Irony Teacher Resources

Find Irony educational ideas and activities

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What are the three types of irony? After reviewing dramatic, situational, and verbal irony with your readers, present them with this two-page document. They read six excerpts to determine which type of irony is used in each. After identifying the type, they explain what led them to that conclusion. 
Students discuss irony. In this language arts lesson, students identify irony and give examples of irony from their lives, a book, and current events. Students classify types of irony.
Using examples from Socrates to Johnny Carson, this slideshow presents your students with the history and definition of dramatic irony, satire, situational irony, and tragic irony. This presentation would be useful in a language arts class, a writing seminar, a sociology lecture, or in a linguistics course.
In this identifying irony learning exercise, 9th graders read 6 paragraphs, identify the type of irony being used (dramatic, situational, verbal) and explain their answer.
Attitude and tone of voice are everything when it comes to verbal irony. In addition to modeling and defining verbal irony, the narrator of this short video also explains the difference between verbal irony and sarcasm, that bit of nastiness when the speaker takes the word play one step beyond saying the opposite of what is meant, and is pointed and mean. Although the video can easily stand alone, it would be work best when shown with the other two in the series.
Who doesn't love music? Poems and songs will engage your high school class in a discussion about irony. Use songs like "Rockin' in the Free World" or "Born in the U.S.A." to illustrate the ironic point of view. Print the lyrics so learners can see the written words. This activity spans 8-10 days, and your learners will be sure to remember it for years to come. 
Ironically, there is nothing ambiguous about a series of colorful slides on irony and ambiguity. The terms are defined and examples given. Practice exercises are also included.
Students identify the use of irony in literature. They demonstrate their understanding of irony and its role in the literature they read.
Isn’t it ironic that many situations labeled ironic aren’t? Properly labeled examples of verbal, dramatic, and situation irony are defined and illustrated in a short, animated video that uses passages from literary works as models. The resource also includes the transcript of the video and a short quiz to test for understanding of the presented terms. Part of a series of seven videos.
Compare real events from Mark Twain's life to events in the story. Middle school readers identify point-of-view, its purpose, and its reliability by citing two examples. They describe the tone of the story using four examples and identify irony using three examples. They describe the use of social class and values, money, and clothing as symbols with at least two supporting details.
Students explain that in reading dramatic poetry, they should bring with them the skills they apply to reading of plays. All conclusions about character and situation must be inferred from what the characters say in the dialogue.
What are the three types of irony? High schoolers engage in a lesson about the use of irony while reading O.Henry's short story "Gift of the Magi." They'll discuss rising action, climax, and resolution in the text before highlighting the use of irony. How can irony also occur in our everyday life? High schoolers brainstorm real-life examples. 
Introduce the 3 types of irony with questions for your class that demonstrate how much we experience it every day. Sort responses into categories for verbal, situational, and dramatic irony. Designed to accompany O. Henry's story The Gift of the Magi, this resource could be applied to myriad stories. I like how this activity takes irony off the page and places it in real life.
“And isn’t it ironic. . . don’t you think?” After a brief overview of the different types of irony, learners examine the lyrics to Alanis Morissette’s song, “Ironic,” identify the examples of irony used in the song, and analyze the effects. The worksheet could be used as the basis of a group activity or for whole-class discussion.
Use O. Henry's ubiquitous tale of love and poverty to explore irony. After reading the story, middle schoolers identify examples of all three kinds of irony in the story. With partners, they brainstorm original examples of irony. Then the pairs merge into larger groups to create and present skits that demonstrate irony based on the ideas they developed. 
Struggling to get your learners to understand irony? Try out this video, which clarifies each type of irony before going into more depth on dramatic irony. The narrator relates this type of irony to both horror and comedy films and stresses that it builds tension that leads the action. The animation is cute and helps to demonstrate the concepts. Try out the provided assessment questions and supplementary information provided.
Sometimes people and characters say one thing, but mean another. This is known as verbal irony and is a difficult concept for pupils to grasp. Grow their understanding of verbal irony by asking them to use it in their own fictional narrative. Part of a series on writing a fictional narrative in response to "A Pair of Silk Stockings" by Kate Chopin and using dialogue effectively, the video demonstrates how to weave verbal irony into a draft. The narrator describes verbal irony, provides an example, and models rereading and revising her own draft. Class members can view the video and then try out the techniques on their own drafts with teacher support. While most videos on this site include slides of the video, this one does not.
Covering vocabulary, literary analysis, and grammar, this worksheet would be a great study guide or homework assignment for an eighth-grade Language Arts class. Though the five stories by Edgar Allan Poe, O. Henry, and Oscar Wilde are very specific, a teacher could work their own material into this format. A section on the different types of irony as they relate to the stories is especially helpful, as well as grammar questions about different phrases and sentence types.
Ninth graders examine how literature connects to real-life and see how irony aids in the development of theme. They read Shirley Jackson's The Lottery, and discuss elements of foreshadowing and situational irony. Then learners will write a composition explaining how the author uses irony to develop the theme. Next, the class will study a biography of Anne Hutchinson and relate this historical figure to the character Tess Hutchinson through writing a comparative analysis. 
Enhance and extend instruction of "The Story of an Hour" by Kate Chopin with one or all of these ideas. You might want to cover characterization and summary, or improve understanding of context clues and irony. You can cover any combination of those topics and skills with the activities, presentations, worksheets, and other additional materials included here. 

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