No, Alanis, It's Just Unfortunate.

^^click to enlarge!

So, today we were learning about irony. Some comedian said that title line, but I can't remember who. The only lyrics that actually are ironic, if I'm not mistaken and correct me if I'm wrong, in Alanis Morrisette's "Isn't It Ironic?" are "it's like ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife." Actually, I suppose the line with the guy who overcomes his fear of flying then dies in a crash is sort of ironic, too. Well, maybe not.

The students did splendidly! To begin our lesson, we read the poem "Richard Cory" for some seriously hilarious irony. They actually loved it, and :gasp: laughed--one class loved it so much that they asked me to read it again and I did at the end of the period. Starting with this
was a good way to get them thinking about why they were surprised by the poem, the element of the unexpected. We built our understanding, then, on that reaction. The key, for me, is to read it in a airy, whimsical tone that leaves them completely unsuspecting of the ending.

Next, they did some guided reading of O. Henry's short story, "The Ransom of Red Chief"--sort of an old-fashioned Home Alone-esque story of a kid getting the best of some bumbling adults. Loads of irony.

Tomorrow, as an anticipatory set, we'll look at some comics that are ironic. While searching for comics, I came across the one above and wanted to share it even though I couldn't use it for class.

Things are going well. I'm expecting a drop-in from the admin. any time now. They've been to see everyone else, including the other two new teachers. . . I keep wishing they're coming when I'm in the middle of lessons that are working! As a matter of course they'll probably end up coming in while the kids are doing independent reading or writing in their Writer's Notebooks. Such is life!


enc said...

Wouldn't it be "ironic" if they came in while the students were writing. Well, maybe not.

I love that riff on the song. I think I heard a guy on "A Way With Words" say it wasn't "ironic," it was just "a bummer" to all the stuff Alanis said in her song. I bet she gets ribbed ad infinitum over that little gaffe.

Mrs. V said...

I responded to your question about SSR on my post about Princess Academy. I also wrote about the start of my year on my other blog: www.enbuscadeequilibrio.blogspot.com . It might give you a little bit more of a background of my school/context.

Anonymous said...

nice poem, kids're loving a bullet anywhere they can find one !!! check poet Alan Dugan if you ever have too much time classically versed savagely funny bitterly ironic alchy poet prof heart attack victim comic guy, called the clown of nihilism. btw today in B-lo a clown in facepaint, shoes and hair perped a home invasion with a 3 foot machete !! WTF clownie...how did he run in thoe shoes ? ...

oh yeah a cryptic weird letter from my girls old principal showed up in my email around midnight saturday...weird....bishop on her ass methinks !

teach people not books said...

enc--i really do love alanis. you know what's the saddest thing? NONE of my kids knew who she was or knew of that song. i wanted to cry!

rm--yeah, the bullet part sure helped my case about what poetry can be, and what it doesn't have to be. will check out that poet.

now, the clown--*that* is ironic. at least he had a sense of humor about things.

hm odd about that principal. maybe her conscience is catching up with her. maybe not?