Sarcasm Teacher Resources

Whether sarcasm is, as Gene, the narrator of John Knowles’s A Separate Peace, puts it- “the protest of those who are weak” or the product of a brilliant mind, this literary device has long been popular with philosophers, political pundits, commentators, and comedians who sharpen their wit and hone their remarks so that the cut, though often indirect, is swift and sure.

Sarcasm is part of the literary genre of satiric expression that exposes humanity’s vices and foibles to urge change or reform by mixing criticism with witty humor. A great place to start a study of this literary device is with a presentation that defines and illustrates the various characteristics of satiric writing, including sarcasm and irony. Questions of whether Twain’s use of satire in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn cross the line into sarcasm are addressed in this lesson. Ironically, while sarcasm is a type of irony, not all irony is sarcastic. Teach your students how to recognize the difference between sarcasm and irony with this plan involving memes or this activity that uses cartoons.

Satirists who employ sarcasm do not go gently. They rage, they mock, they ridicule the injustices they see and the people they scorn to draw attention and sometimes even create change.

Showing 1 - 24 of 77 resources
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Sarcasm and Irony

For Teachers 9th - 12th
Alanis Morissette's "Ironic" and selected images from "Condescending Wonka" are used to help kids recognize the differences between sarcasm and irony. As an exit ticket, class members create their own sarcastic captions for five...
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Cartoons for the Classroom: Sarcasm, Irony, and Satire

For Students 9th - 12th Standards
Satire, sarcasm, or irony? Editorial cartoons have long been the tool artists use to express their opinions about politics and politicians. Kevin "Kai" Kallaugher's four-panel cartoon offers readers an opportunity to examine how he uses...
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Sarcasm

For Teachers Higher Ed
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...
Lesson Planet

Cartoons for the Classroom: What's Next in 2011?

For Students 9th - 12th
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...
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Satire

For Teachers 11th - 12th
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...
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Irony, Sarcasm, Satire

For Students 9th - 12th
Irony, the discrepancy between what is expected and what occurs, is the focus of a reference sheet that provides young writers with models of this literary device.
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Satire and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

For Teachers 11th - 12th
Does Mark Twain’s satire become sarcasm and does he cross the line of propriety in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn? As an introduction of satire, class members view an excerpt from The Daily Show and discuss Stewart's use of this...
Lesson Planet

Poetry Shopping Spree

For Teachers 6th - 12th Standards
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...
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Literature: Satire in the American Dream

For Teachers 11th
Eleventh graders examine cartoons for examples of satire, irony, and sarcasm. They write essays about cartoons, art work, or literature analyzing it for satirical elements. Finally, they create their own piece in one of the three areas...
Lesson Planet

Satire: The Art of Indirect Persuasion

For Students 9th - 12th
A free press is entitled to its opinions. While the news pages report the facts of events, editorial pages feature writers' and cartoonists' opinions about events to either directly or indirectly persuade. Introduce viewers to the art of...
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Gulliver’s Travels

For Teachers 9th - 12th Standards
Gulliver's Travels tells the story of a man who goes on voyages and encounters strange people. A unit plan introduces readers to the classic text, as well as excerpts from other examples of sarcasm and satire, such as "A Modest Proposal"...
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Theodore Boone - Kid Lawyer: Novel Study

For Teachers 5th - 8th Standards
A child lawyer is exactly what people need ... not! With the novel study for John Grisham's Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer, pupils use their imaginations to create their own examples of sarcasm. They also research a chosen famous lawyer and...
1 In 1 Collection
EngageNY

Grade 11 ELA Module 2: Unit 2, Lesson 2

For Teachers 11th Standards
How did Elizabeth Cady Stanton advocate for the rights of women? Pupils consider the question as they continue reading "An Address by Elizabeth Cady Stanton." They complete a Quick Write, analyzing how satire and sarcasm advance the...
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Satire Presentation

For Students 9th - 12th Standards
Introduce a study of satire with a presentation of laugh-out-loud funny slides that define the various characteristics of satiric writing and provide examples of each.
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Textual Analysis Lesson: Segregation: Past or Present?

For Teachers 4th - 6th Standards
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....
Lesson Planet

Listen to a Radio Show

For Teachers 6th - 10th
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,...
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"A Modest Proposal": Distinguishing Shades of Meaning When Writing an Argumentative Essay

For Teachers 11th - 12th
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...
Lesson Planet

Irony in O. Henry's Gift of the Magi

For Teachers 7th - 11th
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...
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Figures of Speech Quotes and Examples

For Teachers 12th - Higher Ed
Providing several examples of figures of speech, such as irony, paradox, and personification, this presentation could complement your lecture on pragmatic humor or humor in writing. Examples from Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in...
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What is Figurative Language?

For Teachers 9th - 12th
Need a review of literary terms and figurative language? Although text heavy, these slides clearly define frequently used terms and provide color-coded examples.
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Cartoons for the Classroom: Spinning off of Eyjafjallajökull

For Students 9th - 12th
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...
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What is Verbal Irony?

For Students 7th - 12th Standards
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...
Lesson Planet

The Comedy of Errors: Study Guide

For Teachers 5th - 12th Standards
William Shakespeare could outwit even the best of today's comedians with his sarcasm, satire, and insults. The Comedy of Errors is no exception. Using a helpful study guide, scholars identify and analyze imagery, draw a picture or write...
Lesson Planet

Editorial Cartoons

For Teachers 5th - 8th
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...

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