Humor, and of course, laughter, are great classroom tools!
Humor and laughter have some powerful effects on us! Let's take a look and humor in the classroom!
Neuroscience Research finds that the brain releases dopamine when humor is used. And cognitive studies reveal that this dopamine is important for long-term memory and motivation associated with goals. Educational research takes this one step further. Educational research shows that humor can improve retention in students ranging from Kindergarten to the university level.
Improve retention??? I am in!
Of course we are not talking about just any humor. Being silly all the time in your classroom is not going to improve anything but your students' own levels of silliness. The humor we are referring to is related to the topic being discussed. The humor needs to be content appropriate and age appropriate. It needs to highlight what you are learning. It needs to "fit".
Here is a quick way to introduce some laughter in your grammar lessons. Look on the internet for misspelled signs. I found tons! Far (fire) Wood For Sale! Ha! Check out this Pinterest board for more.
Humor that is inappropriate, forced, or off-topic won't win you any awards in the classroom. For example, sarcasm is rarely effective with our younger students. They just don't get it.
Doesn't this whole humor and laughter thing make sense though? I mean, I enjoy lectures more if the presenter is funny. I like it when my pastor tells a funny story to illustrate his point. And I love listening to comedians.
So if we adults engage more with humor, doesn't it make sense that our students would do the same? That humor would draw them in? That humor would help keep our students engaged? And if they are engaged, learning more?
I love the idea of humor and laughter in the classroom! It lightens the mood. It cuts through the educational tension and broadcasts the message that learning can be fun. No one wants to be in a classroom that is 100% serious all day long. What drudgery!
If we inject some humor into our classrooms, we have a much better chance of keeping our students focused. More than that, we can create an atmosphere of camaraderie that encourages students to be engaged and take chances with their learning. Humor and laughter make the learning process much more enjoyable for all of us!
Did you know?
Improves Positive Emotions
Boosts the Immune System
Triggers the Release of Endorphins (Body's natural painkillers)
Enhances Oxygen Intake
Improves Blood Pressure
Increases Connections to Others
Boosts Your Mood
Boosts Your confidence
HumorEnhances Classroom Environment
Improves Learner Outcomes
Builds a Sense of Community
Activates Our Sense of Wonder
Lessens the Weight of Mistakes
Try putting some laughter and humor in your day!