OER Administrator
English Language Arts
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
High School
  • Grade 12 ELA
  • Satire
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial

    Classroom Presentations

    Classroom Presentations


    In this lesson, students will give their presentation to the whole class. Students will also listen to one another’s presentations and take notes. Finally, students will draw some conclusions about all the presentations they heard.


    • Read the lesson and student content.
    • Anticipate student difficulties and identify the differentiation options you will choose for working with your students.


    • Remind students of the target group topics.


    Complete a Quick Write.

    • Of the other target groups you’ll hear about, which one do you think you’ll find the most interesting? Why?

    Open Notebook

    Share your predictions with your classmates.

    Group Presentations

    • Allow groups to volunteer for order.
      • ELL: Encourage other students to be patient if the pace of some ELLs is slower than native speakers, and explain that listening attentively is one way in which we show that we care for others.
    • Be certain to remind students to record questions that they may have during the presentations. These will be key in sparking great discussions afterward.
    • After the first group presents, go over the questions, and ask students what they took notes on. That will help ground students in what you’re looking for.
    • As you go through the presentations, students may begin to make comparisons between how one target group is satirized and how another is. You should let that discussion go where it goes! It will lead to interesting thinking that will bear fruit in the long run.
    • Some questions will be more useful to some groups than others. You can talk about this as you go, too, and direct students where the thinking is likely to be constructive.
      • SWD: Be sure that all students (including SWDs) participate in the presentations.

    Work Time

    As you watch the other groups’ presentations, take notes on several of the following questions.

    • What quality is most likely to be satirized for each target group?
    • Are you surprised? Why or why not?
    • What satirical strategies are most prominent for each group?
    • Is there a reason for this? What is it?
    • Of the target groups, which is your favorite—which would you be more likely to want to see satirized in modern writing or movies?
    • What’s left out? What do you see satirized a lot that isn’t represented here?

    Open Notebook

    Same as It Ever Was

    • This question should allow you to synthesize a lot of thinking about satire and the target groups.
    • If enrichment groups worked with history and politics, this information will be useful here. If not, you might introduce the topic. For example, as social views of women have changed, satire of women generally has changed, too, especially in its harshness.
    • Students also may get to the role of audience here.
    • Students’ responses should synthesize various clips and text evidence to respond to the question. Request that they not use their own target group, so that they’re forced to think deeply about more than one group.


    • An option for another day, if you would like to prolong the unit, would be an essay test that asks students to write a response to the Closing question:
      • ✓ Which of the target groups is satirized today most similarly to how it was satirized in the past? How do you account for this?
      • ✓ Use your notes from the presentations to respond to the question.
    • Or another question to ask is:
      • ✓ Which target group is satirized most differently today from how it was satirized in the past? How do you account for this?
      • ✓ Use your notes from the presentations to respond to the question.
      • SWD: If you choose to do these optional writings, consider allowing additional time for some groups to write on these important topics. It is always better to allow additional time and give the students the opportunity to do interesting work than making it simpler for them or “watering it down.”


    Complete a Quick Write.

    • Which of the target groups is satirized today the most like it was in the past? Why do you think this is true?

    Open Notebook

    Discuss your response with your classmates.

    Gulliver's Travels

    • Introduce the class to Jonathan Swift’s book Gulliver’s Travels.
    • Be patient with questions. It may take some time for students to get accustomed to the alternate world presented in the book.


    Next, you’ll turn to satire of politics, which is another common target of satire.

    • Read and annotate Chapters 4 and 5 from Book 1 in Gulliver’s Travels, which is written by Jonathan Swift, whom you’ve already met in his classic essay.
    • Draw a picture of part of Gulliver’s trip. Be prepared to explain why you chose the part you did.

    This is part of a long novel describing the journeys of an Englishman named Gulliver. In this section of the book, Gulliver lives among the Lilliputians, or “small people,” whom he’s come across by accident.

    You might think about the tone of these chapters and whether they’re similar to or different from “A Modest Proposal.”