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Cross-curricular - You have got to be kidding

What it's all about

Comedy can be your friend in the classroom. No one comes to a maths class expecting Michael McIntyre, but a sprinkling of humour here and there will make your timetable so much sweeter. Once your pupils are enjoying themselves, they will learn without knowing it, writes Marianne Levy.

Tom Lehrer was truly on to something when he sang The Elements, but go one better. Get your pupils to rap, Professor Green-style, with bonus points for swagger. Or how about a daft acronym? Whether it is a list of equations or the kings and queens of England, if you can get it to spell KARDASHIAN, so much the better.

A great vein of jokes can be found in the collision between pop culture and the classroom. Say your geographers have to debate the merits of three sites for a proposed airport, and vote for or against, how much more fun if they do so in the style of the X Factor judges.

There is a perception that comedy equates with silliness, and you risk losing control. But by being the one in charge of the jokes, you are taking back the power.

So next time there is sniggering from the back row, share the joke. See where it takes you - to that Wayne Rooney vs Peter Crouch dribbling competition, or your class rendition of Peter and the Wolf, on 32 kazoos.

What else?

Explore the history of microbes: get pupils to create comic strips to show what people once believed about the transmission of diseases. bit.lyHistoryOfDisease

Develop pupils' number skills in mufc_ed 's challenge based on The X Factor. bit.lyXFactorMachine.

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