Written by UnisonEDU founder, Patrick Hausammann. Connect with him at @PHausEDU on Twitter.
In my years within education, very few things have helped me connect with students as quickly and well as humor. Humor has the great dual benefit of creating both a sense of safety and connection at the same time as it helps boost retention. Think back… when you’ve laughed (I mean really laughed), did you have any concerns for your safety at that moment? Did you worry about not fitting in or being connected to those you were with? Do you have a tendency to remember things more that are tied to funny moments or to things that are just part of a normal day?
Humor and laughter are a big part of positive memories for many people and students. Why not use it in the classroom when we can? Here are some great resources to check out to build upon the thoughts and ideas that may be swirling around after your reading of the introduction:
- Using Humor in the Classroom
- Humor Boosts Retention
- Does Humor Enhance Learning?
- How and Why to Use Humor
- Pros and Cons of Using Humor
One great way I’ve meaningfully incorporated humor into my classes over the years (in addition to only the best dad jokes), is the use of memes. Memes work because they’re quick & relatable. They present the content in an easily digestible way that allows students to show mastery of their learning and teachers to quickly gauge students' understanding. The added bonus of humor makes the activity both more enjoyable and more memorable.
Meme’s are also great within the classroom because they are simple to create and take little time to do so. Even if used only as an exit or entrance ticket, they can prove to be a worthwhile addition. I also found them valuable as study tools, note enhancers, and concept reinforcers. The slide deck linked below will provide you with the links throughout this post, some more meme examples, a templates & resources for meme creation, and numerous examples of meme use throughout education.