This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to our winner, Meredith! This month we’re thrilled to give away a complete set of eleven books from the Laugh & Learn® series, featuring realistic topics, practical advice, silly jokes, fun illustrations, and a kid-centric point of view. The set includes the updated full-color edition of How to Do Homework Without Throwing Up, a Free Spirit classic that provides specific tips for starting, doing, and finishing homework. One lucky reader will win:
- Bullying Is a Pain in the Brain
- Cliques, Phonies, & Other Baloney
- Don’t Behave Like You Live in a Cave
- Dude, That’s Rude!
- Get Organized Without Losing It
- How to Do Homework Without Throwing Up
- How to Take the Grrrr Out of Anger
- See You Later, Procrastinator!
- Stand Up to Bullying!
- Stress Can Really Get on Your Nerves!
To Enter: Leave a comment below telling us how you use humor to teach social-emotional skills to children. This giveaway is now closed.
For additional entries, leave a separate comment below for each of the following tasks that you complete:
Each comment counts as a separate entry—that’s four chances to win! Entries must be received by midnight, April 21, 2017.
The winner will be contacted via email on or around April 24, 2017, and will need to respond within 72 hours to claim his or her prize or another winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way affiliated with, administered, or endorsed by Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest. Winner must be a U.S. resident, 18 years of age or older.
We welcome your comments and suggestions. Share your comments, stories, and ideas below, or contact us. All comments will be approved before posting, and are subject to our comment and privacy policies.
Humor is universal in my opinion. Everyone loves to laugh. It makes us feel good. With that being said, I use humor in my classroom for every situation. Humor engages my students, it relieves stress, and for me, it has created a bond with each one of them that I hope they are reminded of 20 years from now because it made an impact. I have some sort of inside joke with each student. We laugh at everything! Humor is something that cannot be taught, but is retained for years in our hearts!
This collection looks very comprehensive as far as topics and will be fun for children to learn about them.
Humor is a great coping mechanism, and I use it to help students accept life and keep moving forward.
I often use humor to break the ice with students that do no know me too well. I also use it when reminding my students to raise their hand yet again. I remind them that I don’t want to scare their parents by writing about their child’s arms falling off of their body! (This being the only reason I can think of for their not following the established rule of raising their hand and waiting to be called on to speak.) Young students often giggle and sheepishly raise their hand after that!
I’ve been reading about how emotional responses help cement long term memory, so I’ve been looking for resources that uplift while they teach. Thanks!
Talking about things or emotions. Helps children not keep them inside.
I love to read books like this to children. Young children learn best when there is humor involved. It makes the subject less threatening and they are better able to interact and discuss the social skills when using humor.
Free spirit books are so awesome for sharing with kids. Great ways to read with my young friends and learn how to handle the difficult situations in life.
Your Facebook I’m following
And your boards on Pinterest
But alas, my Twitter account does not exist.
I realize this reduces my entry amount.
Please understand that if I did have one
Some tweeting on you I would have begun!
Another poem! This is fantastic. Thanks Meredith!
With a blush and a thanks, this I believe and must tell,
I’m glad to brighten the day of you and your personnel!
I am following you on Pinterest.
I am following you on Facebook.
Humor definitely helps both students and teachers to deal with their emotions, as well as helping one deal with friendships and daily problems in life.
Following on Facebook
I work with primarily Native American students. So I use Native American stories about the trickster to help teach culturally relevant values to my students such as Iktomi and the Coyote.
I use humor when I see a student that is starting to get upset and could escalate into a melt down or worse, I do something or say something funny. I might ask a question that has a funny answer. It works nearly every time to de-escalate whatever is happening and change the outcome for that student.
I followed on FB
I like to role play with silly “wrong” ways to deal with a situation 🙂
Humor is often the best way to de-escalate a stressful situation. Would love to have this series added to our collection of tools for staff and children!
Building community in a school is based on positive relationships with all involved and they thrive on trust, honesty and of course humor!! Laughing is a magical remedy that opens pathways to better communication and problem solving.
The Survival Skill of Humor – An Amateur Poem Created for This Competition But Also Provided a Fun Afternoon of Writing, Too
By Meredith, a 5th/6th grade teacher who views humor as a staple to life and learning
A sense of humor, you might say,
Is just a quality that’s nice but trite.
But I must beg to differ, today,
It’s a needed skill to survive life’s fight!
How, you may ask, could a smile and laugh,
Be to one such a life-giving fulfillment?
Humor can be for you that Flying Wallenda
To help you in balancing all of life’s discontent!
That balanced perspective is just what you need
To not sweat the small things but embrace joys, indeed
With a happy little “Ha!”, endorphins will go
Making your cognitive receptors just glow!
