Students will consider the different ways that humor can be used by a writer to criticize people, practices, and institutions that he or she thinks are in need of serious reform. Students will read satirists ranging from classical Rome to modern day to examine how wit can be used to make important points about culture.
- Students research an aspect of modern life that they would like to lampoon.
- Students read from satirists across history to absorb the style and forms of humor and institutions satirized.
- Students write their own satire, drawing on techniques of famous satirists to criticize their targets.
These questions are a guide to stimulate thinking, discussion, and writing on the themes and ideas in the unit. For complete and thoughtful answers and for meaningful discussions, students must use evidence based on careful reading of the texts.
- What is satire, and when is it too harsh?
- How can humor and irony make you more persuasive?
- What do you think is funny? How far would you go to satirize it?
- Who gets more reaction—satirists or protestors?
- English Language Arts, Reading Informational Text, Reading Literature, Speaking and Listening
- High School
“The Country Mouse and The Town Mouse” Annotation
Gulliver’s Travels Annotation
“Satire XIV: Bad Parenting” From The Satires Annotation
“Poverty’s Poster Child” Annotation
“A Modest Proposal” Annotation
- Roots of Satire
Lesson 1Defining Satire
Lesson 4Referencing Events
Lesson 5Juvenalian Satire
Lesson 8Determining The Satirical Nature
Lesson 9Juvenalian or Horatian approach
Lesson 10Creating A Response From An Audience
Lesson 11A Modest Proposal
Lesson 12Studying Swift's Essay
Lesson 13Grammatical Principles
- Common Targets of Satire
Lesson 15Centuries Of Satirical Strategies
Lesson 16An Age-Old Target Of Satire
Lesson 17Presentation Preparation
Lesson 18Classroom Presentations
Lesson 19A Popular Way To Voice Criticism
Lesson 20Experts On Political Satire
Lesson 21Group Feedback