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Week 5 and 6: Satire

















What is Satire?


Satire is generally considered as a literary form in which humor, exaggeration or ridicule is used to bring to the forefront an individual or societal vice, folly, abuse or shortcoming. Its purpose, ideally, although humorous and entertaining, is to shine a light on the subject and invoke change.

The use of this form outside of literature or film is also satire, as an individual’s comment can be satirical.


Watch this video on Satire (which I show in class) and answer the questions below!






















  1. When were the first satires written?

  2. What is the goal of satire?

  3. Finish the sentence: Satire uses humour to bring about ___________ .

  4. What does Jonathan Swift suggest we do to the starving?

  5. How is this Satire?



Session #1-3:


(NYTimes: Learning hub)


Getting Started: 


Who Are Your Favorite Comedians? and What Is Your Favorite Comedy? Discuss the people, shows, movies, comics, Web sites and videos that make up today’s comedic landscape, asking what makes each of them funny, to whom it appeals, what it says (or doesn’t) about our current times and so on. Write this in your book!


Play an example of a phony this!




































Teacher's Note!


Explain to students that they will be watching a clip from a satirical news program. As they watch, they should take note of the following (written on the board for easier access):
-the real news story upon which the satire is based
-how humor and character is used (the expressive
-examples of satire, parody, and/or spoof
-whether the satire serves to expose or discredit “folly” (behavior or acts considered foolish by the satirists).


  • Announce to students that they will be creating their own news-based comedy sketches, employing satire and parody, to perform in class.

  • Before starting the activity, you may wish to discuss some “ground rules” regarding sensitivity, appropriateness, and level of taste.

  • Pass out copies of the Herald and ask them to get groups of four or five.

  • They should brainstorm ideas for stories they can do based on the day's events.

  • They also can do "school news" complete with interviews with characters...(lunch lady, Principal, Teacher). 

  • Your broadcast needs to be scripted and must consist of 5 stories and 2 interviews with  characters. Here's an example of a crazy character on a newscast!

  • Book students into a computer room so they can write thier TV script. Ideas should be brainstormed during the writers meeting and each member of the writing team should give their completed story to a scribe, who will type the final script.


Here's how you format a TV script!





















  • Spend two sessions on brainstorming and one session writing the final script.

  • All students need to have a paper copy of their script, which should be stapled into their books.

  • Scripts must have the names of each member of their group as writers.




Session #3-6:





  • Appoint the person who was the scribe to work as a director or "outside eye".

  • Set up the newsdesk with enough chairs for all the cast.

  • Have the students list the wardrobe and props that they can get from home for the final studio performance.


T aping:

  • Set up the drama department video camera (2 available in library), and tape the final newscast.

  • One period should be allotted for rehearsal and the double period for taping. 

  • Allow students to rehearse in the theatre foyer until they are called in to tape. 

  • It is best that lines be memorized. (Teacher option.)  



Set up final Viewing of Class Newscasts:

  • Simply download video files on to your computer.

  • Set up speakers in the pit.

  • Play newscasts for the class.

  • Discuss what went well in the exercise.

  • Discuss how you used expressive skills.

  • What skills did you use during the production phase?

  • What was most difficult? Why? 

  • How did costume effect your ability to play a character?

  • How was your script a satire? Explain. (Be specific!)










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