“I once worked at a cheap pizza shop to get by. I kneaded the dough.” Get it? Silly jokes and puns that play with the meanings and sounds of words offer fun ways to help students develop their cognitive flexibility.
Executive function processes such as cognitive flexibility, shifting, and flexible thinking are key to students’ academic success. Students who are rigid will struggle with tasks such as reading, taking tests, or even navigating non-school challenges (like snakes). The challenges of remote and hybrid learning have only increased the need for flexibility.
Teaching cognitive flexibility does not need to be boring! Many games rely on cognitive flexibility (check out these games we like, but watch out for games to avoid). We also love to link humor with cognitive flexibility. By analyzing jokes, students can practice examining language from multiple perspectives in a way that is engaging and low stakes. Classic stories such as Amelia Bedelia or Eats, Shoots, and Leaves are great resources, and you can find many examples online as well.
Here are 25 cognitive flexibility jokes that had us cracking up in the SMARTS office, and we think they would be great to use with students:
- Writing my name in cursive is my signature move.
- Why do bees stay in their hives during winter? Swarm.
- What do you call a pig with laryngitis? Disgruntled.
- Dad, are we pyromaniacs? Yes, we arson.
- If you’re bad at haggling, you’ll end up paying the price
- Just so everyone’s clear, I’m going to put my glasses on.
- A commander walks into a bar and orders everyone around.
- I lost my job as a stage designer. I left without making a scene.
- Never buy flowers from a monk. Only you can prevent florist friars.
- How much did the pirate pay to get his ears pierced? A buccaneer.
- I once worked at a cheap pizza shop to get by. I kneaded the dough.
- My friends and I have named our band ‘Duvet’. It’s a cover band.
- I lost my girlfriend’s audiobook, and now I’ll never hear the end of it.
- Why is ‘dark’ spelled with a k and not c? Because you can’t see in the dark.
- Why is it unwise to share your secrets with a clock? Well, time will tell.
- When I told my contractor I didn’t want carpeted steps, they gave me a blank stare.
- Bono and The Edge walk into a Dublin bar and the bartender says, “Oh no, not U2 again.”
- Prison is just one word to you, but for some people, it’s a whole sentence.
- Scientists got together to study the effects of alcohol on a person’s walk, and the result was staggering.
- I’m trying to organize a hide-and-seek tournament, but good players are really hard to find.
- I got over my addiction to chocolate, marshmallows, and nuts. I won’t lie, it was a rocky road.
- What do you say to comfort a friend who’s struggling with grammar? There, their, they’re.
- I went to the toy store and asked the assistant where the Schwarzenegger dolls are and he replied, “Aisle B, back.”
- What did the surgeon say to the patient who insisted on closing up their own incision? Suture self.
- I’ve started telling everyone about the benefits of eating dried grapes. It’s all about raisin awareness.
Do you have any favorite puns or jokes that illustrate cognitive flexibility? Let us know in the comments!
- Elizabeth Ross, M.A., SMARTS Media Manager
SMARTS Executive Function Curriculum: smarts-ef.org
Research Institute for Learning and Development: researchild.org
The Institute for Learning and Development: ildlex.org