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Lesson Plan by Christina Bouwens M.A.

3 Types of Irony

This free, printable Pixton lesson plan brings literary analysis to life with comics and storyboards.

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Featured Layouts

When students complete the activities in this lesson plan, they will use the following comic layout types.

  • Comic Strip
  • Storyboard
  • Graphic Novel

Your students will create amazing images like these in no time!

Pixton Lesson Plan on 3 Types of Irony
This free, printable Pixton lesson plan brings literary analysis to life with comics and storyboards.
This free, printable Pixton lesson plan brings literary analysis to life with comics and storyboards.

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3 Types of Irony

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Teacher Guide

3 Types of Irony

Step 1Class discussion with students

Getting Started

Read the Billy Collins poem A Sense of Place as a class (poem follows):

A Sense of Place

If things had happened differently,
Maine or upper Michigan
might have given me a sense of place–

a topic that now consumes 87%
of all commentary on American literature.

I might have run naked by a bayou
or been beaten near a shrouded cove on a coastline.

Arizona could have raised me.
Even New York's Westchester County
with its stone walls scurrying up into the woods
could have been the spot to drop a couple of roots.

But as it is, the only thing that gives me
a sense of place is this upholstered chair
with its dark brown covers,
angled into a room near a corner window.

I am the native son of only this wingback seat
standing dutifully on four squat legs,
its two arms open in welcome,

illuminated by a swan-neck lamp
and accompanied by a dog-like hassock,
the closest thing a chair has to a pet.

This is my landscape–
a tobacco-colored room,
the ceiling with its river-like crack,
the pond of a mirror on one wall
a pen and ink drawing of a snarling fish on another.

And behind me, a long porch
from which the sky may be viewed,
sometimes stippled with high clouds,
and crossed now and then by a passing bird–
little courier with someplace to go–

other days crowded with thunderheads,
the light turning an alarming green,
the air stirred by the nostrils of apocalyptic horses,
and me slumped in my chair, my back to it all.

Opening Discussion

Invite students to share responses, questions, or concerns about the poem. Begin to focus on any surprises within the poem. If students need direction, refer to the stanza, "But as it is, the only thing" as a turning point in Collins' poem. Ask students what the speaker might be saying about where he's from, and whether this is surprising considering where this poem begins. Hone in on the idea that the speaker claims to be from nowhere (geographically) – the opposite of what we might have expected, considering the previous mention of various American states (e.g. New York, Michigan, Arizona). In fact, the speaker claims he is from... his writing or reading chair!

Introduce the concept of irony, referring to the poem as an example of situational irony (1 of 3 types we'll review, analyze, and apply in this lesson). Provide the following definitions:

Definition of Irony

A literary technique which establishes humor, tension, or suspense between what is said or expected, and what is real.

3 Types of Irony
  1. Situational Irony: What occurs is the opposite of what we expect to occur in the plot (focus is on the story's events). Discuss additional examples in literature, popular TV shows, movies, poetry.

  2. Verbal Irony: What is written (or stated aloud) is the opposite of what is meant (focus is on language; sometimes referred to as sarcasm). Discuss examples in literature, popular TV shows, movies, poetry.

  3. Dramatic Irony: We know something that the character(s) does not yet realize or know; we are in "cahoots" with the author (focus is on the distinction between what the reader/audience knows vs. what a character knows). Discuss examples in literature popular TV shows, movies, poetry. Consider the movie The Lion King: Simba blames himself for his father's death when all the while we know that it was Simba's uncle, Scar, who murdered Mufasa; it isn't until the climactic point of the film that Simba too learns this bitter fact.
Step 2Pixton comic-making activities
  • Make a Storyboard, Comic Strip, or ...
    Visualizing Verbal Irony

    View Activity
  • Make a Graphic Novel, Comic Strip, or ...
    Visualizing Situational Irony

    View Activity
  • Make a Graphic Novel, Comic Strip, or ...
    Visualizing Dramatic Irony

    View Activity
Step 3Concluding discussion with students

Consider developing comic or storyboard examples of your own, original use of verbal, situational, or dramatic irony! The opportunities are virtually endless.

