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The April Fool's Day Test

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Last year, I wanted to show rather than tell my
students what April Fools Day was all about. To
do this, I compiled a "joke test" which consisted
of questions that couldn't be answered: matching
questions that didn't match up, multiple choice
questions with no correct answers. I told my class
that I had been told by my supervisor to give them
this test, that I was really sorry that they didn't have
time to study, that I knew it was hard, and that I would
try to talk to my supervisor about it. As the students
took the test, I passed around our attendance list, with
the words "April Fools Day" next to the date. Only one
student caught on--I just motioned to her to be quiet.
After about ten or fifteen minutes, I went, "You may have
noticed something weird about this test. It's not a real test."
I waited to see if anyone knew about April Fools Day, then
told them about it. Afterwards we talked about typical
pranks associated with the holiday, as well as any personal
stories. As one student put it, "We have this holiday but
no one has ever played a joke on me...until now."

This may sound mean, but if you don't take up too much time
it's really just fun. Depending on the questions you use,
you might be able to make a lesson out of the real answers
as well.

Karin Abell
Carrboro, NC

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