Sometimes it’s hard to figure out what kinds of jokes to play on your students on April Fool’s Day. As always, make sure to use your best judgement when playing pranks. And make sure your pranks don’t conflict with school/district policies. Here are some suggestions I’ve gathered:
1. Switch classrooms for the day. When kids come in the door, it’s not their regular teacher they’ll see.
2. Kids in elementary schools have their names written on their tables/desks. Switch everybody’s last names around so they have their first name but some other kid’s last name.
3. A funny prank for little kids is to begin your lesson of the day with your mouth moving but no sound coming out. This REALLY freaks kids out.
4. April Fool’s day is near Easter and many classrooms dye eggs. Glue the eggs into the egg cartons and when kids try to pull them out…they won’t be able to. If you don’t hard boil the eggs, it’s even funnier.
5. When the first kid of the day calls out your name, tell the class, “that’s not my name children”. Make up a name for yourself and totally pretend like that’s been your name the entire year.
6. Glue a few pencils to the floor under your kid’s desks and then demand that they clean up their mess!
7. Re-arrange every kid’s desk or table in the room.
8. Announce that the fabulous field trip planned for today was cancelled because nobody brought in their permission slips on time.
9. Ask everyone to turn in their homework that was due TODAY and is worth 90% of their grade for this 9 weeks.
10. Take your best and brightest student aside and tell them they’re in danger of failing their grade for the year.
11. Tell your class that lunch is cancelled because the cafeteria ran out of food but everyone else at the school got to eat.
12. Send several kids to the principals office for no reason. (Maybe warn the principal ahead of time.)
13. Tell your students that, because it’s a leap year, they have to stay in class 2 hours longer every day this month.
14. Assign the kids new seats and then re-assign again several times during the day.
15. Wear a Halloween costume and tell all the children they won’t get any candy this year because they didn’t dress up.
16. Call out ‘sick’ on Friday or Monday – Think your students want a longer weekend or to not have class on Monday? Have a fellow teacher come in, tell them you’re out sick but that you didn’t have time to find a substitute. Then have that teacher say something like ‘we trust you to be on your own for the rest of the day’ and then have them exit. See what happens. I wonder how long you can last watching them squirm and figure out what to do?
17. Tell your students you’re all going on a field trip to someplace fun at the end of the day – When it gets to be almost the end of the day, tell them that the ‘fun’ place is actually their homes! Zing!
18. Create an entirely new grading system – Tired of the ol’ A, B, and Cs (okay and sometimes Ds and Fs)? Then make up a completely arbitrary and confusing new grading system! For example, students who do well can get a ‘Frog’ and students who don’t do as well can get ‘Blue’ and others can be graded with a gold star. Something that totally confounds the human mind would be the best route to go here.
19. Tell your students the entire day’s class will be conducted via Twitter – Are you a tweacher? Why not just talk about teaching on Twitter and actually do all your teaching on the addictive social media tool? You can instruct students to follow a particular hashtag and then just start typing on your mobile phone in the front of class. Watch ‘em scramble and protest! (Not the best prank if there are not enough computers or other devices around, obviously.)
20. In the spirit of flipped classrooms, have one student chosen at random teach for the entire day – Or at least tell them that’s what they’re going to do. They obviously won’t have to but see how long you can go before the students runs out of things to say.
I’m dying to hear about your April Fool’s Day pranks! Please comment below!