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Lesson Plan   



 
    Lesson Information
     
 
    Objectives
    Assessment
     
   
    Resources
    Materials
    Vocabulary
    Procedures
    Day Plans
    Enrichment Options
     
   
    Teacher Reflection
     



Stage 1
Identify Desired Results


Catchy Title: Serious Laughter
Theme/Topic of Lesson: An introduction to satire in literature
Time Commitment: 90 minutes
Subject Area(s):
    Language Arts - Literature
Grade Level(s): 9
Standards Alignment:
Class Challenge Question: When reading a work of satire, what is the purpose of the satire and what tools does the satirist use to convey his or her purpose?

 


Overview:

Ninth grade students will be able to recognize satire in a work of literature, identify the tools which the satirist uses to enhance his/her satire, and explain the object of the satire.
Students must first:
     (1) define satire
     (2) recognize the two categories of satire
     (3) define and recognize each of the tools of satire in a given work
          a. verbal irony
          b. hyperbole
          c. understatement
          d. sarcasm

The students will view various political cartoons and will read a series of satirical works, “The Unhappy Elephant” by Cam Amos, “Mr. Artesian’s Conscientiousness” or “The Purist” both by Ogden Nash, “A Hex on X” by Mattie Procaccini, (The Baltimore Sun, May 31, 1990, op. ed. article) and “Neat People,” by Andy Rooney. Through the viewing and reading of these materials, students will be able to define satire, targets of satire, and vehicles of satire.



Stage 2
Determine Acceptable Evidence


Learning Objectives:

The Students will:
  • read various works of satire, identify the type of satire, and recognize the strength of its tools: hyperbole, verbal irony, sarcasm, and understatement.


Assessment

The teacher will informally assess the students' understanding of satire through the use of class discussions following each activity.




Stage 3
Plan Learning Experiences


Resources

Other TechnologyOverhead projector and screen
Print MaterialsEssay "A Hex on X" Baltimore Sun, Mattie Procaccini

Students will read and discuss this material during the process of defining satire, targets of satire, and vehicles of satire.

"Neat People," by Andy Rooney

Students will read and discuss this material during the process of defining satire, targets of satire, and vehicles of satire.

"The Purist" or "Mr. Artesian's Conscientiousness" both by Ogden Nash

Students will read and discuss this material during the process of defining satire, targets of satire, and vehicles of satire.

"The Unhappy Elephant" by Cam Amos

Students will read and discuss this material during the process of defining satire, targets of satire, and vehicles of satire.


Materials
Per class
  • Definitions  (View)
  • Targets_of_Satire  (View)
  • Vehicles_of_Satire  (View)
  • Political Cartoons -
    Copies, on transparencies, of many classroom appropriate political cartoons taken from various newspapers, magazines, and any other printed material. (An excellent source is any of The New York Times books of Cartoon

Per Student
  • Pencil

  • Lined paper

Not Specified

Vocabulary
  • Satire - The art of criticizing a subject by ridiculing it and evoking toward it an attitude of amusement, contempt, or scorn.
  • Satire (in relation to literature) - A literary technique used in prose and poetry that combines a critical attitude with wit and humor for the purpose of improving society.
  • Juvenalian Satire - Satire, the attitude of which is bitter and angry and attacks sometimes viciously the vices of men.
  • Horatian Satire - Satire, the attitude of which is amused at the foibles of mankind and merely pokes fun at them.
  • Hyperbole - A figure of speech that uses exaggeration to emphasize strong feelings or to create a satiric effect.
  • Understatement - The technique of creating emphasis by saying less than what is actually or literally true.
  • Sarcasm - A type of verbal irony often in the form of a remark in which the literal meaning is complimentary but the actual meaning is critical.
  • Verbal Irony - words of praise which convey criticism and words of criticism which convey praise

Procedures

Prior to beginning this lesson, the teacher should ask students if they know what satire is. Teacher asks, "What is satire? What is the purpose of satire? In what kind of works is satire used?" The teacher will gain an understanding of the students' prior knowledge of satire and can guide the lesson based on their abilities.

The students will view various political cartoons and will read a series of satirical works, “The Unhappy Elephant” by Cam Amos, “Mr. Artesian’s Conscientiousness” or “The Purist” both by Ogden Nash, “A Hex on X” by Mattie Procaccini, (The Baltimore Sun, May 31, 1990, op. ed. article) and “Neat People,” by Andy Rooney. Through the viewing and reading of these materials, students will be able to define satire, targets of satire, and vehicles of satire.

Students will read independently. Students who have difficulty reading can be paired or, if the classroom has a computer available, the student can have the work of satire read to them. This would require that the work be on the computer and that the computer has the program and capability to read the selected work. The student can wear headphones in order to not disturb the other students. Prior to class discussions, think-pair-share can be used to help with understanding of the works and the use of satire.


One: Laughter-the Root of all Truth
Daily Challenge Question: When reading a work of satire, what is the purpose of satire and what tools does the satirist use to convey his or her purpose?
90 minutes
Set-up Directions:

The teacher must make transparencies of the worksheets, Targets of Satire, Vehicles of Satire, and Definitions. Also, transparencies must be made of the political cartoons. An overhead projector and screen need to be available in the classroom. The teacher needs to have a copy of the works, “The Unhappy Elephant” by Cam Amos, “Mr. Artesian’s Conscientiousness” or “The Purist” both by Ogden Nash, “A Hex on X” by Mattie Procaccini, (The Baltimore Sun, May 31, 1990, op. ed. article) and “Neat People,” by Andy Rooney for each student.



