April Fools Day is the perfect excuse to add some silly to your writing block! Over the years I have come to L-O-V-E this “holiday” in the classroom. Sure, April 1st brings a day filled with countless jokes from students that lack a punchline. It also means oodles of lame student tricks that you can see coming from a mile away. However, this “silly” can be leveraged like no other. Let me explain.
SILLY goes a long way with our students. So, why not harness this power and incorporate some silly it into our writing block? I tend to tie this in with April Fools Day. However, the joke angle works just about any time of year and keeps the kids begging for more writing time. It’s a stellar springtime theme wherever you slip it in. With all this said, I toss a week of jokes and other shenanigans into the mix during EVERY final trimester. It not only livens up your writing block, but it also elicits some of the best writing you will see all year. I’m not JOKING either (snicker . . . snicker). Engagement goes through the roof and so does the quality writing. Here are just a few ways to add some silly to your writing block this year.
KNOCK KNOCK JOKES
Knock knock jokes are the easiest for kids to deliver and they NEVER seem to get old for our littles. With this said, stock a center with knock knock jokes. A simple Google search will provide countless jokes to print. Your students will be reading and recording these for days. You may even choose to have them pick their favorite joke to “house” in a cute little knock knock display. This craft can be recreated with a little prep on your part or you can snag the print-n-go templates in my April Fools Day’ packet.
With this out on the table, why stop here? Have your students draft their own knock knock jokes. Most of them won’t really make all that much sense or will be a rip off of a classic joke. However, this station is worth its weight in gold as your students will write and write. I suggest that you host a quick brainstorm session to get the juices flowing and some subject matter out on the table. Then, provide a simple little template and model the process. Finally, let ’em fly. I guarantee that the giggles that erupt from this station will be absolutely contagious.
HOST A STAND UP SESSION
Looking for a little home to school connection? Have your students turn in a joke that they research with their parents. My only rule is that they must be school appropriate. I suggest that you in the note home as you know how some parents roll these days. Once all the jokes have been turned in, host a little Comedy Stand Up Session. To add a little extra spice, invite a neighbor class to watch the performance. (NOTE: Younger students seem to be a better audience as they laugh at EVERYTHING.) To roll with this stand up idea, place three kids in the “hot seat.” Invite these students to deliver their joke to the audience one at a time. If you really want to up the ante, break out a karaoke microphone unit for this event 😉 A few kids also add some side acts to the shindig via some crazy improv and a fully-stocked prop box. Just take a little look-see at the photo below.
CRAZY ANIMAL JOKES
These are kinda dippy, but the kids get so creative when writing animal jokes. Fill a center rotation with non-fiction animal books. Introduce the kids to the simple animal joke template (see below) and model a few jokes of your own.
As you can see, the outline is simple. The kids come up with three true facts and one false fact in connection with an animal they select. An “in the box” false fact will do just fine. I’m thinking along the lines of, “But, an elephant cannot run faster than a cheetah.” However, I strongly urge my kids to get a little WILD and very detailed . . . But, an elephant cannot swing from a long green vine while eating 100 rotten bananas. These make for the BEST author’s chair session and I always hang these in the window. You’ll be dishin’ out countless smiles to all who stop to take a little look-see 🙂
Take any read the room or word hunt activity that you may be doing for the week and add a little “Groucho” flavor. Snag the mustache/glasses disguises at any Dollar Store and stock a center. You would think that this extra silliness would cause some behaviors to pop up. However, it actually produces the exact opposite. The kiddos WANT to wear the glasses, so they work to keep things in check. A little front-loading and you’re golden with this one.
Alright, so there you have it. A few ideas on ways to slip a little silly into your writing block. These are all ideas that you can easily implement with your crew. However, if you are looking for a handy dandy collection that is ready to go, check out my April Fools’ Day writing packet. It has all the ideas mentioned above and more!
Have a wonderful week my friends. I’ll be back to see you again soon 🙂