Educational Candy?!?!

There is one type of candy that I never mind giving to my students... Laffy Taffy!  
After all, it is educational!
Yep, you read that correctly.  I consider Laffy Taffy to be educational.
Well, maybe they are not educational for every student, but for my ELL's they certainly are!

What makes them educational?
First of all, reading the joke is great fluency practice!  Whenever I give a student a Laffy Taffy, I ask him or her to read the jokes to me before he/she opens it.  If the student is not reading his  question with the correct intonation, I can help him with this.  

Secondly, the jokes are almost always formed around multiple meaning words.  I have found that my ELLs often don't "get" the jokes because they don't understand the play on words and/or the multiple meanings involved.  Take this one for instance:

Question:  Why did the mother move her kittens?
Answer: She didn't want to litter. 
 When a student read this to me, I asked her if she understood the joke.  She admitted that she did not.  I explained that litter is a multiple meaning word.  It can mean "to discard trash on the ground instead of in a trash can".  But it can also describe a group of baby kittens.

This one has two examples of jokes where understanding the multiple meanings of words is necessary to fully comprehending the joke.

Q:  How do you get the water in a watermelon?
A:  Plant it in the spring.  

Q:  Why was the boy covered in gift wrap?
A:  His mom told  him to live in the "present".

Sometimes the jokes on the candy wrappers include idioms, like this one:
Q:Which president was the biggest ham?
A: Abraham (Lincoln of course)
When students have no prior knowledge of the idiom "to ham it up", this joke seems downright strange!  (How can a president be a ham?!?)

My students loved these impromptu candy lessons! There's nothing like a little dose of sugar to sweeten up a multiple meaning word lesson!

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  1. This is a great idea! Love the way you use them with the multiple meaning words and idioms. Very clever! My school district does not allow us to give our students candy though. :(

    1. Really?! No candy? How interesting! I wonder if many school districts have that policy? Thanks for visiting!

  2. Great idea! Thank you for blogging about that! I would love to try that with my ELL's!

    i Heart Second

    The Think Aloud Cloud

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    2. You're welcome! Since you teach second grade, there might even be some non-ELLs who don't yet know the multiple meanings of some of the words! (My daughter is in second grade, and I sometimes need to explain the jokes on the wrapper to her, too!) Thanks for visiting!

  3. I did not realize Laffy Taffy had jokes on the label! How fun is that! I work on puns and humor with my fifth graders every year so this would be a perfect "educational" treat. LOVE IT!!!!


    1. I'm glad I could inform you of that very important fact about Laffy Taffy labels, Angela! :) I agree- I bet your fifth graders will love this treat when you begin your unit on puns and humor!

  4. Cute idea! What a fun way to work on multiple meaning words and figurative language! You're so clever! :)

    1. Thanks, Jessica! I have a huge sweet tooth, so this is the perfect type of lesson for me! Thanks for visiting my blog!