Whether it’s in the classroom with students, at home with your own children, or simply out walking near a playground, chances are you’ve heard the giggles, chuckles, or all out full-belly laughs that come so often and so freely from children doing what they do best…being kids.
A field that was at one time considered laughable, is becoming increasingly significant in health and science, and it even has its own name; your new vocabulary word for the day: Gelotology! Gelotology is the study of laughter and its effects on the body, from a psychological and physiological perspective.
Studies have proven, the benefits of laughter are many. Laughter:
- Improves short and long-term memory. Children and adults have shown in multiple studies the ability to better recall information when engaged in humor prior to testing.
- Eases worries, stress, and fear by indirectly stimulating endorphins – compounds produced by the brain that act as natural painkillers and help people feel less depressed. A person’s blood pressure and heart rate drop during laughter as well.
- Encourages engagement. One research study used episodes of the famous children’s television show Sesame Street when testing 70 kindergarten and first grade students to look at the effects of laughter on learning. They found that students who were exposed to humorous segments of the show performed better and displayed better engagement than students who were not.
- Boosts the immune system by increasing the number and activation of important disease-fighting cells and reduces the levels of certain stress hormones that can weaken the immune system.
Laughter is such a great, easy way to keep your young English learners engaged, helping them to retain information while promoting their overall well-being. Remember to smile and laugh often in your classroom…after all, it’s contagious!
GrapeSEED provides many giggle-inducing characters and activities that children love. Have you met Mr. Lineman? He is a student and teacher favorite!
Do you use humor as a teaching tool during your daily lessons? Let us know how on the GrapeSEED Facebook page.