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A 'lesson' to remember....April Fool's!

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Greetings from sunny Portugal!
The idea began like this....A long time ago (when I was in grade 4 to be exact) I was given a 'fake' test. It was of course April Fool's Day and my teacher decided that she wanted to play a little joke on us. It was simple, the test consisted of easy to answer questions but of unusual nature. For example, one question read ' recite the alphabet outloud'(even backwards if you really want to have some fun) The more creative the better. There are two question however, that you must include. One at the beginning reading ' Read over the test first' and one at the end reading (at no surprise) 'disregard/ignore all the questions above' Be careful not to make the questions to outrageous though, or the students may become really suspicious. This test also has to be limited in time so that students will try to rush through it and skip over the first question. I suggest giving them 10-15 minutes maximum, but it really depends on the number of questions you include. Try to make it so that it would be impossible to complete that amount of questions in that amount of time. I say include a minimum of 50 questions.
This test/joke will teach them three things: 1)the meaning of April Fool's Day, 2)always to follow directions and read carefully when writing a test and lastly, 3) not to mess with their teacher! :)
I would suggest keeping a serious face when distributing the tests and even go as far as to assign a large portion of their grade to the test. This will really get them into panic mode and it may work better. Then all you need to do is sit back and enjoy. See how many silly things you can get them to do before someone catches on. If you happen to notice someone who has actually read the entire test, try to discretly give them the 'hush hush' signal so that they do not ruin all the fun. Well, I wish you luck and hope this works for you. After you reveal the truth, there is always lots to talk about. I hope to hear some feedback in terms of whether the test worked on your students or not and I would also like to hear your creative and brilliant question ideas. I've never tried this on adults but kids are good targets because they are so gullible and trusting. Yep, someone has to introduce them to the real world, so it might as well be me! No seriously, let me know what you think and enjoy!

Carla Lee de Castro
Canadian but teaching in Portugal.
[email protected]

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