I spent many years working hard at trying to make sure that things got funny in stories. I would think to myself of ways to bring in a certain celebrity, or some fact about a kid, so that, if it weren’t a home run story, it would at least be at least a single or double. I was forcing my instruction.
All the worry about forcing the story to be funny was unnecessary, and the stress from that worry was actually working against increased humor and interest. A truth that all teachers know is that students see through everything.
Just let the conversation unfold naturally, therefore, instead of forcing things. It is the only way to really make a class interesting. I would add that the sentiment expressed here explains why Tina and I are not doing targets anymore.
Students are really funny. The right cute student comment at the right time is truly a moment of beauty in a storytelling class. In a counter intuitive twist, the more we give up trying to control things in a story, the more humor there is. We need to give up control and just ask the next logical question.
Hafiz says it best: Trust what lifts the corners of the mouth to be true. Trust those smiles on the faces of your students that frequently occur during stories. They point the way. The faces of the students are there to guide you!
Guidance will not come from our own worried minds about whether the story will be a good one on that day or not. Let the kids take the lead. Trust.