Ha Ha Hee Hee: A Group Writing Activity on Comedy
Heard Something Funny Lately?
Talk to the class about how to use dialogue in a comedic skit. Ask students for examples of funny things they have heard someone say lately. Discuss how in a movie most of the time is spent with the characters involved in dialogue.
Then, have students sit in groups with a maximum of four students per group. Walk around the room and pass out slips of paper with five possible topics for a comedic skit. Tell the students they may either choose a topic they create or use one from the list. Giving students some writing ideas helps to eliminate the “I don’t know what to write about” panic some students may experience.
A Comedy Brainstorm
Let students brainstorm their ideas for the skit for about 10 minutes. Then they will create a list of characters and write a brief description of each character. Then the group should decide upon the mood and the theme of the skit. What lesson will the characters learn during this skit?
The final step before writing the skit will be identifying the setting for the skit. The group should list the place and time frame of the skit. They may set the skit anywhere in the world during any time past, present, or future.
Create and Perform a Skit
Students should then work together to create a skit. The teacher will circulate the room as students are writing to give feedback on their writing progress. Remind each group to give the characters interesting names and unique dialogue.
Give the groups at least 25 minutes to write the skits and then tell them to continue to brainstorm ideas for dialogue for homework. They will have time the next day to finish writing the skit. Later in the week each group will perform their skit for the class.
This lesson works well in not only injecting fun into the classroom, but will get your students thinking in a different way, and often helps to open up the more reserved students too.