This unit will explore the genre of comedy in literature and media today. The students will learn what makes people laugh and apply it to the various literature and media they will study. A person’s sense of humor is highly subjective; however, the students will learn the elements of comedy and think critically about why they laugh. The activities in the lesson plans adhere to NY State Common Core and actively engage students’ thoughts and opinions with reading, writing, and speaking exercises.
The main source for this unit is Henri Bergson's essay, "Laughter." You can find a free copy of this essay in English for Kindle or the Project Gutenberg online.
Some media used in this unit (and not included):
✦ Stand-up comedy such as Ellen Degeneres and Jerry Seinfeld
✦ Any Simpsons episode
✦ Monty Python’s sketch comedy
✦ Key and Peele
✦ The Daily Show and Colbert Report and political cartoons
✦ Pranks such as Impractical Jokers
DISCLAIMER: THIS MINI-UNIT USES EXTENSIVE MEDIA THAT IS NOT INCLUDED DUE TO COPYRIGHT. ADDITIONAL SOURCES FOR THE VIDEO CLIPS ARE RECOMMENDED FOR THE LESSONS. YOUTUBE AND OTHER VIDEO WEBSITES WOULD HAVE THE CLIPS NEEDED TO USE THIS MATERIAL.