Instead of pranks, this April Fool’s Day writing activity revolves around puns.
Words, whether spoken or written, can be just for fun! If your homeschool writing lessons are getting bogged down in a too serious mood, lighten up the tone with some fun word play on April Fool’s Day or any day you need to laugh.
Step 1: Introduce Puns
Share these groaners with your children and tell them they are all funny because of a pun. Have them try to explain what a pun is based on these examples.
- I changed my iPod’s name to Titanic. It’s syncing now.
- When chemists die, they barium.
- Jokes about German sausage are the wurst.
- A soldier who survived mustard gas and pepper spray is now a seasoned veteran.
- I know a guy who’s addicted to brake fluid. He says he can stop any time.
- How does Moses make his tea? Hebrews it.
- I stayed up all night to see where the sun went. Then it dawned on me.
- That girl said she recognized me from the vegetarian club, but I’d never met herbivore.
- I’m reading a book about anti-gravity. I can’t put it down.
- I did a theatrical performance about puns. It was a play on words.
Step 2: Define & Analyze Puns
Your children will probably be able to figure out that a pun is a play on words. It’s a type of word play that involves two alternate meanings of a word or words that sound alike but are different.
Share this official definition with them and then use it to analyze some of the puns above. Identify where the play on words lies. (The words in bold hold the keys.)
pun (n.) A clever play on words that brings about a double meaning or a comedic effect. Example: “I do it for the pun of it.”
Step 3: Create Your Own Puns
Now let your kids have fun with this April Fool’s Day writing activity as they write their own silly puns. Younger children may need a bit more assistance with ideas of word and phrase pairs that can be used to make a pun. So consider offering a word bank to get their wheels turning.
- mime, aloud (allowed)
- pencils, the point (a sharp tip vs. the meaning or purpose)
- a doughnut baker, doughnut hole (whole)
- an origami store, folded (closed)
- The mime wanted to say something, but he wasn’t aloud.
- Pencils could be made with erasers at both ends, but what would be the point?
- A baker stopped making donuts after he got tired of the hole thing.
- Have you heard about that online origami store? It folded.
Step 4: Critique Puns
Why do puns cause some folks to laugh and others to groan? Discuss the poor reputation that puns have in terms of wit. And then let each child vote:
- Puns are wonderful! They are funny!
- Puns are silly! They are annoying.
You could even take an informal poll and find out if your extended social network feels the same about puns. It might be interesting to compare the age of your respondents to their opinion of puns. Do younger people like them more than older people? What about dads and their dad jokes? Do dads actually like puns more than folks who aren’t dads?
Step 5: See Puns Everywhere
Now that puns are on their radar, your kids will find them everywhere—in song lyrics, in television shows and movies, in conversation, and in advertising. When they crop up, have fun dissecting the pun and creating your own riffs on the word play. One good pun typically inspires another!
Even More Pun Inspiration
Here’s another list of puns just for fun or to flesh out your April Fool’s Day homeschool lesson!
- What do you call a dinosaur with a extensive vocabulary? A thesaurus.
- I used to think I was indecisive, but now I’m not so sure.
- England has no kidney bank, but it does have a Liverpool.
- I used to be a banker, but then I lost interest.
- I dropped out of communism class because of lousy Marx.
- All the toilets in New York’s police stations have been stolen. Police have nothing to go on.
- I got a job at a bakery because I kneaded dough.
- Velcro – what a rip off!
- There was an earthquake in Washington, D.C. It was obviously the government’s fault.
- Be kind to your dentist. He has fillings, too.
- If a pig loses its voice, is it disgruntled?
- Why is the man who invests all your money called a broker?
- If I put a leafy green vegetable on the barbecue, will it be chard?
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