"First Make People Laugh; Then Make Them Think"

What is satire?

Satire is a genre of literature, and sometimes graphic and performing arts, in which vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are held up to ridicule, ideally with the intent of shaming individuals, corporations, government or society itself, into improvement.
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Choose 4

To familiarize you with some of the important vocabulary words for this unit, you'll be choosing 4 of the words that are most unfamiliar to you.

With each word, you will:

1. Copy the dictionary definition

2. Re-write the definition in your OWN WORDS

3. Use the word in a sentence

4. Draw a picture that represents the definition of that word

The Big 4

When analyzing a piece of satire, the 4 things you're trying to identify are:

1) the target/audience

2) the vice/folly/issue

3) the rhetorical strategies/tools of satire used

4) the desired change

Satire aims to discuss real issues in society, but in a way that is less direct.

C-SPAN: Stephen Colbert Opening Statement

Compare and Contrast Worksheet

Using two different articles about vaccinating children (one satirical; one non-satirical), compare and contrast how the articles talk about a similar issue in two different ways.


For homework, finish your compare and contrast worksheet over the articles from The Onion and Fox 31. This will be turned in at the beginning of class on Friday for a formative grade.

So, What's the point of this whole satire thing?

The iPhone 6 (Parody) Ad: A Taller Change
Honest University Commercial
Wii Fit Parody

You've Watched Them... Now, THINK About them!

Pick one of the three satirical commercials we just watched, and on your own piece of paper 1) identify what the "real" aspects of the commercial were and 2) identify "The Big 4" and 3) discuss how effective the commercial was in pointing out the folly of the target.

You will have 7-10 minutes to complete this.

Use the graphic below to help you think about the ad.

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Write your own

We've read some articles, watched some video clips/ads, and thought about how satire works to explore real issues in a different way.

Now, you're going to practice writing your own. Think of an issue in today's society and write a 150 - 200 word satirical paragraph that points out the target and their vice/folly. Use satirical tools to direct your readers to what you want them to realize and/or what the desired change is. When you're finished, post your paragraph to your blog.

Complete and Peer Edit

If you have not started your satirical article, start it! If you have already started it, continue working on it to make it the best it can be. Once you've finished typing your article, post it to your blog. You have 20 minutes to complete and post your article.

Next, help out your peers by giving them some helpful feedback on their articles. Using the Peer Editing Guidelines handout, read and comment on two classmates' articles. Leave detailed, constructive, thoughtful, and respectful comments for your peers. Wouldn't you want the same from them? You have 30 minutes to comment on two articles.

Letters of Advice

In a small group, you will write your own satirical advice letters. Instructions are provided on the handout. Be prepared to share your letter with the rest of your class!
Vince with Slap Chop (Long version)
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Rhetorical Analysis of Magna Soles Article

We're going to revisit reading and analyzing satirical articles. Read the article about Magna Soles and complete the worksheet for a formative grade.

Things to think about as your read/work:

1) Diction: in particular, scientific-sounding words. They look and sound impressive, but do they have any real meaning?

2) Personal Testimonials: Obviously the company will only present testimonials that make the product seem worthwhile. Was there anything odd about the testimonials in the article?

3) Panacea: A panacea is a cure-all. Isn't it amazing that Magna Soles "cure everything" and have an unbelievable number of benefits?

4) Price: Think about the low, low price. You could spend thousands of dollars on something that works, or you could spend $20 on Magna-Soles. If Magna Soles work, then why don't podiatrists go out of business?

Do you see these elements or ploys in other advertisements, too?

AVID Binder Check

Have your AVID binders out on your desks for me to come around and check. I will be looking for the following:

1) All About Satire handout (satirical tools and vocab)

2) So What's the Point? article from wordpress with open-ended question at the bottom

3) Building a Great Satirical Article handout

4) Any of the satirical articles we've read in class

You must have ALL of these to receive a 4.

AVID Binder Check

Today, I'll be going around while you work to check your AVID binders. Please have them out and ready for me to check. You need the following:

1) All About Satire (Satirical tools and vocab)

2) So What's the Point? (wordpress article with open ended response question)

3) Building a Great Satirical Article

4) ANY of the satirical articles we've read in class

You need ALL of these to get a 4.