This ebook is a guide for bringing the process of producing parody newspapers (like The Onion!) into your classroom. It contains resources—including a unit plan, an appendix and powerpoint slides—for taking students through a range of experiences, including brainstorming, drafting, revising, conferencing, and publishing. Throughout, students will generate and critique ideas, draw on diverse knowledge and literacies, and transform the way they think about writing. Each day of this eight-part unit plan includes a combination of resources designed to make the process both manageable and effective, including:
-Student Work Examples
-Quotations Related to Humor and Writing
-Links to Outside Resources
As a teacher, you can consider your own context for the best time of year to use this unit—whether it’s April Fool’s Day or a particularly interesting political moment. Either way, there is no limit to what can be parodied: from genres themselves to the world around us. As you will see in the units, there are also numerous connections to Common Core State Standards.
One last thing: Although this guide has been designed to support you in helping your students make their own parody newspapers, it has also been developed as a way to think deeply about the many challenges and opportunities for using humor in the classroom. To that end, I have included classroom anecdotes and integrated scholarship on humor whenever appropriate.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Day 1: “Tough Room”: Brainstorming and Sharing Headlines
Day 2: “Sit and ponder”: Developing an Ethics of Humor
Day 3: “Exaggerate. Repeat. Repeat”: Building Humor Theory and Genre Knowledge
Day 4: “Funny First Drafts”: Getting Started
Day 5: “The reason it’s funny is…”: Workshopping Drafts
Day 6: “An Immense Amount of Attention”: Revising for Comedic Effect
Day 7: “What if..?”: Extending the Joke with Multimedia
Day 8: “What next?”: Publishing and Beyond
APPENDIX OF RESOURCES
Appendix A: Articles About School Pranks
Appendix B: Originals and Parodies
Appendix C: Experimenting With Leads
Appendix D: Humorous Texts
Appendix E: Note-Catcher: What kinds of knowledge?
Appendix F: Reader's Theater Script