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Old December 13th, 2015, 02:00 AM   #1
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Using Humor to Teach History


Wondering if any history teachers utilize humor in their classroom by incorporating funny stories or photos to generate discussions. I write and illustrate a history comic entitled "Almost Off the Record" - it's kind of like a "Far Side" comic about history - it teaches a lesson and puts a humorous spin on the story, providing an illustration to help students engage with the story. I'm always looking for material and ways to help teachers incorporate humor into their classroom. My latest book "The Norse Awakens" is a tie-in with the latest Star Wars episode. Comic website is almostoff.com and it provides a list of historical events by date. Here's a link to the book: [URL="http://www.amazon.com/Norse-Awakens-Collection-Almost-History/dp/1519763689/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1450001781&sr=8-2&keywords=ben+fortson"]
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Old December 14th, 2015, 08:50 AM   #2
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There is Humour and Irony in History. THere are stories that repeat themselves and som are damn silly.
Just imagine turning up at the walls of s city with scaling ladders that were a Meter too short.
Look at some of the Blackadder stuff. (I don't understand why they didn't do a Civil War (english) one.

A Pome wot I rote myself. An example of History with Humour.

Today I fell in love with Katherine of Aragon
Although she's just a skeleton with all her flesh and Marrow gone.

If I had a DeLorian, I'd visit her tomorrow
And tell her that that Henry Bloke was not worth all that sorrow.

O Katherine. O Katherine, The thing I find most scary
Is, if I took you for my Queen, I'd get stuck with bloody mary.

By Tommy Wentworth age 66 and a half.
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Old December 14th, 2015, 09:06 AM   #3
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^

OP - I'm not a teacher, but I noticed that when I was a student I'd remember history better if the prof. made me laugh or told an interesting side story.

The only reason I remember who Magyars were is because my 7th grade teacher said that they were the most handsome of any warriors (yes he was Hungarian ).
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Old December 14th, 2015, 09:56 AM   #4

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bfortson View Post
Wondering if any history teachers utilize humor in their classroom by incorporating funny stories or photos to generate discussions. I write and illustrate a history comic entitled "Almost Off the Record" - it's kind of like a "Far Side" comic about history - it teaches a lesson and puts a humorous spin on the story, providing an illustration to help students engage with the story. I'm always looking for material and ways to help teachers incorporate humor into their classroom. My latest book "The Norse Awakens" is a tie-in with the latest Star Wars episode. Comic website is almostoff.com and it provides a list of historical events by date. Here's a link to the book: [URL="http://www.amazon.com/Norse-Awakens-Collection-Almost-History/dp/1519763689/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1450001781&sr=8-2&keywords=ben+fortson"]
I do it all the time

When we talk about the domestication of animals, I always tell my idiotic story about my one (and only) encounter with a fainting goat. Then I show the kids clips of fainting goats to be sure that I am not lying to them. When you put the clips of fainting goats with Benny Hill's theme music its a hoot. My former students who are in college still talk about that story.

And for those who are wondering about my mental state...yes, I am mentally disturbed
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Old December 21st, 2015, 12:30 AM   #5
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These were great. Thanks for your comments guys!
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Old December 24th, 2015, 07:47 AM   #6

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Totally for this idea but you need to know when the pupils are using humor as well. In the 10th grade I got a day of in school suspension for reiterating that the south would rise again.
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Old December 25th, 2015, 05:54 AM   #7
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THe only humour my history teacher in Burnley used was sending me to another teacher's classroom to borrow a cane. She'd cane me and then the lending teacher would cane me too.

She'd find it funny to know that HIstory is my obsession.
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Old December 25th, 2015, 06:24 AM   #8

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A great lesson of history, humorously told:

The tusks which clashed in mighty brawls
Of mastodons, are billiard balls.
The sword of Charlemagne the Just
Is Ferric Oxide, known as rust.
The grizzly bear, whose potent hug,
Was feared by all, is now a rug.
Great Caesar's bust is on the shelf,
And I don't feel so well myself.


- Arthur Guiterman

In other words, Sic transit....
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Old December 25th, 2015, 09:08 AM   #9
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There is a short Blackadder sketch regarding the Cavalier years, but yes a series could easily have been done.

For humour in history, you only have to look at Horrible Histories to see just how much fun the subject can be even to those will little interest in it.
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Old December 30th, 2015, 06:19 PM   #10

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humor does work


humor is a effective way to engage students to history. think about it, if you were just listening to a teacher talking about some history, i'm sure you would be bored out of your mind. Humor keeps us awake and lets our minds be more open. to enjoy something wants you to keep doing it, that why i signed up for social studies classes for majority of my high school year. however, we should not allow dark jokes (EX: Hitler: i said i wanted a glass of juice, not gas the Jews!, i know dark, i don't laugh when i here it, i scold the guy who said that in front of me.)
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