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Teaching Irony
Old 10-25-2009, 05:58 AM
 
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I want to do a mini lesson (20 minutes or so) on irony. I think it's a tricky concept, esp. for kids. I teach 6th (Lang. Arts). Does anyone have any good ideas or suggestions they could share? Picture books?

TIA~


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Frog and Toad
Old 10-25-2009, 06:01 AM
 
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The story of raking each other's yards? Would that be an example of irony?

O. Henry's "Gift of the Magi" , you know, the one where the wife sold her hair to buy her husband a watch fob, and he sold his watch to buy her a brush.
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Look what I fourd!
Old 10-25-2009, 06:12 AM
 
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http://www.kimskorner4teachertalk.co...ices/irony.htm

A whole list of picture books!
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Love the resources
Old 10-25-2009, 08:08 AM
 
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and ideas. I agree it's a tricky concept, and here's the thing that drives me crazy (and I'm an English major): Without going to a dictionary or literature handbook, or any source, what is the definition of irony? I don't mean an example; I mean a definition. I know what irony IS, I know it when I see it and I appreciate it, I think, in all its richness, but I really struggle to DEFINE it.

Anyway, picture books are a great idea for teaching this. You could also use video. I have a DVD of The Twilight Zone (bought it at Cracker Barrel, believe it or not. Really. Go look. It's there). TTZ is famous for its irony. One of the episodes I have is the guy who only wants to read. He works in a bank and he's always skipping out on the job to go to the vault and read. His wife is really mad, too, that all he want to do is read, read, read. Then a nuclear war starts (this was the Cold War, so you know how that flavored everything), and he just happens to be in the vault, reading. All of mankind is wiped out, but he survives, because he's been in this vault. He realizes that now he has all the time in the world to read all the books in the world and he's so happy, can't believe his good fortune, then he stumbles and falls and breaks his very thick, very indispensible glasses. So there he is, with all the books in the world and all the time in the world, and he can't see to read.

See? I know it when I see it. I just don't know the succinct definition.
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here's a poster
Old 10-25-2009, 08:11 AM
 
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http://www.kimskorner4teachertalk.co...ices/irony.pdf


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Old 10-25-2009, 09:15 AM
 
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I second the Twilight Zone! There are so many great episodes to choose from. PP was thinking of Time Enough to Last, which I sometimes use with my 8th graders. O. Henry's stories are great as they almost always have an ironic twist and I would also check out Roald Dahl's stories, such as The Landlady.

I also discuss dramatic irony by referencing talk shows where the panel guest is talking about someone but doesn't know that person is back stage. Meanwhile, the audience knows and is laughing the whole time. This is usually something they can relate to as most everyone has seen a talk show.

If you have access to youtube, there are also some really good videos available that you may be able to use.
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Old 10-25-2009, 03:56 PM
 
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Thanks for the great ideas. I will be looking into them. I've already printed up a copy of The Gift of the Magi.
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Irony...
Old 10-30-2009, 06:46 PM
 
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when I taught irony to my sixth graders, I used the Alanis Morisette song...Isn't it Ironic. The kids seemed to pick up on it by using the music. I would stop the song and discuss each "ironic" verse. It worked for me and it is something different!!
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