performance,
- the weaknesses in the performance and,
- personal opinions on what the group could have done differently.
This task could be structured like a movie review or it could be a more personal reflection statement. The teacher can use their discretion to determine what they would prefer.