Fun with Puns

Subject: 
Semantics
Topic: 
Learning about double meanings of words
Grade Level: 
Grades 6-8
Overview: 

The purpose of this lesson is to show students what puns are and how they work. Students are given an opportunity to figure some out on their own and create their own.

Lesson Plan: 

Lesson Plan for Fun with Puns
The whole lesson should last 60 minutes on Wednesday May 21, 2008

∑ First define pun: A pun is a joke that depends on a word having two meanings. The joke comes from the unexpected association with the second meaning after setting up the listener to expect the first meaning.

∑ It starts with the dictionary in your head.

It has one entry for the sound [bIl] (Bill) that includes two meanings.
a. An account of how much something costs.
b. The nose of a bird.

∑ Give examples:

∑ A duck walks into a pharmacy and asks for some chapstick. How are you going to pay for it? asks the pharmacist. Just put it on my bill.

∑ What does Land-O-Lakes and an angry ram have in common? Both are a kind of butter.

∑ What is black and white and read all over? A newspaper.

∑ What’s the difference between a face and a wrestler? The wrestler knows the holds and the face holds the nose.

∑ What do you call a groupie that can’t stop spinning? An electric fan.

∑ A vulture boards an airplane, carrying two dead raccoons. The stewardess looks at him and says, 'I'm sorry, sir, only one carrion allowed per passenger.'

∑ Two hydrogen atoms meet. One says, 'I've lost my Electron.' The other says, 'Are you sure?' The first replies, 'Yes, I'm positive.'

∑ I went to a concert and heard a woman play a Baroque violin. It would have sounded even better if she used a violin that worked.

∑ You may have to explain the first two to show how it works.

∑ Give students some words that could be used for puns and put the class into two groups. The two words are:

∑ Horse/ hoarse

∑ Subject

The students then have twenty minutes or more the create a pun out of the above words. Either you or someone outside your classroom could judge the best one. My Jr. High students love competition.

Class Time Needed: 
1 hour