Oh the value of that genuine laugh
For a student stuck in the “fight or flight” mode
To push forward so that learning no longer is slowed.
With ease of mind, comes the ability to grow!
To be a good teacher this must I think,
A story from life or drama or clip?
Or even a funny cartoon strip?
Humor and learning must I certainly interlink!
*Thank you, Free Spirit, for all of your time
To read through this imperfect rhyme of mine.
Time is definitely a precious commodity.
Hopefully you’ll think this fun and not a wasteful oddity!
This is perfect, Meredith. Thank you for the laughs!
To make others smile, makes me smile!
P.S. I just noticed your winner qualifications included being an American citizen. So, just in case you were wondering about Portugal being listed on my profile, I am an American citizen teaching in an American school in Portugal at the moment. :o)
I believe humor is one of the best ways to connect to students and use humor as a tool to overcome many issues they are dealing with. This series would be a great resource to help engage students and change tears to cheers.
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Laughter always makes it easier to understand and to accept. being silly makes it easier to talk about and discuss
Young children love to laugh!! So I use humor in everything as much as possible! Just having fun and being silly with them lowers their defenses and allows them to trust you which leads to more personal relationships which ultimately improves instructional outcomes!
Being silly with children and sharing a true belly laugh is one of my greatest joys.
I plan to share these resources with my counselors who teach social skill lessons to our students Pre-K through 5th grade. I feel that laughter truly is good medicine. Students learn and are at ease when they are enjoying themselves. I am looking forward to getting my hands on these resources.
My co-workers and I act out our PATHS lesson during large group. By over exaggerating the emotion and being a little silly, the kids get involved and find it more interesting to learn about emotions. They can also relate more when we interact with the lessons, they get to help act out the lesson too.
I like to use laughter with my students when explaining how to treat each other. I show them through silly examples that they can understand as appropriate or inappropriate when it comes to treating their friends a certain way.
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Liked on Facebook
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I love using humour to help teach kids about more serious topics or values. It helps to keep the feel of the lesson upbeat.
I teach kids yoga to a wide variety of age groups. I would use these books to enhance our conversation and practice of yoga.
Humor can be the first step to opening a great dialogue about a subjects kids don’t want to hear about.
I refer to a book I had as a child: “What Would Happen if Everyone Did?” We discuss how ridiculous the world would be if everyone displayed the particular behavior being addressed. It gets the point across, but we get a few chuckles out of it, too!
I use humor to teach educators how literal children’s understanding of what we say to them is.
I will use these books for gifted children and those who are twice exceptional with learning challenges. Thy will be donated to the classroom and school so many can learn from them:)
I like your page on FB.
I follow on Pinterest!
I like to use books (especially humorous books) to teach character and social skills. This series looks awesome!
I teach children with disabilities. We are working on a unit in which my students will be be communicating with a student with severe autism. We are doing read alouds, writing letters, and building social skills. These books will go a long way in doing that.
I am a LPC working with kids seeing them at their school. This series would really help me help them.
Followed on Twitter
Followed on Pinterest
Liked on Facebook
I use humor to teach the “boring” skills. Everyone enjoys a good laugh, and it the rhymes really help with engagement and recall.
I use humor in the form of exaggerations to teach social skills to my kids. The exaggerations make them laugh but then force the kids to fix the exaggeration to “prove me wrong.” This gets them thinking!
I followed you on Pinterest, too!
I’m following you on Twitter!
I “Liked” you on Facebook!
I use humor to encourage children to use their creative thinking while making up stories. We take turns, embellishing a story, that we share out loud with each other.
I use humor to show children the differences between emotions. I use real life situations to show them the differences.
I like to use humor when teaching character values. It’s funny and make children feel relax to learn and share their own experiences.😊😋🙃😁😀😃🙃
I have been struggling to yeach social-emotional skills. I love that you incorporate humor! It would be so nice to have this set to use.
I’d love my students to learn that humor is a very real way to face adversity.
I already follow you on Pinterest too! 😀
I already like you on Facebook! 🙂
I think humor allows one to feel at ease when teaching a tougher concept and children are able to gain a better understanding through humor then making it a serious conversation. With our older children we always try to relate to them on every level and humor seems to be any easy way to relate to them and when they feel at ease with you the relationship is easier to grow.
I like (actually love) you on Facebook. I can’t follow you on Pinterest because I’m pretty sure a Pinterest account would take over my life.
I use humor by being honest about real life situations. Kids are sometimes shocked that I will speak honestly about taboo (to 3rd graders) situations…like the fact that they might have meltdowns and fits at home…just like some kids do at school.
