ERIC Number: ED249478
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Nov-17
Reference Count: 0
Pickles Will Kill You: Use Humor to Teach Critical Reading Abilities.
Whitmer, Jean E.
In developing critical reading, humor may contribute to three broad categories of skills: discerning the author's purpose, inferencing, and evaluating content. Passages from children's books such as "Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing" or "The Great Brain" can help to illustrate the need for teachers and students to thoughtfully infer and evaluate the author's mood and purpose. Word play and verbal nonsense provide excellent opportunities for teaching inferencing as students interpret or intelligently guess at the author's meaning. Although basal reading workbooks include word study activities, students may better remember and use the vocabulary taught if the teacher asks a riddle during a two-minute lull before recess or lunch. Inferencing skills can be learned as students clarify contextual meanings of ambiguous statements, mispronunciations, and boners that may be found in newspaper headlines, texts, and conversations. Guided word play, requiring inferences as students categorize precise, applicable definitions according to context, is another appropriate introduction to critical reading. Teachers should include the judicial use of humor in the classroom for its potentially positive effects of brightening the environment, motivating students, and developing reactive, thinking readers. (HOD)
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Council of Teachers of English (74th, Detroit, MI, November 16-21, 1984).