Students will be able to identify and use oxymorons.
Introduction (10 minutes)
- To begin this lesson, have students write what they already know about oxymora on a sheet of paper.
- Ask students to share their written responses with the class.
- You can write a list of responses on the board so students have a written log of previous responses.
- You can also write a list of oxymora, e.g. "found missing" on the board and have students try to explain their meanings.
- Tell students that an oxymoron is a combination of two contradictory words, or words that cancel each other out, usually side by side in a sentence.
- Explain to students that in this lesson they will identify, use, and explain oxymora to gain an understanding of how they are used for dramatic effect in writing.
Explicit Instruction/Teacher Modeling (10 minutes)
- Have students read the directions on the Oxy-Moron Guided Practice worksheet.
- Look at the first example: "near miss." Have students discuss what the meaning of this oxymoron might be.
- Advise students to identify the meaning of each term separately and combine the meanings to create one meaning.
- Remind students that an oxymoron is a combination of two contradictory words.
- Students should write that "near" means not far and "miss" means fail to hit. They should decipher that it means "close but not hitting or touching" (or something similar).
- Go through a few more of the examples and allow students to come up with the oxymoron for each example.
Guided Practice/Interactive Modeling (10 minutes)
- Have students work in pairs or small groups to complete the remaining oxymora on the Oxy-Moron Guided Practice worksheet.
Independent Working Time (20 minutes)
- In this section of the lesson, students will create a short story that uses oxymora.
- Have students work alone to complete this part of the lesson.
- Tell students that they have to create a short story or poem that uses an oxymoron in the title and at least five oxymora in the body.
- Students can use examples from the Oxy-Moron Guided Practice worksheet if they are struggling to create examples of their own.
- Enrichment: Allow advanced students to create a product of their choice that identifies and explains their favorite oxymora. Students may need to conduct research.
- Support: Instead of writing a short story, allow struggling students to identify at least five oxymora that describe them personally.
Related Books and/or Media
Assessment (10 minutes)
- Have students use the Oxy-Moron Assessment worksheet to identify examples of oxymora in literature.
- Give students about 10 minutes to complete this assignment independently.
- Collect the worksheets once they're finished. Review them later to assess understanding.
Review and Closing (5 minutes)
- Recap today's lesson.
- Have students explain in their own words what an oxymoron is and list as many examples as they can remember from what they learned today.
- Allow students to ask questions that they still have about oxymora.