A few benefits of using joke books to build fluency:
- Fluency is essential in telling jokes. Effective delivery requires attention to pauses, stressed syllables, phrasing, intonation, etc.
- In using joke books, students can get practice with word play, homophones, puns, and other linguistic elements. Multiple meaning words are also heavily utilized in jokes.
- Jokes are concise, which will appeal to reluctant readers.
- Jokes are funny! Kids will be motivated to use them, and will enjoy repeated readings to master their delivery.
Choral read with students and ask them to use the same expression you use when reading the jokes. They can also take the joke books and read with a partner. They can get even more practice by checking out joke books from the school's library. Let them get creative and write their own jokes, being mindful of all the things they're practicing with fluency.
In fact, there's probably a good lesson about multiple meaning words in having students compose their own lever, pun-filled jokes for a "comedy show"-style skit for the class!
Who knows. You may find joke books to be a great resource and a way to bring smiles to your students' faces.