chapter  7
13 Pages

Teaching With Humor

In this chapter, we provide a framework for incorporating humor thoughtfully and deliberately into the curriculum. To do so, we draw on the notion of Understanding by Design (Wiggins & McTighe, 2005) to illustrate how teachers might use non-serious and/or playful language to achieve particular language learning objectives in smart, principled ways. To this end, we focus on the development of curricular units (rather than daily lesson plans or individual activities) through backward design in order to illustrate where, when, why, and how humor, language play, and opportunities for linguistic creativity might figure into the planning process. Our focus is on the purposeful use of such language as instructional tools. We then offer some detailed suggestions for activities that highlight the theories of language and communication we have been developing throughout our discussion in order to illustrate what our approach to teaching language through humor might look like in real classrooms.