Monday 19 March 2012

Why did the mushroom go to the party?

You are going to
  • look at homonyms and homophones and similarly pronounced words
  • look at words in English which have more than one meaning (homonyms)
  • look at the way differently spelt words can have the same pronunciation (homophones)
  • look at how these words are used to make jokes in English
  • look at some puns, bad puns and jokes in English
  • practise some English jokes and be the life of the party!

1) Discuss
  • Do you know any jokes?
  • Do you know any jokes in English?
  • Do you like jokes?
  • Do you tell a lot of jokes?
  • How do we make jokes?

2) Watch
Watch this clip from a quiz program called QI.
They are talking about fungi when one of the contestants, comedian Alan Davies, starts making jokes...
  • What are the jokes? 
  • Can you understand them? 
  • Do you think they are funny?
  • Why did the mushroom go to the party?

Here are jokes again. Highlight for the answers

Why did the mushroom go to the party?
Answer = He was a fungi 

What's brown and sticky?
Answer = A stick

What do you call a boomerang that won't come back?
Answer = A stick

What's orange and sounds like a parrot?
Answer = A carrot

What's red and silly?
Answer = A blood clot

What's red and sits in the corner?
Answer = A naughty strawberry

What's green and sings?
Answer = Elvis Parsley

3) Puns, jokes, homonyms and homophones
The first joke in the clip is a pun 
"fungi" sounds like "fun guy"

pun (n.) A play on words, sometimes on different meanings of the same word and sometimes on the similar sense or sound of different words.

Puns are everywhere in English; newspaper headlines, adverts, shops... and especially in jokes. English speakers love playing with words.

Before you watch
Check. What do these words mean? How many of them have more than one meaning?

horns, boot, keyboard, sole, flies, hoarse, like, tense, pullover, dig up, tack, intense, well, fan, tow, paw, assault, bright

Now look at the presentation below and answer
  • Which words are homonyms?
  • Which words are homophones?
  • What are homonyms and homophones?
Click to see.

Do you get spam?

4) Practise homonyms
Words with the same spelling and pronunciation but different meanings.
A) Can you match the meanings to the words?

B) Now fill in the gaps with the right word. Do you understand the jokes?

Let's hope the food isn't as disastrous as the ship.

5) Practise homophones
Words with different spelling and different meanings but the same pronunciation.
Match the homophones in this exercise

Printable version here

Not a homophone and a terrible pun, but a clever name!

Let's hope the job is better than the pun.

6) Practise
  1. Write out some of your favourite jokes. Do you have any jokes in your language which you can translate into English? Find some pictures to illustrate the jokes and make a powerpoint presentation.
  2. Record or film yourself telling some jokes. Be careful you get the pronunciation right or the jokes won't be funny.

7) More

Homophones game

More puns

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