Fostering a Sense of Humor in Elementary School Children
Consciously developing and fostering a sense of humor in elementary school children has both pedagogical and playful benefits, as it helps children develop comprehensively.
Sense of humor
A sense of humor is a disposition that manifests externally. Having a good sense of humor, then, is when that disposition is good and is expressed as a state of joy.
Having a good sense of humor involves being able to cope with different everyday situations, including work, leisure, bureaucracy, and even the most difficult or problematic ones, in a good mood.
A sense of humor helps humans understand the world around us and makes us see reality from different perspectives.
Health benefits of a good sense of humor
Nowadays, psychologists, sociologists, and psychiatrists state that humor has very positive effects on people, helping them improve and maintain their health. This is possible because it positively influences your immune system, allowing your brain to release endorphins.
Endorphins are known as “happiness hormones,” as they’re responsible for producing feelings of wellness and relieving pain. When you laugh, are happy, and have a positive attitude, the brain naturally produces them, making you feel good.
In addition, good humor and laughter help reduce stress, lower high blood pressure, and protect the heart. Laughing a lot is contagious, rejuvenating, relaxing, and allows you to express yourself more freely.
The role of humor in education
Developing educational intervention strategies based on humor can help educators reach their learning objectives.
It’s essential to recognize the importance of using humor as a teaching and learning resource, as it can enrich and stimulate teaching and learning processes, introducing more creative variables in the relay of information and knowledge.
Thus, summarizing what Fernandez Solis (2003) developed, first of all, humor has a pedagogical function since it improves the teaching and learning processes. And it has other important functions, such as:
- Motivating, as it awakens enthusiasm and interest.
- Unifies groups, brings people closer, uninhibits them, and frees them of tension.
- Boosts creativity and stimulates the development of divergent thinking and innovative ideas.
- Humor is transformative and therapeutic in complicated, difficult, and tense situations.
- Intellectual, as it helps activate cognitive and rational components.
- Psychological, as it boosts self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-acceptance.
- Humor improves communication channels and interpersonal relationships.
- Helps create fun, cheerful, and harmonious environments.
Fostering a sense of humor in elementary school children
While it’s important to foster a good sense of humor every day in both formal and non-formal fields of educational, it’s even more important in children. Elementary school children – aged between 6 and 12 – should definitely develop their sense of humor.
Children must learn to recognize and internalize the sense of well-being that laughter and having fun provoke and be aware that a positive attitude towards life is the best way to move forward and solve their problems.
We have every reason to face life with a sense of humor.
Activities to foster a sense of humor in elementary school children
Below, we propose two activities to foster a good sense of humor in elementary school children.
Each student has to draw a cartoon of themselves. Their cartoon should highlight their favorite or most striking body parts, or their least favorite.
The goal of this activity is for children to laugh at their own drawings and, ultimately, laugh at themselves. It also helps them realize that everyone is unsatisfied with some of their body parts.
I can sell anything
Each student must choose an item or object they’ll try to sell to the rest of their classmates. The goal of this activity is for students to improvise pitches to convince their buyers of all the benefits of their product, no matter how crazy and unrealistic their explanations and motives may seem.
After the activity, the students will choose who was the most original and compelling seller but, above all, who was the funniest.It might interest you...
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- Fernández Solís, J. D. (2003). El sentido del humor como recurso pedagógico: hacia una didáctica de las didácticas. Recuperado de https://ebuah.uah.es/dspace/bitstream/handle/10017/21337/sentido_fernandez_PULSO_2003.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y
- Fernández, J. D. y García, J. (2010). El valor pedagógico del humor en la educación social. DDB. Bilbao