Experts say that if you have older brothers and sisters then you'll find it easier to make people laugh and you're more likely to be mischievous.
Knowing how badly teachers' jokes generally are, students invent gags playing on the double meaning of words.
- How language is used for comic effect
- Double meaning, puns, play on words, homonym
- Defeated expectation, anti-climax, bathos
Explain to students that there are formulas for creating jokes. Here are some of the reasons why jokes make you laugh:
They make use of words which have a double meaning
The answer is something you weren't expecting
They create a funny picture in your head.
Students decide which of the above joke formulas fits each joke and jot it at the side. Some may use more than one type of formula. Students can use these abbreviations:
The answers for the worksheet are:
2. Unexpected, picture
4. Double, picture
5. Double, picture
6. Double, unexpected
7. Double, picture
13. Unexpected, picture
14. Double, picture
Explain to students that these formulas are often known by other names:
- How many of the jokes use words with double meanings?
- Are some formulas funnier than others?
- Are jokes which use two or more formulas more funny than jokes which use only one?
- Double meaning - pun, play on words, homonym
- Unexpected answer - defeated expectation, anti-climax, bathos
Students write their own set of jokes.
They pick a subject e.g. crocodiles, space, chocolate and brainstorm it for three minutes, writing down as many words they can think of connected to the subject.
E.g. Space: Aliens, space ship, abduction, planet, star, sun
Students look at the words and circle any that have a second meaning, jotting down the other definition.
E.g. Star in space, star meaning celebrityStudents then write a set of jokes
E.g. Q. Why is there no Pop Idol in space?
A.Because there are already too many stars to chose from.
Students write a set of jokes that rely on creating a funny picture and/or an unexpected answer.
Students share their jokes with the class and identify which formulas have been used.
The class vote on the funniest joke or jokes and explain how they reached their decision.
Children with older brothers and sisters find it easier to make people laugh, according to the study of 1,000 people by psychologist Richard Wiseman.
Just over half of younger siblings questioned said it was easy to be humorous, compared with just a third of those who were first-born. Just 11% of only children had the skill.
Professor Wiseman, who compiled the Ocean Village Laughter Lines report, said younger children were more likely to feel the need to compete for parental attention.
"The youngest has to compete for parental attention, so they have to be a bit more unconventional.
"They are risk-takers, and also more humorous.