Identifying Types of Irony Using "The Gift of the Magi"

O. Henry's "The Gift of the Magi" is the classic example of irony in literature. Teach young writers about the ways irony can engage their readers with an activity in which they write scripts using dramatic irony, situational irony, and verbal irony.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas
  • Have learners act out their skits in front of the school or for younger elementary visitors
  • Find examples of irony in children's stories, such as "The Little Red Hen" or "The Gingerbread Man" for class members to reinforce their understanding
Classroom Considerations
  • Lesson is more appropriate for middle school than high school
  • Discussion of irony requires augmented instruction, as the lesson only references the types of irony and not how to use it
  • This resource is only available on an unencrypted HTTP website. It should be fine for general use, but don’t use it to share any personally identifiable information
  • Incorporates literature and speaking and listening 
  • Provides definitions for each type of irony
  • None