April Fools' Day is obviously about practical jokes. And while I do wish you not to be tortured and terrorised by your students too much, I think it won't be completely inappropriate to look at some regular jokes instead and torture your students with them. Most of them are based on puns, idioms, phonetic phenomena such as assimilation - in other words, all the wonderful linguistic material that is important to teach and learn. So why not use them in class?
Jokes are a big part of children's culture in the English-speaking world. There are big books of jokes that children enjoy reading. They are usually put into different categories, such as Knock-Knock Jokes, Riddles, Brain Teasers, Silly Questions, Elephant Jokes, Mouse Jokes, Cross Roads and many more. There are also many jokes about school, vampires and other creepy creatures and monsters. You find allusions to traditional children's jokes in books, in news-paper headlines and articles, in advertisements - and practically everywhere else in the children's and grown-up world alike. And unless you know about their existence, you might find it difficult to understand these allusions. Here's one of them:
This is an allusion to Cross the Road Jokes, the most traditional of which are:
Silly questions are also often based on idioms and puns. Here are some of them:
So are Elephant/Mouse Jokes:
A lot of jokes are based on incomplete homophones, on words sounding similar due to different phonetic phenomena such as reduction or assimilation. Here are some cool ones called Silly States:
My name is Elena Rafaelevna Watson, I have been teaching English as a foreign language for over 25 years now. I have also been translating and interpreting (English/Russian) for over 20 years.