Irony Teacher Resources
Find Irony educational ideas and activities
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In on a Secret? That's Dramatic Irony
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.
What is Verbal Irony?
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.
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.
“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.
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.
Craft Dialogue with Multiple Meanings by Using Verbal Irony
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.
Irony and Ambiguity
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.
Irony in "The Gift of the Magi"
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.
What Do You Really Mean?: Satire, Irony, and Social Commentary
Did you know that the term sarcasm come from a Greek word meaning to tear flesh? If you are considering a study of satire, parody, or irony, your class will benefit from a look at key terms associated with social commentary.
Analyze the Impact of Irony
Act III, scene 1 of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet provides the narrator of this short video an opportunity to model for viewers how Shakespeare uses dramatic irony to develop his revenge theme. Using a T-Chart, the narrator records examples of dramatic irony in the scene and the effects characters’ actions have on relationships in the play. The video can easily stand alone, or be used with the others in the series as part of a study of this famous tragedy.
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.
What are the three types of irony? High schoolers engage in a activity 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.
In this identifying irony activity, 9th graders read 6 paragraphs, identify the type of irony being used (dramatic, situational, verbal) and explain their answer.
Examine an Author's Use of Irony
Isn't it ironic? Explore the irony in "Mrs. Manstey's View" by Edith Wharton through a video, some guided notes, and an optional presentation. After reviewing the different types of irony, the narrator in the video deciphers the irony at the end of the story, connecting it to themes determined in previous lessons in the series. Class members can takes notes as they watch the video and then practice identifying irony on their own.
Elements of Style: Literary Devices
How does an author develop his or her personal writing style? This presentation starts by looking at E.E. Cummings and some of his most notable works. As an author with a lot of style, he's the perfect example! Then, terms such as figurative language, symbol, irony, and imagery (among others) are defined and examples are given. Several practice opportunities are also provided.
New! “The Story of an Hour”: Extension Activities
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.
Irony, Conflict and Symbolism in Literary Text
Tenth graders use one short story to analyze conflict, irony and symbolism. They formulate a chart to show the differences between a character's actions, desires and choice of words. After the story is divided into scenes, 10th graders work in teams to role play for the whole class.
Analyzing the Use of Irony in a Short Story
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.
A Modest Proposal: Irony Made Understandable with Rock and Roll
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 lesson spans 8-10 days, and your learners will be sure to remember it for years to come.
New! Situational Irony: The Opposite of What You Think
What does it meant to be ironic? Through a well-thought out series of examples and non-examples, this video seeks to put an end to misconceptions about this word's meaning. Entertaining and memorable, the video leads to a quiz. While some of the assessment questions are rote recall from the video, others work to deepen understanding by asking the viewer to make connections to irony in their personal life. The Dig Deeper section elaborates on the definition of irony through three articles that delve into its uses in everyday language. Click the Flip This Lesson button to add or remove text from the movie header, eliminate sections of the lesson, and add your own discussion prompt, assignment, or other commentary before sharing out the link.