Subject: ELA (English Language Arts)

Lesson Length: 45 mins - 1 hour

Topic: Irony

Grade Level: 10, 11, 12, 9

Standards / Framework:

  • CC.8.R.L.6
  • CC.11-12.R.L.6

Brief Description: Students will explore the use of irony as a literary device.

Know Before You Start: Students should be familiar with literary devices such as irony, satire, sarcasm, and understatement. 


  • Ask students:
    • "Have you ever experienced a moment when you knew something that a character in a book or movie didn't? How did that make you feel?"
    • “Can you think of a time when someone said something to you, and you knew they were being sarcastic, but they said it with a straight face? How did you interpret their true meaning?" 
    • "What's your favorite funny or suspenseful moment from a book, movie, or TV show? How did the author or director use literary techniques to create that effect?"


  • Have students listen closely to the song “Ironic” by Alanis Morissette (or watch the music video) and consider any instances of irony they notice.
  • In pairs or small groups, give students a copy of the song lyrics and have them read through the lyrics, underlining or highlighting any lines that contain examples of irony. Encourage them to consider whether the irony is situational, verbal, or another form. Have each group or pair share one identified example of irony with the class. 
  • In different pairs or small groups from before, have students rewrite a verse or chorus of the song without using any irony. Again, as a class, have each group share their rewritten lyrics and discuss how the meaning and mood of the song changed. 
  • Using the sample comic as a guide, have students create a comic that incorporates irony to generate either suspense or humor.


  • Have students share their comics with the class or in small groups.
  • Have students explain how their comic conveys irony. 
  • Emphasize the importance of recognizing how literary devices, such as irony, add depth, humor, and suspense to narratives.


  • Allow students to use the speech-to-text feature.
  • Allow students to work in pairs or groups as needed.
  • Allow students to use the voiceover feature to read their comics aloud.
  • Incorporate the Closed Caption feature if showing the video. 
  • Pre-teach vocabulary or provide vocabulary definitions, e.g., irony, satire, sarcasm, understatement, etc.