I need help on a small project I have to do. I need to make a lesson plan that lasts 5 min. on irony; it is for 8th grade English.
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Try making a handout on irony, and then writing little stories. Each story can include an example, or you can have all examples in one story. Since the lesson is so short, that is pretty much all you'd have time to do, but it would be engaging and hopefully help the lesson stick. The handout will give them a reference to refer to.
I have found that the most effective way to teach irony is to use real examples for students. This means you, the teacher, will have a little bit of homework.
Using the same sub-categories above, when you notice something in your classroom, in the school (that many students are aware of, often situations at sporting events work well), or in pop-culture, make a note of it. Students tend to remember things they care about, especially if it is funny, which irony so often is.
The easist of course is verbal irony. As a particularly sarcastic person, I try to be especially creative with verbal irony examples. Too often merely saying "sarcasm" isn't enough. As for situational and dramatic irony, I can't give you an example you could use personally, but my advice is be on the lookout. Things happen much more often than you'd realize that perfectly illustrate both of these.
First you will need to decide what kind of irony you are trying to teach. There are generally three kinds: verbal, situational, or dramatic.
Verbal irony is when a person says one thing and means another. Your lesson could have students brainstorm these kinds of expressions. For example, a student drops his books all over the floor and someone says, "Nice move." Clearly it is not a nice move. It is especially challenging for students to create verbal irony that doesn't have a sarcastic tone, so that might be a good extension activity.
Situational irony is when a story or a situation takes a turn that is unexpected, or if a person expects one thing and gets another. Your lesson could be to read a very short story that has a surprise ending. Read the story aloud, and before you read the end, have the students predict what will happen, and then read the actual ending and see how they react. This is especially effective if the ending seems like it will be obvious, so the actually ending packs more of a punch.
Dramatic irony is when a reader knows more than the characters in a book. Your lesson could be to give a big hint about the ending of short story, then to read the story aloud and discuss how knowing the ending affected their enjoyment of the story. Another example here would be to talk about movies. For example, discuss why we go to see Disney movies even when we know there will be a happy ending.
Good luck on the assignment.
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