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Behind the Scenes
Everyone needs a good chuckle now again, especially when the chips are down and the going gets tough. They say laughter is the best medicine because humor can often make us feel better. Take a look at the following humorous words. Hopefully, they’ll lighten your day!
Look at the eight words below. Choose one. Take a close look at the definition in the brief to craft a story that conveys the word’s definition. Then, make a video, one minute or less, that effectively and creatively teaches the meaning of the word you chose. Are you up to the challenge?
In this challenge, choose one of these seven words: wry, self-deprecating, homespun, folly, irreverent, vulgar, rueful, levity.
Your video must:
Thought starter: Isn’t it amazing when someone can casually come up with a clever, or wry, joke? When someone makes a wry joke, she is being subtly sarcastic or slightly mocking. A wry response during hurricane might be, “Nice weather we’re having.” Make a video featuring someone’s wry responses to the most fantastical things.
Pro-tip: Writers use the word wry to describe dry and sarcastic humor. Mark Twain is still celebrated for his wry humor: “Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.”
Thought starter: Are you able to laugh at yourself? If you are often the target of your own jokes, your humor is self-deprecating. Self-deprecating humor is often a sign of both humility and confidence. Make a video about someone who uses self-deprecating humor to get out of a tense situation.
Pro-tip: Writers use the word self-deprecating when describing humor that makes the joker the target of the joke. If a very short person makes jokes about his height, these jokes are self-deprecating.
Thought starter: Jokes don’t always have to be clever to be funny. Humor that is simple but still funny can be described as homespun. Knock-knock jokes are perfect examples of the silliness of homespun humor. Make a video featuring the homespun humor of a favorite relative or friend.
Pro-tip: Writers use the word homespun when describing simple, earthy humor or wit. The following joke might be called homespun: “What kind of a bagel can fly? A plain bagel!”
Thought starter: Ever done something silly? It doesn’t matter if it’s intentional or unintentional, ridiculous and poorly thought-out behavior can be called folly. It would be folly to attempt to ride a bike with square wheels. Make a one-minute video that shows someone engaging in folly.
Pro-tip: Writers use the word folly to when referring to a poor decision, or foolish action. It would be folly to try to sail a boat that had a giant hole in the bottom. Writers most often say “It would befolly” instead of “It would be a folly.”
Thought starter: Humor that makes fun of people in positions of power and authority is often described as irreverent. Every evening, talk show hosts and comedians make irreverent jokes about politicians or celebrities on TV. Make a video that shows someone getting caught in the act of making irreverent jokes about her boss.
Pro-tip: Writers use the word irreverent to describe humor that makes light of powerful and well-respected people. It would be irreverent, but possibly quite funny,to make a joke at the school principal’s expense.
Thought starter: Ever make a joke in bad taste? Humor that uses foul language or deals with disgusting topics is described as vulgar. Making your friends laugh by picking your nose is vulgar. Make a video about someone who is embarrassed after getting caught making a vulgar gesture, like nose-picking or armpit-scratching.
Pro-tip: Writers use the word vulgar to describe something that is offensive or gross. It would be vulgar to burp loudly after eating a meal.
*Remember those community guidelines you didn't click on at the bottom of the site? They apply to this contest. Please keep the content of your entry appropriate for classroom settings. That means no swearing, nudity, sexual humor, or excessive violence. In other words, nothing too vulgar.
Thought starter: Have you ever kept your sense of humor, even after something bad has happened? People often show their regret or disappointment in a humorous, or rueful, way. For example, if you forget your umbrella and are soaked in a rainstorm, you might make a rueful joke like, “That’s okay, I need a shower anyway.” Make a short video that shows someone using rueful humor to cope with an unpleasant situation.
Pro-tip: Writers often use the word rueful to describe humor that comes out of less than ideal situations. Someone who just lost their wallet might make a rueful joke about how quickly money goes.
Thought starter: Ever notice how a well-timed joke can ease a tense situation? A little levity, or lighthearted humor, can go a long way in putting everyone at ease.
Make a video that shows someone using levity to lighten a serious situation.
Pro-tip: Writers use the word levity when talking about humor, often humor used in the face of a serious subject. A doctor who makes a joke during a difficult operation to relax his coworkers is engaging in levity.
In a video, no longer than 1 minute, you must:
Videos will be evaluated based on the following criteria, weighed equally:
In the event of a tie, the tie will be broken on the basis of the tied entrants’ scores in the “Educational merit and accuracy” criteria.
Prizes per contest vary. In most cases, a grand prize will be awarded to one video in the ‘Youth’ category and one in the ‘Adult’ category. All entries are categorized by age of the submitter. Submitters under the age of 18 are placed into the ‘Youth’ category and submitters 18 years or older are placed in the ‘Adult’ category. All prizes with the exception of the 'Viewer's Choice' award are chose by a panel of judges. In the case of winners under the age of 18, prizes will be awarded to a legal parent or guardian. Rules for each contest explain how and when we will notify you and the date the prizes will be announced. Prizes are awarded at Amplify’s discretion and are subject to the applicable district and school policies. Prizes for teachers may be awarded via DonorChoose.org.
In this contest we will be offering one adult grand prize, one youth grand prize, six finalist prizes, two honorable mention prizes, and one viewers choice prizes. All prizes amounts are in USD where applicable.