April Fool’s Day on the 1st of April is a day to be silly and play pranks on our friends, even on our students at school. Here are ten harmless April Fool’s Day pranks for teachers that the students will enjoy and remember for a long time.
The Teacher Switch
You and another teacher switch classes. Walk into the other teacher’s class and start teaching as if nothing’s wrong. As if it’s just another regular day. Act like they are joking if they protest. Students will laugh about this prank all day long. April Fool’s doesn’t always have to be elaborate, just silly.
Another teacher told me about a time when all the teachers drew names from a hat and then switched teaching roles for the entire morning. The principal became the PE teacher, the 1st-grade teacher was now doing the 4th graders, the Science teacher had to teach English, and so on. The kids loved the switched-up roles, and it was a good challenge for the staff to step into someone else’s shoes for a bit!
Take a change of clothes with you to school. It doesn’t need to be anything extravagant, but it should be noticeable. Excuse yourself from class and quickly change nearby. When you re-enter, see how many students can spot the difference. You may also dress up like a popular character to make it really fun for the students.
Alternatively, you could place a fake tattoo somewhere very visible. Even if you already have tattoos, students will find the “new” addition intriguing, especially in cultures and schools where tattoos are viewed negatively.
If you’re teaching online, switch with a spouse dressed up as you. Try a wig and clothes to look like you. This is brilliant for a laugh and to see how your partner would do as a teacher for a bit.
The Loof Lirpa or Lirpa Loof Bird
Finding the “Lirpa Loof” or “Loof Lirpa” bird is a classic! Tell the students that someone saw a very rare bird on the school grounds. You need to find the bird for the local zoo or it has escaped from a pet shop or a bird sanctuary to make it sound convincing. Hand each student a marshmallow and tell them to go outside and call “Lirpa Loof!” to see if they can entice this bird to come to them.
After a few minutes, let them return to class and spell it on the board. Then ask them to read it backward! “April Fool”!
You can even do this with online classes – tell the students there is a rare bird that appears on days like “well… today”. They should quickly go outside with a treat, hold it up to the sky and call “Lirpa Loof” / “Loof Lirpa” three times. The bird will swoop down to eat the treat.
If possible, ask mom or dad to record them using their phones, because “the bird is so rare.”
If that doesn’t work, tell them to call the bird’s name backward! Ask parents to share the videos after!
If you have the time and energy, remove all their chairs and hide them in another room. When the students enter, watch them try to figure out what to do.
For students, wait for the teacher to step outside and then rearrange the classroom.
Everyone turns their desks and chairs to face the back of the classroom instead of the front. When the teacher returns, everyone continues doing work as though nothing has happened. Wait for the teacher to ask what’s going on and then say, “April Fool’s!” as a class.
Give a Test
You all know this prank, but here are some variations:
- Make a fake test with nonsense words and illogical questions.
- Use a standard class test. Let them exchange with partners to check, but give wrong answers. If they interrupt to protest, tell them to continue, “We’ll check it later…” Then reveal the prank!
- Tell them you’ve planned a pop quiz. They will laugh and say “Yeah right, it’s an April Fool’s joke!” Then give them a real pop quiz… hahaha!
- Give them a fake word search (none of the words appear in it). On the top, add instructions like: “If you read this, bring the paper to the front of class and say how easy the test was. Return to your seat and relax.”
Follow this link to an April Fool’s Day word search PDF created by Elizabeth Delk, students are told to do a “Springtime” word search but none of the words are actually in the word search. Tell them the student who finds all the words first will get a big surprise! They will be left scratching their heads because they can’t find any of the words!
The Great Expectation
For a week leading up to April Fool’s, warn the class that you have a special surprise planned. Really hype it up a few days before April Fools. They will expect something huge – Then, do nothing. It’s a major bluff and their expectation throughout the lesson will be monumental. At the end of class reveal that it’s an “April Fools” prank. They will sigh with relief.
Most classes have smartboards or projectors in class. Plan a lesson using PowerPoint or play a game like Kahoot or Bamboozle. Then, give remote access to your computer to another person using TeamViewer. TeamViewer is a simple-to-use, free app that lets a friend remotely take control of your computer.
Start class normally, but over time, let the computer do strange things. Look very surprised by what’s happening. In the middle of your lesson (at a time you’ve both agreed on), move away from the computer so it’s clear that you are not using it – your accomplice then opens up Paint, and in red write: “This is the Ghost of Room 203 (your classroom number)! Get out!” Immediately followed by a video of kids screaming!
Once everyone have calmed down – reveal the prank!
Tell students that the nurse will come to class to do a foot-health check. Kind of like the hearing or vision tests they do. The students should remove their socks and shoes and place their feet up on their desks. Take some pictures while they wait. Once it’s gone on long enough, write the name of the doctor on the board. Dr. April Fools. Hahaha!
A variation is that they are doing a “Flood drill”. Let the students take off their shoes and socks, pull up their pant legs and sit on their desks. Once you give the sign they have to “tiptoe” to the exits and line up outside.
April Fool’s Gags
The following are some April Fool’s gags that you can prepare. Tell the students you’ve got a big reward for them, then prepare and reveal the following to them in class on April 1st.
- Brownies -Brown E’s – (This is quite an old prank but there is always a first time for some children.)
- Free Ipads – Eye pads
- Mystery Jellybeans from Harry Potter – the flavors include some bad ones like dirt, earthworm, earwax, rotten egg and vomit, but in reality they are just normal jellybeans. Add a sign “Try me, if you dare!”
- Put yogurt in a mayonnaise jar and eat in front of your students. Ask if anyone would like to try. 😊
- Place a box of donuts in the teacher’s lounge with a sign saying “Free for All” – but then put veggies or fruit inside.
- Prank the parents. Hand each student an envelope with a large, red angry face on the front to take home. Tell students to look sad when they hand it to their parents. Place a note inside the envelope saying: “April Fool’s Day!” If you have the time, add a nice compliment for each student underneath.
On The Office TV show, the boss, Robert California, has a random list of names of everyone in the office, separated into two columns.
One of the employees, Andy, “accidentally” finds the list and all the office staff tries to figure out what it means.
To translate this to the classroom, simply put all your students’ names into two columns at random with some mysterious-sounding title. Then let them “accidentally” discover it by leaving it on your desk. They’ll be wondering what it means the entire day, or if they ask, reveal that it’s April Fool’s Day.
I’m Eric from Etacude, wishing you all a silly April Fool’s Day at school!