I can’t really say that I do use humor to teach kids. I do pick and choose kids in my class to use as positive examples of students that know how to take a joke. These are kids that I know are very flexible, have numerous social interactions and have great coping skills. So when I teach social skills and how to get along I use particular students because I know they will laugh and agree that the strategies I am trying to teach are the exact ones that these kids use all the time. I teach 2nd grade in a high-poverty school, but I also grew up in poverty. I know how important it is to teach social interaction strategies and coping skills to these kids. It is really hard. So that’s the extent of humor that I am able to use because my kids really don’t have the skills and are very black and white, AND love to argue. 2nd graders are very concrete so it is a little bit hard to use humor.
I follow you on Pinterest.
I follow you on twitter.
We use humor to make real-life situations more accessible and memorable.
I liked you on facebook
I use humour to ease a tense, unsocial situations and also help children model the ‘other side of the coin’ to every situation in life. It would be great to have a set of these books. Thank you
I follow you on Twitter
I follow you on Pintrest
I like you on Facebook
We use humor through lots of role playing!
Humor makes a serious topic easier for kids to connect with. I often choose humorous books to bridge to those tougher conversations.
I like using real life experiences to show how humor can help children get through difficult time.
With middle schoolers, using humor = survival some days!!! And, some days, they are just flat out hilarious and we work really hard NOT to laugh!!! We’ve found humor to be essential to middle schoolers and their teachers AND parents’ success!
I use humor as an example when teaching parents and staff to manage behavior. Humor can be used in a variety of ways to teach social emotional skills. My favorite way is to mirror the child’s emotion which almost always turns to laughter.
Humor definitely makes our day go by better! My son and I can both have a really good day if we incorporate a little humor into our school day!
Laughter helps students who feel uncomfortable to be part of the group.
We use the terms “wantasaurus, whineasaurus, mineasaurus, etc…” Letting the children know that those dinosaurs are not allowed in our setting while encouraging the children to use words to express their feelings, share, and say ‘May I …’ vs I want…
Emotions are real and when kids read about situations from books, it helps them feel like it is ok to be angry, happy, sad or frustrated etc…. Keep writing those social and emotional books for the kiddos!
We totally believe in using humor. I love finding funny books at the library to share with my class. When you make things funny, kids are more likely to remember them, and they love you and they love their day.
Using humor keeps the topic light – allows for the more serious nature of talking about feelings.
Using humor can help you get through a variety of social-emotional issues, especially when you role-play using yourself with the one trying to deal with an issue or problem. It never hurts to point out that using humor in the most toughest of times or problems is a great way to get through that tough time or problem a little easier.
Humor makes library lessons easier! We use humor to teach book care and responsibility.
We use humor as a tool by exaggerating different social-emotional areas when role-playing. Humor helps to break the ice when discussing hard topics.
We use humor in everything! In our afterschool program it is an important tool for self-regulation, building community and de-escalating behavior. From allowing students to tell jokes during announcements to staff modeling appropriate ways to laugh and find humor in everyday situations, it is an important “life-skill” to learn!
Humor is key for students to be able to recognize a situation without feeling defensive. Humor defuses and promotes understanding without creating the need for someone else to take the blame. These books would be extraordinarily helpful to my K – 5 students.
I totally agree with those before me. I use humor to help children work through their emotions in general. Whether they are angry, sad, or working through family difficulties. They are usually at a loss for words when they come to see me, so being able to laugh at ourselves really helps them find the words they may be looking for. When I am able to read with the child, especially books like this or on the topic, it is much more enjoyable for them to put a character to their own emotions.
I think when you make things funny, kids are more likely to remember it and it helps build a better relationship between you and the student. Reading funny stories is a great way to keep the kids engaged!
I use humor when teaching students during role-playing. We have a tech team that we teach customer service skills to, and it is so much fun for them to act out as a bad customer.
Love the idea of these books! I think showing the kids that I am only human in my emotions can help them to see empathy can be a real thing. It also helps that I ham it up if the student is responsive to that sort of display. Acting skills and teaching must go hand-in-hand..or foot-in-mouth!:)
I follow Free Spirit on Pinterest!
I follow Free Spirit on Twitter!
Songs and rhymes are great for younger children. “You get what you get and you don’t throw a fit!” 🙂 Love these books!
Laughter is the best medicine! Hope to help children with this WHEN I win!
Humor is a great tool!! I find that role playing helps when teaching social skills. Add to my role play, an over exaggeration of the un desired behavior or skill when working with kids.
The students LOVE to be the experts correcting my behaviors and coaching me!
I use humor to help children work through their grief. They are usually in emotional ‘knots’ when they come to see me. Helping them remember something funny the deceased did or said changes the heavy tears of misery to lighter tears of memory.
These books would be an awesome addition to any school!!!!