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Pixton Activity: 3 Types of Irony 1 Visualizing Verbal Irony

Featured Layouts

  • Comic Strip
  • Storyboard
  • Graphic Novel

Intro

Through a comic, you'll creatively visualize an example of verbal irony from a recent text we've studied. You may choose any text and example you can best depict and explain (student-teacher agreement).

Instructions

Create a Comic Strip, Graphic Novel, or Storyboard to illustrate an example of verbal irony in literature.

Consider the scene from Disney's Beauty and the Beast (1991) where Belle's response to Gaston's marriage proposal is "I'm sorry, but ... I just don't deserve you." Watch it on YouTube here. How is this demonstrating irony through language (verbally)? It isn't that Belle feels Gaston is "better" but a far worse choice as a life partner!

  • Use a poem, play, novel, or movie as an example to identify an example of verbal irony present in the literary work. (Note: your chosen text may have more than one example or type; thoroughly analyze your text to determine which example you feel most confident working with for your comic.)

  • Review the rubric for scoring / grading guidelines to ensure this activity is a win for you!

Rubric: Visualizing Verbal Irony

Use this interactive rubric for easy, thorough assessment. It can even be used by students for self-assessment!

5 4 3 2 1
Overview The type of irony is accurately identified and highly developed and defined from the original text; example(s) has/have significant purpose and engage the reader. The type of irony is accurately identified and well developed; example(s) is/are specific and provide sufficient support from the original text. The type of irony is briefly discussed; example(s) is/are accurate but not fully explained or given enough detail from the original text to fully "prove" the point. The type of irony is briefly discussed; vague or irrelevant example(s), making it difficult to identify correct identification of the type of irony from original text. The type of irony is not identified or incorrectly identified; lacks any supporting example(s) or detail from original text.
Meaning Ideas, information and use of appropriate textual detail • strong point of view
• develops ideas clearly and logically with details, examples, and descriptions
• relevant ideas with consistent analysis
• logical descriptions or examples clarify and develop the ideas
• relevant ideas with some analysis
• examples or descriptions are simple and consistent
• few relevant ideas
• examples or descriptions may be poorly developed or illogical
• ideas are not developed
• few details or descriptions
Style Clarity, variety, impact of visuals and language • language is clear, varied
• flows smoothly; variety in sentences
• images and characters are fully developed; high attention to detail
• language is clear with some variety
• includes a variety of sentence lengths and patterns
• images and characters have purpose and significance
• language is clear with little variety
• basic sentence structures with a few variations
• images and characters are basic, but have purpose
• basic language; vague at times
• repeats a few basic sentence structures
• images and characters have minimal development
• vague, incorrect and repetitive language
• poorly constructed sentences; little variety
• images and characters are poorly developed
Form Organization and sequence (supporting examples identified) • proper organization
• text/details are properly referenced
• panels are thoughtful and detailed, fully illustrating type of irony
• all panels are organized or logical
• text/details are properly referenced
• all panels are present and detailed
• most panels are organized or logical
• text/details are properly referenced
• all necessary panels are present
• some panels are organized or logical
• text/details are not/improperly referenced
• minimal use of panels &/or some panels appear to be missing
• panels are disorganized or illogical (flow doesn't work)
• text/details are not referenced
• panels appear to be missing to illustrate type of irony
Conventions The text demonstrates standard English conventions of usage and mechanics • demonstrates precise English conventions
• uses eloquent words, rich sensory language and mood to convey a realistic picture
• demonstrates precise English conventions
• uses precise words, controlled sensory language and mood to convey a realistic picture
• demonstrates standard English conventions
• uses words and phrases, telling details and sensory language to convey a vivid picture
• demonstrates some accuracy in standard English conventions of usage and mechanics • contains multiple inaccuracies in Standard English conventions of usage and mechanics
Total
Print this Activity

Pixton Activity: 3 Types of Irony 2 Visualizing Situational Irony

Featured Layouts

  • Comic Strip
  • Storyboard
  • Graphic Novel

Intro

Through a comic strip, graphic novel, or storyboard, you'll creatively visualize an example of situational irony from any text. You may choose the text and example you feel you'll be able to best depict and explain (student-teacher agreement).

Instructions

Create a Comic Strip, Graphic Novel, or Storyboard to illustrate an example of situational irony in any text previously agreed upon between student and teacher.

Consider the Disney Pixar (2001) film Monsters, Inc.: the monsters in this movie are terrified of children whereas our expectation would be that the children are scared of monsters (from all the messages we get from a very young age -- the example of checking under the bed or in the closet for monsters was very real for many of us as young children!). This is an example of situational irony upon which the entire film is based!

  • Use a poem, play, short story, novel, popular TV show or movie as an example to identify an example of situational irony present in the literary work. (Note: your chosen text may have more than one example or type; thoroughly analyze your text to determine which example you feel most confident working with for this illustration or storyboard.)

  • Review the rubric for scoring / grading guidelines to ensure this activity is a win for you!

Rubric: Visualizing Situational Irony

Use this interactive rubric for easy, thorough assessment. It can even be used by students for self-assessment!

5 4 3 2 1
Overview The type of irony is accurately identified and highly developed and defined from the original text; example(s) has/have significant purpose and engage the reader. The type of irony is accurately identified and well developed; example(s) is/are specific and provide sufficient support from the original text. The type of irony is briefly discussed; example(s) is/are accurate but not fully explained or given enough detail from the original text to fully "prove" the point. The type of irony is briefly discussed; vague or irrelevant example(s), making it difficult to identify correct identification of the type of irony from original text. The type of irony is not identified or incorrectly identified; lacks any supporting example(s) or detail from original text.
Meaning Ideas, information and use of appropriate textual detail • strong point of view
• develops ideas clearly and logically with details, examples, and descriptions
• relevant ideas with consistent analysis
• logical descriptions or examples clarify and develop the ideas
• relevant ideas with some analysis
• examples or descriptions are simple and consistent
• few relevant ideas
• examples or descriptions may be poorly developed or illogical
• ideas are not developed
• few details or descriptions
Style Clarity, variety, impact of visuals and language • language is clear, varied
• flows smoothly; variety in sentences
• images and characters are fully developed; high attention to detail
• language is clear with some variety
• includes a variety of sentence lengths and patterns
• images and characters have purpose and significance
• language is clear with little variety
• basic sentence structures with a few variations
• images and characters are basic, but have purpose
• basic language; vague at times
• repeats a few basic sentence structures
• images and characters have minimal development
• vague, incorrect and repetitive language
• poorly constructed sentences; little variety
• images and characters are poorly developed
Form Organization and sequence (supporting examples identified) • proper organization
• text/details are properly referenced
• panels are thoughtful and detailed, fully illustrating type of irony
• all panels are organized or logical
• text/details are properly referenced
• all panels are present and detailed
• most panels are organized or logical
• text/details are properly referenced
• all necessary panels are present
• some panels are organized or logical
• text/details are not/improperly referenced
• minimal use of panels &/or some panels appear to be missing
• panels are disorganized or illogical (flow doesn't work)
• text/details are not referenced
• panels appear to be missing to illustrate type of irony
Conventions The text demonstrates standard English conventions of usage and mechanics • demonstrates precise English conventions
• uses eloquent words, rich sensory language and mood to convey a realistic picture
• demonstrates precise English conventions
• uses precise words, controlled sensory language and mood to convey a realistic picture
• demonstrates standard English conventions
• uses words and phrases, telling details and sensory language to convey a vivid picture
• demonstrates some accuracy in standard English conventions of usage and mechanics • contains multiple inaccuracies in Standard English conventions of usage and mechanics
Total

Example Comic Strip

Monsters, Inc ~ Situational Irony by Student

Here's the link to share this comic:

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Pixton Activity: 3 Types of Irony 3 Visualizing Dramatic Irony

Featured Layouts

  • Comic Strip
  • Storyboard
  • Graphic Novel

Intro

Through a comic strip, graphic novel, or storyboard, you'll creatively visualize an example of dramatic irony from any text. You may choose the text and example you feel you'll be able to best depict and explain (student-teacher agreement).

