June 25, 2011

Lester Laminack spoke at the AllWrite!!! Summer Institute this past Tuesday. His sense of humor engages his audience. His session was on the importance of the right kinds of details in writing. I’ll share that later.

The important tip Lester shared was on laughter. He said laughter releases endorphins. Endorphins allow the brain to be flooded with energy and thus our students learn better. Lester then challenged us by having 4 to 5 one liners in our back pocket to use when our students seem to be dull and not awake. It will grab their attention and give them a boost.

I’m glad. Maybe that’s why I love to laugh. Laughter releases a lot of good feelings. I guess that’s why I was drawn to the book, Lincoln Tells a Joke: How Laughter Saved the President (and the country). Kathleen Krull & Paul Brewer  share how Abraham Lincoln used laughter to win people over and help lighten a serious moment.

Throughout the book, you will find quotes from Abraham Lincoln. I find them fascinating and I think your students will enjoy them as well. This book is a great way to introduce biography. The richness of the text is packed with information yet will not bore the reader. In fact, the voice of the authors make you want to read on.

Savorings for reading and writing for Lincoln Tells a Joke:

  • Biography
  • Transitions – scenes highlight the important parts of his life
  • Quotes –
  • Love of reading
  • Common theme of laughter interwoven throughout each stage of his life
  • Author’s note