Project-Based Approach to Teaching Satire

Post date: Jan 21, 2013 9:41:24 PM

11. Project-Based Approach to Teaching Satire


Essential Question (EQ): What is satire? Where is satire in today’s world? Why do we use satire today?

Objective: Students will understand the different types of satire and be able to identify them in different types of media. Students will evaluate the effectiveness of satire in modern media and whether satire was the best method to make the point.

Evernote: This Evernote account has all of the links below.

Steps: For Groups of Six: See picture below for classroom set-up picture

* Steps 1-3 are used as enrichment activities during downtime in whatever preceeding unit we are finishing.

  1. Read the Wikipedia article about satire. Know Juvenalian and Horatian satire as well as the history of satire.
  2. Print the satire vocabulary. Know and study each term (Incongruity, Reversal, Exaggeration, Parody)
  3. Read “What I’d Say to the Martians” (Preview for whether the content is appropriate for your class) and identify the different types of satire in the article.
  4. Listen and read along to Swift’s A Modest Proposal- take notes on the proposal and why the proposal would work. Discuss the actual proposals Swift suggests at the end and then dismisses as “crazy.”
  5. Groups of six do an old-fashioned poster project (I need old-school posters every once in a while (1) for Back to School Night and Open House decorations and (2) the students like doing some arts/crafts every once in a while). Each group picks one of the following topics out of a hat: Juvenalian, Horatian, Incongruity, Reversal, Exaggeration, Parody) and creates a “teaching” poster that provides a definition, picture, and examples. Each group presents the poster to the class and I put it on the wall for future reference.
  6. Of course, I have to put 21st century into an old-fashioned project- each group also provides a link to a commercial or video clip (most use YouTube) that exemplifies the topic.
  7. Now that I have expert groups, students count off and go to a new group so I have one student from each expert group in a group.
  8. Each new group is assigned a TV show: Daily Show, Colbert Report, 30 Rock, The Office, The Simpsons, and Family Guy. The groups are responsible for choosing an episode that demonstrates each of the types of satire.
  9. Each group posts the episode (if they cannot access an episode, they provide a detailed summary of the episode) on a wiki page along with a justification from the “expert” from each of those six topics above about how the episode shows that type of satire. For example, the group who has Daily Show has six members, one of each is an expert in Juvenalian, Horatian, Incongruity, Reversal, Exaggeration, and Parody– each of those experts will provide an analysis of the type of satire in the group-agreed-upon episode of Daily Show.
  10. As homework, each student is required to view and read TWO different projects and comment about them in the comment pane of the wiki page.


Pre-test: Informal assessment at the beginning of the unit in Google Forms asking what they already know about satire.

During Reading: After the satire Wikipedia article, another Google Form quiz asking about the difference between Juvenalian and Horatian satire.

Formative Assessments: Regular bell-ringers asking what each type of satire is or what type of satire should be applied to a small piece of literature.

Project Assessments: Did they fully understand the concepts? Did their responses to the Wiki-Satire Projects demonstrate understanding?

Links to Rubrics:

Poster Project Rubric

Wiki-Satire Project Rubric

Wiki-Satire Response Rubric