Sarcasm Teacher Resources

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Learners often regard sarcasm as a "you know it when you see it" language phenomenon, leading to confusing tone and humor in student writing. This presentation not only defines sarcasm (and irony) in plain terms, it also provides many links to videos and sites that fit the definition of sarcasm and irony. Note that many of the links (primarily Youtube) are no longer active.
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. 
Do your classes love reading and drawing cartoons? Middle schoolers read an editorial cartoon from a newspaper. They discuss the cartoonist's topic, audience, and purpose. Next, they brainstorm questions they have about the cartoon and the teacher clarifies the humor, sarcasm, or irony. After discussion about when cartoons or essays are more appropriate, they select a topic and address it with both a cartoon and an essay. 
Students analyze literature by Mark Twain.  In this understatement lesson students examine literary terms of sarcasm, hyperbole and understatement; they will read Following the Equator and The Cold Equation and create a visual representation of 'understatement' to present to the class.
Examine the toolbox of political cartoons with this analysis handout, which features a cartoon utilizing satire, sarcasm, and irony as it predicts second decade-21st century events. Can your scholars identify progress made towards any of these already? Background information describes each of the 3 tools, and talking points guide deeper thinking about how they are used in the cartoon. Pupils also examine the use of literary reference and metaphor, as well as symbolism.
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.
It ‘s assessment check list time, and you have nothing to prove that your learners mastered the skill RL.11-12.6. Rest assured, here is a plan that is sure to appease your administrator. It offers solid examples on the difference between figurative and literal language, and a multiple choice quiz for assessment. Some examples from the quiz are somewhat difficult to navigate, but are easily substituted for something more relevant.      
Young scholars study the concept of Positive Tolerance. They list 10 examples of sarcasm or cruel humor that they have heard recently in school. They summarize discussion in a careful, sensitive way - ensuring that the discussion is issue-based rather than personal.
Examine the toolbox of political cartoons with this analysis handout, which features a cartoon utilizing satire, sarcasm, and irony as it predicts the current events of 2011. Interestingly, this will also serve to get scholars looking back at 2011 to see if the cartoonist's predictions were right. Background information describes each of the 3 tools, and talking points guide deeper thinking about how they are used in the cartoon. Current event analysis is also prompted.
Students evaluate the writing and advertising in "Forward Pasquotank," by W.O. Saunders and W.K. Saunders. They examine word usage for double entendre, sarcasm and humor. Each student creates an editorial or cartoon which examines a present day event.
The name itself may have your scholars' heads spinning: Eyjafjallajökull. Its recent volcanic eruption spurred many political cartoons on unrelated topics- using an analysis handout scholars examine the use of metaphor in 2 cartoons based on this event. Background information gives them access to the topic, and 3 talking points guide deeper thinking. Learners consider the use of metaphor and sarcasm, and write a metaphor of their own based on a volcano and a current issue.
The bite of comedy often rests on use of the literary devices detailed in this presentation. The definitions for terms like sarcasm, zeugma, and invective are followed by examples drawn from literature. Consider extending the lesson by asking viewers to craft their own examples  of these terms.
Ninth graders analyze terms, phrases, and nursery rhymes from the Middle Ages. They create their own coats of arms and act out skits. They hold a medieval festival with interative booths to share their knowledge with younger students.
Ninth graders view political cartoons and read a series of satirical works. They identify what makes a satire after each reading.
High schoolers examine the work of Carla Bachechi as a Peace Corp volunteer in Macedonia. Individually, they read various folktales from the country and break into groups to discuss how it is different than a novel. To end the lesson, they identify the author's use of sarcasm in the folktale.
Students practice the art of listening. In this listening skills instructional activity, students listen to an old-time radio show and identify hidden messages, innuendo, sarcasm, double entendres, puns, hyperbole, irony, colloquialisms, inflections, sound effects, and humor in the show.
Students explore the concept of editorial cartoons. They use editorial cartoons to give messages and particular points of view on an issue. Students share cartoons with an audience.
Students are introduced to global warming through analysis of political/editorial cartoons dealing with the subject. They discuss the cartoon and what the feel it means and then discuss the mechanics of and the concerns about global warming.
“Compared to war all other forms of human endeavor shrink to insignificance.” “War is not healthy for children and other living things.” These two views of war, embodied in George Patton’s statement and Lorraine Schneider‘s famous 1966 poster, are at the heart of a two-day examination of war and its effects. The packet includes a series of activities that asks class members to ponder the causes and justifications for going to war. They compare different video versions of Henry’s speech (Olivier’s, Brannagh’s, and Hiddleston’s) and analyze how the three interpretations reveal different attitudes toward this subject. The richly detailed plan includes a link to the video segments. A must-have for readers of Henry V, the resource could also be used with any study of war and leadership.
While music lyrics are often used to teach literary elements, the richness of this resource comes from the wealth of exercises, activities, and support materials provided in the packet.  Although designed for gifted learners, the activities would be great for the whole classroom, independent work, or homeschool settings. You need not be the walrus to enjoy these exercises in this magical musical tour.

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