Irony is about expectations and opposites. I teach students that there are three types of irony. Verbal irony is when a character or person says one thing but means the complete opposite. This is more commonly known as sarcasm. Dramatic irony is when a character believes something and the opposite is true. The audience knows that the character is working under false beliefs. This can lead to hilarious or tragic situations. Situational irony is when the complete opposite of what is expected occurs. When most people think of irony, they are thinking of situational irony.
Of all the concepts with which my students struggle, irony may be the most challenging. These resources have been useful in my attempts, I hope that you may too find some use for these. As a side note, contrary to many scholars, I do believe that Alanis Morissette much lambasted song “Ironic” does, in fact, reference situations that are ironic. I am also willing to argue about it with you in the comments section at this time, but as with all of my invitations to argue with random people on the Internet, this is for a limited time only.
Irony Worksheet – Read examples of irony and determine which of the three types of irony is used (verbal, situational, or dramatic). Explain your answer. Suggested reading level for this text: Grade 5-9
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Irony Practice 1 | Ereading Worksheet
Irony Worksheet 2 – Five more examples of irony. Students read each examples and determine whether they are instances of verbal, situational, or dramatic irony and then explain their answers. Suggested reading level for this text: Grade 4-8
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Irony Practice 2 | Ereading Worksheet
Irony Worksheet 3 – Six more practice problems. Students read the passage, determine whether it is using situation, dramatic, or verbal irony. They then explain their answers. Suggested reading level for this text: Grade 6-10
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Irony Worksheet 4 – Students need lots of practice to accurately identify irony. Give them some more practice with this worksheet. Suggested reading level for this text: Grade 3-7
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Irony Worksheet 5 – Do you need more irony practice? You’re in luck! Here’s another six problems to keep the irony skills sharp. Suggested reading level for this text: Grade 4-8
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Irony Detectives Activity– Read the crime related ironic passages, based on the clues, determine which type of irony is used (verbal, situational, or dramatic), and then make your case. Suggested reading level for this text: Grade 4-8
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Common Core State Standards Related to Irony
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CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.6 – Analyze how an author develops and contrasts the points of view of different characters or narrators in a text.
ELA Standards: Literacy
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.6 – Analyze how differences in the points of view of the characters and the audience or reader (e.g., created through the use of dramatic irony) create such effects as suspense or humor.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.6 – Analyze a case in which grasping a point of view requires distinguishing what is directly stated in a text from what is really meant (e.g., satire, sarcasm, irony, or understatement).