Jokes In Class

laugh-with-me-494991.jpg“Three men are stranded on a desert island, and all they want to do is leave. But none of them is smart enough to figure out a plan. One day they find a magic lamp and out pops a genie who tells them they can make three wishes. The men agree to share the wishes and the first man says, “I want to be 50% smarter,” and boom, he’s 50% smarter. The second man says, “I want to be 75% smarter,” and boon, he’s 75% smarter. The third man says, “I want to be 100% smarter,” and boom…the genie turns him into a woman.”

I’ve rephrased this one to include a wider variety of tenses and then used it to introduce or practice reported speech, sometimes assigning “roles” by handing out slip of paper (FIRST MAN: I want to be 50% smarter) so students can help me tell the joke. It’s corny enough to be funny. I’ve also used this joke and others just to start or end classes in a more engaging and lighter way.

In general, I prefer slightly longer jokes to one-liners because I find students more likely to get them, and I generally keep it clean not only for professional reasons but also because I don’t want to have to explain if people don’t get a more colorful joke. It can be hard for students to reciprocate with translated jokes of their own, but I’ve gotten a bunch of winners from Sarajevo, many not really passing the “clean” test to be retold in other classes.

Sites to search for jokes include Aha Jokes, Profession Jokes, the jokes of Teacher Joe, and English Club jokes.

Alternately, become a member of BootsnAll Travel and search the Chit-Chat Forum for a thread called “Share your jokes here” (okay, not all of these pass the clean test either).