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Lessons with Laughter George Woolard LANGUAGE sccentantepectte coe Introduction Lessons with humour Moet reaching materials are not humorous. If there is humour in the classroom, it comes from sro ttacher and the students, Lessons with Laughter js designed to Dring humour into your Tessone, When students find something humorous, their learning becomes OT enjoyable and their motivation increases, The lessons in the four sections of this book bring humour and English together, Let them discover the humour You cannot teach humour, If you have to explain it, 5 n> Jonger funny. The secret of the lessons in this book is to allow your students to discover the humour for themselves. Most often humour grows out of a language situation with more than one meaning ~ usually there isa well-known literal meaning plus a metaphorical meaning. Your role as teacher is not to lead your students by the hand through the ‘wonderful world of British humour. Your role is to set up lessons where students can discover meaning for themselves: you will need to give them time to do this, You may explain the odd word. You will definitely encourage the use of dictionaries, And you will monitor the ourcome of the problem-solving activities. If some in the class cannot see the joke, it 1s better to let the others in the class explain it - even if they have to do so in their own language. Resist the rempration to be the class comedian. This is serious learning When you find something amusing, you are more liable to remember it. When students vFraee new meanings for themselves, they are more likely to remember them because they Taughed. This means that language items contained in humorous exes more likely to be retained than if you had simply taught them in a conventional way Students will want to retell the jokes and stories to other students, thereby reinforcing their learning A Lexical Approach Move and mote teachers are seeing the advantages of raking a lexical approach to language. “The jokes and stories in this book axe full of useful word partnerships, fixed expressions, and sentence heads. Four sections The four sections of lessons exploit the four common types of humorous text: 1 Jokes - understanding double meaning 2 Cartoons ~ predicting and understanding captions 3. Misprints finding and understanding them 4+ Reading for Fun ~ graded funny stories with an amusing last line “The lessons and the sections are not designed to be used in any particular order. This book is 4 resource from which you can draw whatever you find suitable “The lessons in sections 1 ~ 3 are fillers’ which you can use whenever you feel she need for something lighter. The Reading for Fun Section contains one page stories, many of which will take a whole lesson to read and exploit. The Misprints and Reading sections make morivating homework. the che author of this material, I have heard much laughter in my classes. I hope your classes will have as much fun as mine have had. George Woolard Edinburgh 1996 Contents Section One: Jokes Lesson 1 Lesson 2 Lesson 3 Lesson 4 Lesson 5 Lesson 6 Lesson 7 Lesson 8 Lesson 9 Lesson 10 Lesson 11 Lesson 12 Lesson 13 Lesson 14 Lesson 15 Lesson 16 Lesson 17 Lesson 18 Lesson 19 Lesson 20 Lesson 21 Lesson 22 Lesson 23 Lesson 24 Lesson 25 Lesson 26 Lesson 27 Lesson 28 Lesson 29 Idioms Phrasal Verbs Word Partnerships Puns Homophones Unusual Expressions Missing Words Moving Stress Misunderstandings Books and their Authors Present Perfect Jokes Conditional Jokes Comparative Jokes Jokes with SO. . . THAT The Best Way Misunderstanding Grammar Questions with HOW Questions with WHY Any Suggestions? What’s the Context? Insulting Remarks Definitions Paradoxical Jokes What's the Difference? ‘Waiter! Waiter! Doctor! Doctor! Making Fun of Teachers! Alphabet Jokes Elephant Jokes Section Two: Cartoons Lesson 30 Lesson 31 Lesson 32 Lesson 33 Lesson 34 Lesson 35 Lesson 36 Lesson 37 Lesson 38 What’s Missing 1 What’s Missing 2 What's Missing 3 What Happens Next 1 What Happens Next 2 What Happens Next 3 What's the Caption 1 What's the Caption 2 What’s the Caption 3 Section Three: Misprints Lesson 39 Lesson 40 Lesson 41 Lesson 42 Lesson 43 Lesson 44 Lesson 45 Lesson 46 Lesson 47 Bind the Mistake 1 - elementary Find the Mistake 2 - elementary Find the Mistake 3 - elementary Find the Mistake 4 - intermediate Find the Mistake 5 - intermediate Find the Mistake 6 - intermediate Find the Mistake 7 - advanced Find the Mistake 8 - advanced Find the Mistake 9 - advanced Section Four: Reading for Fun Elementary Lesson 48 Lesson 49 Lesson 50 Lesson 51 Lesson 52 Lesson 53 Lesson 54 Lesson 55 Lesson 56 Lesson 57 Lesson 58 Lesson 59 Lesson 60 Lesson 61 Lesson 62 Intermediate Lesson 63 Lesson 64 Lesson 65 Lesson 66 Lesson 67 Lesson 68 Lesson 69 Lesson 70 Lesson 71 Lesson 72 Lesson 73 Lesson 74 Lesson 75 Lesson 76 Lesson 77 The Architect Boys and Girls The Chauffeur The Crying Child The Dog The English Lesson ‘The Free Ticket The Genie The Hunter The Lion Old Age The Polar Bear The Salesman The Shopkeeper The Thirsty Tourist The Artist The Businessman ‘The Diplomat The Computer The Debaters The Dust The Film Star The New Lawyer The Parking Space The Perfect Partner The Spy The Sheep Farmer The Space Race The Spartan The Proud Mother Section One Jokes The worksheets in this section consist mainly of two-line jokes in English. In some of them the frst and second lines of these jokes have been separated on the worksheets in order co create a simple matching exercise. Procedure Give students the worksheet and ask them to complete it. With weaker classes it is useful to Go one example with them, Alternatively, cut the worksheet in two and give out che uppes part and ask them co cead and suggest possible answers. Then give them the lower Part and ask them to complete the matching exercise. “The amount of pre-teaching of vocabulary necessary during the setting up of the activity will depend on the class, Keep tothe literal meaning of words and phrases, Let the students infer any non-literal meaning, Remember the guiding principle ~ it is the students who tell each other jokes. Resist the temptation as teacher to become the class comedian. If necessary, work through an example to clarify the processing which leads the student to an understanding of non-literal meaning. For example, one way of getting students to an jeratand the idiom ‘to pull somebody's leg’ is simply to tell chem thar it means ' to play a joke or trick on somebody.’ An alternative approach is to provide them with 4 context i eich they ean work this out for themselves, The frst lesson Idioms is designed to do this. Mine chat the etedents are faced with aa initial problem, a marching exercise which can be completed from an understanding of literal meaning only. On this basis the student will match: Why can't you play jokes on snakes? with Because you can’t pul cher legs. The fact that this isa joke and is by definition intended to be humorous, presents the students hich a second problem and, therefore, motivates a further search for meaning, The students wep work out that there must be a relationship benween ‘to play a joke on somebody’ and ‘to ull somebody's le’. If the students then infer that chey mean the same, then the problem oeived and the students have discovered the joke for themselves and learned a new idiom in the process. Once the student has reached this stage the teacher can confirm the students! inferencing and add further comments on the language in focus Finally, students will want to retell the jokes they find funny to thei friends and this provides a natural form of language practice and reinforcement. 1 Idioms Can you complete these jokes? Try first without looking at the answers. Each answer depends on a common English idiom. Do you understand e 1 Whyc ot n't you play jokes on snakes? 3. My mother made a terrible mistake today. She gave my father soapflakes instead of cornflakes for breakfast. > Was he angry? > 4 Two flies flew onto a coffee cup and argued about who arrived first and who should get to drink the cold coffee. Which one got angry and left? “More flakes, dear?” 5 Why is ic impossible to play tennis quietly? Doleiteeee een eees 7 When does a patient find an operation funny? 8 Why did the tired man put his bed in the fireplace? 9 When are mosquitoes annoying? When he steals the show. He wanted to sleep like a log. Only foaming at the mouth. Give him a hand. Because you can never pull their legs. The one that flew off the handle. When it leaves him in stitches. When they get under your skin. Because you can't play it without raising a racket. A B C D E F G H 1