Teacher Presentation & Motivation:

The teacher must show on transparencies a series of cartoons ( 5-15) which ultimately will evoke laughter. These cartoons used for this lesson must satirize the most common targets of satire: Individuals, Types of Individuals, Society, Institutions, and places. (One or two cartoons satirizing each of the targets are sufficient.)

After the teacher has shown a series of amusing cartoons that have evoked the laughter of the students, the teacher reviews the cartoons by asking the students to explain what it is that makes the cartoons funny. The teacher then asks the students to think about each of the cartoons and determine what is NOT so amusing about each of the cartoons. The teacher then states that each of the cartoons, while amusing, contains some truths that are not very amusing-truths about institutions, people, types of people, places, society that are more sobering than amusing. At this point, the teacher explains the nature of  SATIRE and provides a generic definition of the term, which is found on the Definitions transparency. Students take notes.



Activity 1 - What's so Funny Anyway?

The teacher then reviews each of the cartoons by asking what is being satirized in each of them-what is the object of ridicule. The cartoons carefully selected by the teacher should have as targets: Individuals, Types of Individuals, Institutions, Society, and Places.
Display the transparency titled, Target of Satire. Students take notes.



Activity 2 - Satire Here, Satire There, Satire Everywhere

The teacher now must explain that satire exists in many forms-not just in cartoons.
The teacher now has the students read a fable which is satirical, e.g. “The Unhappy Elephant” by Cam Amos, and explains that satire exists in fables. When the students have completed the reading assignment, have the student think-pair-share. After a minute or two of think-pair-share, the teacher will lead a discussion of the use of satire in this fable.

The teacher then has the students read a satirical poem, e.g. “Mr. Artesian’s Conscientiousness” or “The Purist” both by Ogden Nash, and explains that satire exists in poetry. Teacher also asks that students identify the target of each of the selections of satire they read.

The teacher then names movies that are classified as satire: “Annie Hall” and “Bananas” by Woody Allen, or “Best in Show,” “A Mighty Wind,” or “Waiting for Guffman.”

The teacher then names musicians who are musical satirists, e.g. Al Yankevic.

The teacher then names television shows that are satirical: “Saturday Night Live.”

The teacher then names comic strips that are satirical in their content, e.g. “Peanuts” and
“Doonesbury.”

The teacher then has students read essays that are satirical in their effect, e.g. “A Hex on X” by Mattie Procaccini, ( The Baltimore Sun, May 31, 1990, op. ed. article); “Neat People,” by Andy Rooney. The teacher will lead the discussion of the satire found in each essay. Think-pair-share can be used prior to each class discussion.  Students will take notes from the transparency titled, Vehicles of Satire.



Activity 3 - How do you Like Your Satire?

After providing students with the various vehicles of satire, the teacher then turns the students’ attention to the two classifications of satire: Juvenalian Satire and Horatian Satire. The teacher explains the historical background of each (from the ancient Roman poets Juvenal and Horace) and differentiates the two: Juvenalian - angry, bitter satire; Horatian - mild, amused, gentle satire. Students can copy these definitions from the Definitions transparency.

At this time, the teacher could review each of the cartoons previously used at the beginning of the lesson, show them again, and ask the students to identify them as either Juvenalian or Horatian. Conclude this activity by having the student verbally define Juvenalian and Horatian satire.



Activity 4 - How do You Satirize Anyway?
At this point, the teacher must begin to explain how satire achieves its purpose. The various tools of satire must be explained. The teacher can review the examples of satire already presented (cartoons, fables, articles, etc.) and have students draw inferences about the satirists’ crafts. Example: cartoons may have exaggerated the features of a person being satirized (a good example of hyperbole); the words in an essay may say one thing but mean something entirely different (a good example of verbal irony); the words in a fable or an essay may say less about a person or place than is actually true (a good example of understatement); an essay or even a cartoon may seem to be praising someone, but in actuality may be very critical of that person (a good example of sarcasm).

The teacher then provides the students with definitions of the four terms: hyperbole, verbal irony, sarcasm, and understatement, which are found on the Definitions transparency.

 



Wrap Up:

The teacher must make sure that the students have an understanding of the nature of SATIRE, its purposes, the 2 categories, its targets and that an entire work of literature can be devoted to satirizing one or several things. The teacher will lead a discussion which answers the class challenge question posed at the beginning of this lesson.

This lesson can be used as an introduction to satire before assigning a larger work for the students to read. The teacher can provide a list of key questions to help guide the students through the independent reading.



Enrichment Options
Community Connection

Students can create posters of political cartoons that will be displayed in the school. Students will find several political cartoons and then define the satire, the target of satire, and the vehicle of satire used in each cartoon.



Cross-Curricular Extensions

Art - The students can create their own political cartoon that uses satire.




Stage 4
Teacher Reflection


As a reflective practitioner, note how this lesson could be adjusted after its initial implementation. How successful were the students? What did the assessment demonstrate about the students’ learning? What skills do the students need to revisit? What instructional strategies worked and what made them successful? What will you change the next time you use this lesson? Why?



Author: Mattie Procaccini
Modified by: Megan E. Tucker
Program: Maryland Initiative for New Teachers (MINT)
Author's School System: Anne Arundel County Public Schools
Author's School: Old Mill Senior High