australian children s literature edu 21acl n.
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Australian Children’s Literature EDU 21ACL

Australian Children’s Literature EDU 21ACL

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Australian Children’s Literature EDU 21ACL

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  1. Australian Children’s Literature EDU 21ACL Week 2 – Lecture 1 Children’s Humour © La Trobe University, David Beagley 2006

  2. Themes for today • Development of children’s sense of humour • Kinds of humour evident in children’s literature

  3. References • Not a lot! • McPhee, PE & Chapman, AJ (1980) Children’s Humour. Chichester: John Wiley(Heavy duty psychological study) • Robinson, M (1987) Humour in Children’s Literature. in Give Them Wings: the experience of children’s literature ed. Saxby, M & Winch, G. Melbourne: Macmillan

  4. What makes something funny? Why do we laugh at one thing and not at another? • outside the expected – extra-ordinary, unpredictable • non-threatening, usually focussed on others • positive and affirming social interaction • can be a social marker that excludes as well as includes

  5. A joke A new employee is hired at the "Tickle Me Elmo" factory. The Personnel Manager explains her duties and tells her to report to work promptly at 8.00am. The next day at 8.45am there is a knock at the Personnel Manager's door. The assembly line foreman comes in and starts ranting about this new employee. 'She is incredibly slow and the whole line is backing up!' The foreman takes the Personnel Manager down to the factory floor to show him the problem. Sure enough, Elmos are backed up all over the place. At the end of the line is the new employee. She has a roll of material used for the Elmos and a big bag of marbles. They both watch as she cuts a little piece of fabric, wraps it around two marbles and starts sewing the little package between Elmo's legs. The Personnel Manager starts laughing hysterically. After several minutes he pulls himself together, walks over to the woman and says: "I am sorry, I guess you misunderstood me yesterday, I said, your job is to give Elmo two test tickles".

  6. Elements of humour Exaggeration – beyond the normal Incongruity – juxtaposition Surprise – sudden and unexpected Absurdity – improbable and impossible So, what makes humour?

  7. Types of humour Physical – slapstick Visual - appearance Verbal – the manipulation of language Situational – normal conditions subverted So, what makes humour?

  8. So, what makes children’s humour? Up to pre-school • Incongruous actions towards objects – mixing up, out of place, using wrongly, appear/disappear • Word play: nonsense words, mis-labelling of objects, patterns of sound, unusual sounds • Is a mechanism to explore the world

  9. So, what makes children’s humour? School age: • Children begin to recognize linguistic ambiguity • verbal jokes and riddles, • puns, parodies, hyperbole, • understatement, satire, • irony and surprising references as part of verbal humour. • Humour can be directed and targeted • objects of fun • ridicule and satire • inclusion and exclusion – identity • can be used to shock – appropriate and inappropriate

  10. So, what makes children’s humour? Older children: • Preferred styles emerge • e.g. physical, verbal, satire, etc. • Matching or mimicking adult styles and fashions • Often more situational than “punchline” and deliver more complex messages • Influenced by factors such as • Intellectual skills – especially verbal • Gender • Family and cultural background