APRIL FOOLS DAY
April Fools Day has been a fun celebration for decades. Practical jokes and other foolish activities mark the morning hours of April 1st. Superstition has it, however, that all foolish behavior must stop by noon or the roles will be reversed and the joke will be on you!
Nonsense abounds in our 21st Century culture and April Fools Day offers a unique opportunity to explore such nonsense and gobbledygook from a skeptical perspective and work to educate and enlighten ourselves about the difference between things that make sense and things that don't. Here are a few activity suggestions that can be included in an April Fools Day celebration.
A Fool Fest:
Exploring the history of the fool can be quite a fascinating activity. Young people may be surprised to learn that, more often than not, the fool wasn't a fool at all. By using riddles and Socratic dialogue, the fool actually helped spread wisdom, shed light on mysterious subjects and solve problems. By teaching young people how to write a riddle and inviting them to dress up as a fool and explore mysteries and puzzles by asking questions and getting at the answer, an entire day of activities can be planned and enjoyed.
A Parody of the Paranormal:
Though it's shunned upon by some, ridicule can be a powerful tool and April Fools Day offers an outlet to employ parody and satire in a constructive way. Whether we like it or not, young people tend to use ridicule quite often but by carefully planning this activity, both the misuse of ridicule and the advantages of humor can be explored. Through skits, role playing, fun activities and wacky presentations, consider how you can mimic the nonsensical ideas that are circulating in the media and within society. The important point to stress, though, is that it is the ideas that are being ridiculed not the people who hold the ideas. Alongside the presentations you can include projects and written material that provide information on the subjects that are being explored. Consider adapting the "What If & Why Not" activity for this purpose.
"To err is human" wrote Shakespeare and yes indeed, we humans can often make silly mistakes and do stupid things! Politicians, the media, celebrities and other people living in the public eye are especially prone to blunders. Blunders have even changed the course of history. A Blunder Expo can help draw attention to the mistakes and foolishness that have plagued our kind and possibly work to minimize such behavior in the future. It also provides an opportunity to promote critical thought - one of our many tools in helping to avoid mistakes and stupidity.
More ideas? Let us know!
© Copyright 2000, 2001 Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal