- Laughter releases good hormones - the kind of hormones that fight the stress hormones. We all know that children these days have a great deal of stress in their lives! (Can we say TESTING?)
- Laughter boosts the immune system - those same hormones that fight stress help your body fight germs!
- It lowers the blood pressure.
- It relaxes your muscles.
- According to a study at Johns Hopkins University Medical School, laughter during instruction increases test stores. (I don't know anything about this study other than seeing this information in several different places including THIS link. I want to learn more about this study!)
- Humor can help erase negative emotions. Seriously, how angry can you feel while laughing?
- Laughter provides a workout for many muscles including your abs.
- Laughter is contagious, and builds social bonds.
- Laughter is free!
- I may be biased on this one, but I think there are few sounds more pleasant than the sound of children laughing.
I do make a point to include humor in my classroom every day. Luckily, second graders have fairly simple senses of humor.
In a writing lesson a couple of weeks ago, (about including things to get the reader's attention) I told them there were two words that are guaranteed to make children giggle: bellybutton and underwear. (Of course I was very dramatic when telling this, with that dramatic pause after each word so that I got two sets of giggles!) Try it on your kids, it works!
One thing I love about teaching little ones... they always laugh at my jokes... no matter how many times I say it! I've been known to wear out many a joke, yet still get laughs! Yesterday, when we cleaned out desks, I told them to take home their Christopher Columbus booklets, since "That ship has sailed". Those booklets kept showing up for the rest of the day (yes, we're working on organizational skills) and I kept repeating... "because that ship has sailed". I got a laugh every time!
But it's almost November, when I get to use one of my favorite jokes to wear out:
Question: If April showers bring May flowers, what do May flowers bring?
Sometimes it takes some explanation, but that's half the fun!
What jokes do you share with your students?