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 Note that many of the links (primarily Youtube) are no longer active.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. 
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.
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.
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.
To smoke or not to smoke in public places? Swift's "A Modest Proposal" launches an exploration of how to formulate a stance, develop cogent rationale, and adopt an appropriate tone for a presentation on contemporary issues of social concern that gains the respect of an audience. Close reading of several additional texts, focusing on the structure, development, and support for the stance, would provide further scaffolding for the final project.
Pupils 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.
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.
Scholars demonstrate the ability to evaluate authors' use of literary elements such as metaphor, simile, personification, imagery, and onomatopoeia. They are provided with a checklist and must shop for poems that contain the poetry terms on their list. Poems can be posted around the room or in hallways. Learners are assessed on their accuracy in finding the literary terms on the checklist.
Are your scholars reading Jerry Spinelli's Maniac Magee? If so, use this textual analysis packet and lesson guide to drive deeper thinking about the characters, create personal connections, and apply historical contexts to the text. Learners explore segregation, reading an informational text for more understanding. They mark the text and answer eight comprehension questions (seven multiple choice and one short answer). There are some debriefing questions to guide thinking for two of the questions, and debate should be encouraged! The text and questions can be found in the Maniac Magee reading packet; use the packet to guide learning through the entire story.
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.
Need a review of literary terms and figurative language? Although text heavy, these slides clearly define frequently used terms and provide color-coded examples.
In this understanding verbal irony worksheet, students explore examples of the literary device. Students then explain the literal meaning of 5 uses of irony and then write 2 of their own sentences using irony.
After viewing a presentation about satire, and terms associated with this branch of literature, young satirists craft comic books on a topic of their choice. Beware the typos!
Students 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.
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.
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.      
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.

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