Instructions

Create a Comic Strip, Graphic Novel, or Storyboard to illustrate an example of dramatic irony in any text previously agreed upon between student and teacher.

For this type of irony, consider the attached comic example from the movie Frozen between the main characters Anna and Elsa. Remember: dramatic irony is where we (the readers or audience) know something a character does not yet know or realize, which puts us in "cahoots" with the author, filmmaker, or writer. The distinction here is on what we know vs. what the character knows.

  • Use a poem, play, short story, novel, popular TV show or movie as an example to identify an example of dramatic irony present in the literary work. (Note: your chosen text may have more than one example or type; thoroughly analyze your text to determine which example you feel most confident working with for this illustration or storyboard.)

  • Review the rubric for scoring / grading guidelines to ensure this activity is a win for you!

Rubric: Visualizing Dramatic Irony

Use this interactive rubric for easy, thorough assessment. It can even be used by students for self-assessment!

5 4 3 2 1
Overview The type of irony is accurately identified and highly developed and defined from the original text; example(s) has/have significant purpose and engage the reader. The type of irony is accurately identified and well developed; example(s) is/are specific and provide sufficient support from the original text. The type of irony is briefly discussed; example(s) is/are accurate but not fully explained or given enough detail from the original text to fully "prove" the point. The type of irony is briefly discussed; vague or irrelevant example(s), making it difficult to identify correct identification of the type of irony from original text. The type of irony is not identified or incorrectly identified; lacks any supporting example(s) or detail from original text.
Meaning Ideas, information and use of appropriate textual detail • strong point of view
• develops ideas clearly and logically with details, examples, and descriptions
• relevant ideas with consistent analysis
• logical descriptions or examples clarify and develop the ideas
• relevant ideas with some analysis
• examples or descriptions are simple and consistent
• few relevant ideas
• examples or descriptions may be poorly developed or illogical
• ideas are not developed
• few details or descriptions
Style Clarity, variety, impact of visuals and language • language is clear, varied
• flows smoothly; variety in sentences
• images and characters are fully developed; high attention to detail
• language is clear with some variety
• includes a variety of sentence lengths and patterns
• images and characters have purpose and significance
• language is clear with little variety
• basic sentence structures with a few variations
• images and characters are basic, but have purpose
• basic language; vague at times
• repeats a few basic sentence structures
• images and characters have minimal development
• vague, incorrect and repetitive language
• poorly constructed sentences; little variety
• images and characters are poorly developed
Form Organization and sequence (supporting examples identified) • proper organization
• text/details are properly referenced
• panels are thoughtful and detailed, fully illustrating type of irony
• all panels are organized or logical
• text/details are properly referenced
• all panels are present and detailed
• most panels are organized or logical
• text/details are properly referenced
• all necessary panels are present
• some panels are organized or logical
• text/details are not/improperly referenced
• minimal use of panels &/or some panels appear to be missing
• panels are disorganized or illogical (flow doesn't work)
• text/details are not referenced
• panels appear to be missing to illustrate type of irony
Conventions The text demonstrates standard English conventions of usage and mechanics • demonstrates precise English conventions
• uses eloquent words, rich sensory language and mood to convey a realistic picture
• demonstrates precise English conventions
• uses precise words, controlled sensory language and mood to convey a realistic picture
• demonstrates standard English conventions
• uses words and phrases, telling details and sensory language to convey a vivid picture
• demonstrates some accuracy in standard English conventions of usage and mechanics • contains multiple inaccuracies in Standard English conventions of usage and mechanics
Total

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