Funny stories are good source of ideas for creative writing - and helping pupils learn from mistakes, says Jim Merrett.
Humour is an important part of the school day. As well as relieving tension, it can have a useful place in lessons.
An interesting activity for creative writing is for pupils to remember funny incidents that have happened to them. Children often have vivid memories of these and the pieces can be used later in a school magazine or at leavers' service.
If children are asked for jokes they find it easier to remember them under headings such as "Doctor, Doctor".
It is also good to share the funny things that children write by mistake, although care must be taken not to cause embarrassment. Humorous errors can, however, serve as a memory aid for pupils.
The internet has many examples and the following offers an insight into the things you might find.
Jokes for teachers
The teacher said to the class: "There are two words I don't allow in here.
One is 'gross' and the other is 'cool'."
From the back of the room a voice piped up: "So, what are the words?"
Teacher: If you received pound;10 from 10 people, what would you get?
Sorcha: A new bike.
Teacher: If you had pound;1 and you asked your father for another, how many euros would you have?
Teacher: You don't know your maths.
Vincent: You don't know my dad.
There are also fictitious reports on the internet about famous people.
Pupils could write their own on a character they have studied.
Here is an example: Report on Leonardo Da Vinci, City of Rome Middle School: Leonardo got 100 per cent in every exam, except for biology, in which he got 120 per cent. Because he finished so quickly he had time to set himself more questions and answer them as well.
He always gets his homework in on time and is never late. He has a perfect record - I just can't understand why the other pupils hate the sight of him.
Luigi Squeegee, form master
The things they write
Water is composed of two gins. Oxygin and hydrogin. Oxygin is pure gin.
Hydrogin is gin and water.
Q: Define H2O and CO2.
A: H2O is hot water and CO2 is cold water.
Most of the houses in France are made of plaster of Paris.
The people who followed the Lord were called the 12 opossums.
In the middle of the 18th century, all the morons moved to Utah.
As I distributed a quiz to my English class, a pupil asked how they should prepare the paper's heading. I said: "Write your name and then wait." After a few seconds, I heard a shy girl's voice from the back ask: "Well, I can understand why you want us to write our names on the paper, but why would you want to know our weight?"
Robert Ritzer, New Jersey
Funny rules can serve as a useful reminder to pupils. For example: "don't use no double negatives", "don't start a sentence with a conjunction" and "proof-read carefully to see if you any words out".
Teachers around the world have recorded some of the funny things that happen in their schools, along with jokes and other examples of school humour. Read all about them by visiting: www.esuhsd.orghumor
Jim Merrett is teacher, writer and ICT consultant