Subject: ELA (English Language Arts)

Lesson Length: 45 mins - 1 hour

Topic: Puns as a Figure of Speech

Grade Level: 10, 11, 12, 9

Standards / Framework:

  • CC.8.L.5
  • CC.10.L.2

Brief Description: Students will understand and demonstrate puns as a figure of speech.

Know Before You Start: Students should be familiar with figures of speech, such as puns and homophones.


  • Ask students:
    • “Can you think of any famous puns or catchphrases from movies, TV shows, or advertisements? What made those puns memorable?”
    • “Have you ever tried to make up your own pun but found it challenging? What do you think makes creating puns difficult or easy?”
    • “In what types of writing or communication do you think puns are most commonly used, and why?”


  • Have students review clever wordplay, such as puns, by reading a brief article from Entertainment Weekly on some famous movie title puns, e.g., The Santa Clause, Legally Blonde, An American Tail, Shaun of the Dead, etc. and then having a brief class discussion on why they find these puns humorous or clever. 
  • Have students complete unfinished sentences using a pun and then share some with the class. 
    • "Why did the scarecrow win an award? Because he was outstanding in his _______________." (Pun: "field" - "Because he was outstanding in his field.")
    • "I couldn't figure out how to put my seatbelt on. Then, it just ________________." (Pun: "clicked" - "Then, it just clicked.")
    • "I'm reading a book on anti-gravity. It's impossible to ______________." (Pun: "put down" - "It's impossible to put down.")
  • In pairs or small groups, have students create a pun using at least one pair of the homophones provided in class. Encourage creativity and humor in their puns. When completed, have each group share their pun with the class, explaining why they found it funny or clever.
  • Using the sample comic as a guide, have students create a comic that uses a pun.


  • Have students share their comics with the class or in small groups.
  • Have students explain how using puns as figures of speech can create humor or convey a clever message in writing. 
  • Emphasize how understanding and using puns can enhance their writing and add humor or cleverness to their communication.


  • Allow students to use the speech-to-text feature.
  • Allow students to work in pairs or groups as needed.
  • Allow students to use the voiceover feature to read their comics aloud.
  • Provide a written list of the “Top 10 Pun-tastic Movie Titles.”


Suggested Story Starters: