Publication Date



While humour and laughter create conditions that are conducive for learning, different forms of children’s humour have been given little attention in research on digital media, literacy learning, and multimodal design. Applying a Bakhtinian lens, we analyse carnivalesque videos created by elementary students as part of the formal curriculum. We argue that they functioned as playful, spoofing counter narratives within the serious context of schooling. Three key findings emerge from analysis that show different forms of carnivalesque humour in their texts: (i) Clowning in children’s carnivalesque performances was used to break perceived tensions; (ii) Grotesque humour arose spontaneously, subverting the seriousness of films by drawing attention to lower, bodily functions; and (iii) Ambivalent laughter was instantiated in the video texts as a carnivalesque view of the world. We argue that the deliberate curation, editing, and selecting of these funny moments for an intended audience enabled spaces for digital play in film making within the remit of the formal curriculum.


Institute for Learning Sciences and Teacher Education

Document Type

Open Access Journal Article

Access Rights

Open Access

Available for download on Tuesday, May 04, 2021