David James

Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name



Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Dr. Jacqueline Tilles


Using humor in educational settings is commonplace; however, few studies can be found exploring the effect of using humorous content material in teaching poetry to high school students. Implementing a Solomon three-group design, with a pretest-posttest component, one treatment group of tenth graders was introduced to poetry using only modern and contemporary humorous poetry while a control group was introduced using non-humorous modern and contemporary poetry. A second treatment group, with no pretest, received the humorous treatment and posttest only. An analysis of affective change indicated that both curricula, the humorous treatment and the non-humorous treatment, significantly enhanced students' attitude toward poetry at the .05 alpha level. Unlike the non-humorous curriculum, the humorous treatment curriculum significantly increased the students' likelihood to read poetry in the future. Recommendations are presented for incorporating humorous content material in the classroom and for training prospective and current teachers in humor theory, research, and practice.