Laughter is catching (upper-intermediate and above)



A) What makes you laugh? How many times do you laugh a day? 


B) Can laughter be catching? In what situations?


Watch the video and answer the questions:

  • Have you ever lived anything similar?
  • Why do you think this has happened?
  • Have you heard about the mirror neurons? What type of function do you think they might have?


C) Here’s a scientist gving a TED TALK about this topic. Watch the first 2:50 and summarize what he says. Why do you think this discovery is key?


D) How important or necessary is laughter? What benefits can it bring to our lives?

Read about this book and find out. 




  • Do you think there is much difference between the British or the American sense of humour and the sense of humour of your country? Could you describe the difference?
  • Is humour always at someone’s expense? Is that type of humour good?
  • Do you like watching comedies? Which ones? What was the last comedy you saw at the cinema? Do you have any preference (e.g. American or French comedies)?
  • “Slapstick” is very obvious humour which involves people falling over or being hit with food. What is your opinion of this type of humour?
  • Have you ever watched a silent movie (Charlie Chaplin)? Did you like that type of humour?
  • Has your sense of humour changed over the years? How?
  • Are you any good at telling jokes? Can you remember many? Do you have problems remembering the punchline?
  • What was the last joke you heard? Do you have a favourite joke?
  • Are there some things we should never make jokes about? What things, and why?
  • Do you sometimes laugh in situations which are not funny?
  • What is the difference between “laughing at someone” and “laughing with someone”?
  • Does your language have equivalent expressions for
    • “I nearly died laughing!” or “I cracked up (with laughter)!”?
    • “He was the laughing stock”
    • “Don’t make me laugh!”


F) Think about a joke you know well or a joke you like. Take down some notes and get ready to tell the joke to the rest of the class. Vote for the best one.





Note: This activity was inspired by a similar one in the book Programa AULAS FELICES.


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