Having a write laugh: introducing comedy to the English classroom

New research from the National Literacy Trust indicates comedy could play an important role in engaging children and young people in reading and writing for enjoyment. The National Literacy Trust survey shows that reading and writing comedy is particularly popular with boys, who are twice as likely as girls to write comedy outside class.

With this in mind, why not use the last couple of weeks of term to introduce your pupils to comedy writing? As well as creating a fun, light-hearted atmosphere in the classroom, teaching comedy builds on reading, writing and speaking skills. As Jonathan Douglas, Director of the National Literacy Trust explains:

“Comedy plays with language, content, grammar and audience awareness to create laughs. It can be a great asset in the classroom. A focus on comedy writing is a perfect match for English core requirements across the UK and harnesses many key writing skills.”

Comedy Classroom is a brand new comedy writing competition produced by BBC Learning in partnership with the National Literacy Trust. The competition calls upon teachers to find the funny side of literacy and encourage their Year 9 and 10 students to try their hand at writing stand-up, a unique sketch or clever captions. There’s a raft of curriculum-linked free resources available for teachers including a glossary of terms, a ‘Comedy Toolbox’, and 3 separate teaching guides with accompanying student facing slides.

This competition promises to create some laughs in the classroom as the school year comes to a close whilst boosting students’ reading and writing skills. Do let us know how you get on!

The deadline for the Comedy Classroom competition is 24th July. For more information, resources and full terms and conditions visit the BBC Comedy Classroom website.