Classroom Comedy

Challenge students to write and perform Abbott and Costello-type comedy routines where two characters are having a conversation. The first character understands the concept and takes on the role of the “teacher.” The second character is the “comic” and pretends to be unaware. This can help strengthen communication skills while reinforcing the content.

Pi Day:
[C1]: I’m so excited it’s pie day.
[C2]: Yeah, I’m more of a brownie person, myself.
[C1]: No, March 14th is the celebration of the number.
[C2]: The number of pies you can eat?
[C1]: Dude, I’m not talking about pie, the food. I’m talking about the ratio of a circle’s circumference to it’s diameter. You know, 3.1415926…
[C2]: Blah, blah, blah. Sorry. When someone starts rattling off endless numbers that don’t repeat, I feel really irrational.
[C1]: Exactly! You get it!
[C2]: Huh?

NASA’s InSight Lander and Mars:
[C1]: Did you hear that a few days ago NASA successfully landed InSight on Mars?
[C2]: Mars is in sight?
[C1]: No, Mars is over 300 million miles away. The name of the spacecraft is InSight.
[C2]: Where? I don’t see it.
[C1]: See what?
[C2]: The name of the Spacecraft.
[C1]: It’s InSight. Like, his name is Ben, the spacecraft’s name is InSight.
[C2]: Oh…I get it. Wait, who’s Ben?

The History of Thanksgiving:
[C1] Hey, Thanksgiving is coming up!
[C2] Is that the one where a turkey comes down the chimney and makes everyone fall in love?
[C1] Uh, no…Thanksgiving is a yearly celebration of the Pilgrims first successful harvest in 1621.
[C2] Oh right. Did they have the canned cranberry sauce, the kind with the jelly?
[C1] No. This was 1621.
[C2] Oh. So the home-made stuff. Gross.

Challenge students to write and perform stand up routines using comedic devices like exaggeration, word play, sarcasm, personification, and misunderstandings. This can help strengthen communication skills while reinforcing the content.

[Content]: Plants are called autotrophs because they collect a few simple substances and then make their own food.
[Comedy]: Which sounds exhausting (exaggeration). I’m pretty sure that I am a momtroph (this is a play on the word autotrophs). My mom puts together food and then I just eat that. It seems easier. My favorite substances are pizza, ice cream and Mountain Dew (misunderstanding of the meaning of substances in this context).
[Content]: While a plant’s favorite combination is H2O, CO2 and Sunlight.
[Comedy]: Sounds delicious, right (sarcasm)? Well, the plants love all that stuff (personification, suggesting that plants love food like humans do).
[Content]: They take in water through the roots, carbon dioxide from the air, and light energy from the sun. Then they use a process called photosynthesis to create glucose, which is sugar, and oxygen.
[Comedy]: You know, I changed my mind. I kinda want to be a plant. I mean, you get to sit outside in the sun and just eat sugar all day (personification, suggesting that plants sit around and eat all day & misunderstanding about how plants function)? Where do I sign up?