It’s not exactly writing gags, but putting together ad copy for fake ads can be just as funny as a cartoon.
Today was the first day of the Spring semester and just so happened to fall on April Fools’ Day. I’d done fake ads with the older students before, but I thought it might be a fun project with which to start the new session with the younger kids. I also decided to give them the option of doing a fake video game screenshot. To give them incentive to come up with something cool and flashy, I announced that we would have a contest at the end of class where we would vote on which picture was funniest.
Here are two baseline cartoons, done by middle school students four years ago during the summer session:
You can compare them with what the younger kids did today:
Overall, I liked this lesson a lot. It really was a lesson in pure design. I modeled the initial concepts by letting the kids see some crazy April Fool’s Day ads on the internet. Hamburger flavored toothpaste. “Pulp Only” orange juice. A defective tool which was only defective because it was turned left instead of right. And so forth. Then I just left the kids to their own devices. It let me get a real feel for each child’s talents. Best of all, the kids had a fun afternoon of drawing something entertaining not only for themselves, but for their peers.