The books in this theme cover a range of humorous tastes we observe in our children. There is something eminently joyful about laughter in the classroom and more so when the children are engaged and excited by a funny story. The authors and illustrators may well be familiar to the children or inspire them to seek out other books such as Mr Gum by Andy Stanton and classics like Have you seen my hat? by Jon Klassen
Some of the books offer opportunities for children to immerse themselves and their friends in the silliness of toilet humour. These include:
- Stephanie Blake: Poo Bum
- Drew Daywalt: The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors
Some of the books are sure to lure children into the slapstick sophistication of word play. These include:
- Andy Stanton: Danny McGee Drinks the Sea
- Will Mabbit: I Can Only Draw Worms
- Willems Mo: There is a Bird on Your Head
Assemble a collection of ‘silly objects’ such as:
- Whoopi cushions
- Fake eyeball glasses
- Stick on moustaches
- Christmas crackers containing hats and jokes
- Silly string in a can
- Fart tubs (noise putty in a pot)
Present the objects in a box labelled DO NOT LAUGH! NO LAUGHING ALLOWED! VERY SERIOUS STUFF! Gather the class or a group together and ask them to guess what might be in the box? Challenge them to keep straight faces as the children take it in turns to choose an object and demonstrate its purpose to the group in a serious manner. Discuss whether this was possible and if not why not?
Working in small groups allow the children time to create their own giggle boxes out of a shoebox. Ask the children to fill their boxes with drawings and word labels that make them laugh ( you will in all likelihood need to set some boundaries with your children about acceptable words/pictures for use in school) Allow the children to share the giggle boxes and talk together about what they find funny. Offer some thinking prompts:
- what makes you laugh?
- can we find something funny without laughing?
- do we all laugh at the same things?
Challenge the children to think about ideas for a themed reading area where they can read funny books in an environment that also makes people giggle. What objects can be displayed alongside reading materials that will create a calm yet fun place to enjoy some escapism from the often serious business of life.
Encourage children to share book recommendations, reviews and ideas from stories by writing messages to each other on a “take time to giggle” communication board. Encourage children to think about silly ways they can fill the space. This might include writing reviews as comic strips, drawings, upside down writing or inventing new handwriting fonts which make words fun to read.
Read the quote from the author on the blurb of I can only draw worms. Challenge the children to create their own quotes describing themselves as the greatest at something silly.
Create or provide a blank joke book and encourage children to fill it with their favourite jokes. Source some tubes and encourage the children to read jokes to their friends through the giggle tube.
Challenge children to find photos or articles from the internet that have made them laugh. Ask them to suggest ideas for extreme reading poses around the school and allow children to photograph each other replicating these. Add them daily/weekly to a giggle gallery display.
Ask children to dress up in silly costumes, wigs, shoes or hats and send them on a book hunt to the school library to collect as many funny books as they can find.
Ask the children to retell the selected stories in silly voices or accents whilst wearing silly costumes to make each other laugh.
- Why do we need books that make us laugh?
- I wonder if animals think things are funny?
- Can you think of three funny rules for a clown school?
- What would life be like if it was against the law to laugh? Would we have to ban funny books?
- Would you rather never be able to laugh or never be able to cry?
- Is laughing always a good thing?
- Who do you think would enjoy the book that you have been reading
- How would you encourage someone to read the book that you have been reading?