STRENGTH OF THE WEEK
What is it?
Humour means you see the light side to a situation and love making people laugh. You connect to others by making them smile. If you are growing humour you try to have a cheerful view on problems.
What does it look like in our classroom?
We connect to others by making them smile
When there is a problem we try and see the light side to it
What does it look like on our playground?
When something doesn’t go our way in a game we can laugh it off
We always make sure we are laughing with people and not at them
Person of the week: Anh Do
"I find myself chatting with my paintings, not deep and meaningful stuff, but things like 'hey there buddy' and 'oh, look what I did to your nose!'
Anh Do story
Anh was 3 when his family fled Vietnam on a small wooden fishing boat. They decided to leave Vietnam because they were on the losing side of the war. This meant that life in their country would be dangerous for them as the winning side were sure to punish and seek revenge. It was a huge risk going on the small fishing boat as it was crowded and did not look safe. However, Anh's family knew there was a slightly better chance of survival than staying in their home country. Anh's family had gone from fighting alongside the Australians to becoming refugees.
Food was scarce. The people running the boat were not kind, helpful or organised. One day pirates turned up and demanded money, jewellery and food. The pirates ripped a nappy off one of the babies and a sliver of gold fell out. They thought that the refugees were hiding it, and so one of the pirates dangled the baby overboard and threatened to throw him in the ocean. That baby was Anh's little brother, his name is Khoa and amazingly he went on to become the young Australian of the year in 2005. The pirates stole everything they could but fortunately as they sped away one of them threw a container of water onto the boat. This saved their life. The refugees were finally saved by a German cargo ship. They spent time in a refugee camp before finally coming to Australia.
In Australia, Anh and his family had a difficult time. English was hard to learn,
he had different foods to the other children, and wore different clothes. His parents struggled with money and eventually divorced. At school his family could not afford the text books that Anh needed despite working day and night. Anh relied heavily on the kindness of friends who secretly leant them their textbooks. His mother raised all of the children solo, working in sweatshops where she made about $7 an hour. Even so, it was a happy childhood. Anh says:
“Things at home weren’t always easy but there was always the library – I could borrow books and bring them home and escape for a while.”
Anh always loved to make his family and friends laugh. While he was quiet at school he did well academically and he loved observing people and creating stories.
Anh Do is now enjoying success after many years of hard work . He is a comedian, which means he tells jokes for a living and he is an author and a TV host. He has written a memoir, called The Happiest Refugee, and several best-selling series for children: Weirdo, Ninja Kid, Hotdog!, E-Boy, Wolf Girl, Skydragon and PowPowPig.
During one of the lockdowns in Sydney, Anh allowed copies of Skydragon to go free to any kid who wanted them. He wrote a beautiful letter saying he hoped it would lift their spirits.
When Anh started comedy he would mix real life stories into his stand-up comedy routine. He would use the comedy to lighten some of the heavy stories. Sometimes the audience would laugh one minute and cry the next.
Anh also learnt to paint! A three-time finalist in the Archibald Prize, he won the People’s Choice award in 2017 with a portrait of Jack Charles. Anh also has his own show called Anh’s Brush with Fame.
Anh knows what he would do if won a billion dollars!
"I’d pretty much be doing what I am doing these days, creating stories for kids and doing the occasional painting."
NB we chose Anh to represent the character strength of humour - but this story highlights a few other core strengths. What do you think they are? Why?
think pair share
K - 2
What things make you laugh?
When is it not ok to laugh?
How do you feel after a big laugh?
3 - 6
Share a joke!
When is a joke not a joke and actually mean?
There is a saying that laughter is the best medicine. Why do you think that is?
resources that spotlight
K - 2
The Good Egg - Jory John
The Bad Seed - Jory John
Mr Tiger Went Wild - Peter Brown
More and More Rabbits - Nicholas Allan
3 - 6
Any of the Anh Do books! Weirdo, Ninja Kid etc
Books written by David Walliams (Billionaire Boy, Worst Teachers in the World etc)
PODCAST EPISODES + VIDEO
K - 6