Activity Overview

One of the most common literary terms taught is irony. In the short story "The Necklace", irony is the main focus of the work. It is not until the very last line when Mme. Loisel finds out that the necklace is fake does the reader learn the intent of the story. Mme. Loisel goes into debt for ten years, just to replace a necklace that, in the end, was almost worthless.

Example of "The Necklace" Situational Irony

  • Situational Irony is when actions or events have an effect that is opposite from what was intended, or where the outcome is contrary to expectations.

  • The plot of "The Necklace" has situational irony because after replacing her friend's expensive-looking necklace, and working for ten years to pay off the debt, Mme. Loisel finds out it was fake!

Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Activity", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)

Student Instructions

Create a storyboard depicting the types of irony used in "The Necklace."

  1. Use the template provided by your teacher.
  2. Identify the types of irony used.
  3. Describe the definition of the type of irony.
  4. Illustrate the set up, the dialogue, and the reveal of the irony using important quotes from the story.

Lesson Plan Reference

Common Core Standards
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/9-10/1] Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/9-10/3] Analyze how complex characters (e.g., those with multiple or conflicting motivations) develop over the course of a text, interact with other characters, and advance the plot or develop the theme
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/9-10/5] Analyze how an author’s choices concerning how to structure a text, order events within it (e.g., parallel plots), and manipulate time (e.g., pacing, flashbacks) create such effects as mystery, tension, or surprise


(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)

Types of Irony Rubric
25 Points
21 Points
17 Points
Try Again
13 Points
Three Types of Irony:
  • Dramatic
  • Verbal
  • Situational
  • Student followed the task for this assignment. They included three different forms of irony, and correctly explained them.
    Student has two forms of irony displayed and correctly explained.
    Student only has two or three types displayed, but not correctly supported
    Work attempts to show irony however, it's unclear or only presents one type.
    Provides Irony Using Direct Quotes
    The student has clearly provided the reader with three different examples of irony and they are clearly explained in an exemplary way.
    Student clearly provided the reader with two examples of irony. However, the examples may not be exemplary.
    Student has identified one or two weak example of irony.
    Student has not identified irony in the story through use of direct quotations.
    Understand the Effect of Irony Through explanation
    Student has provided a clear example of the effect of all three types of irony and explained in great detail.
    Student has provided explanations of the effect of the irony for two or three examples of irony in sufficient detail.
    Student has attempted to provide an explanation of the effect of one or two example(s) of irony in limited detail.
    Student did not provide any explanations of irony from the reading.
    Overall Presentation:
  • Grammar
  • Mechanics
  • Correctness
  • Appeal
  • Student has no errors and the work is commendable.
    Student has very few errors. Good effort has been displayed.
    Student has some mechanical issues; little effort is shown; somewhat appealing; partially incomplete.
    Student has grammar, mechanic or correctness issues that prohibit the understanding of Irony; or incomplete; visually unappealing.

    How To Discuss Different Themes in The Necklace


    Discuss Moral Lesson

    After reading the story, encourage the students to discuss what they learned from the mistakes of Madame Loisel. Ask them to explore what the author wanted the audience to understand in the story and talk about moral values in a materialistic society.


    Examine Materialism and Social Class

    The narrative includes the quest for materialism and social prestige as a major subject. Examine how Madame Loisel's ambition to be of a better social class affects her life and the storyline. Talk about how materialism today is different from materialism in the 1880s and how much the story differs from reality.


    Examine the Effects of Decisions

    Think about the effects that the characters' decisions have. The choice to borrow the jewelry and Madame Loisel's actions have important consequences. Talk about the consequences of actions in general and how we should be careful while making important decisions.


    Discuss Appearance vs. Reality

    Another issue that is examined in "The Necklace" is appearance vs. reality. Describe how this concept is integrated throughout the story and how the genuine value of the necklace differs from its apparent value.


    Consider the Irony

    The use of irony is essential to "The Necklace." Consider the irony of Madame Loisel's quest for prominence and the shocking conclusion. What role does irony play in the themes of the story?


    Make a Theme Chart

    After discussing all the themes in the story, encourage the students to make theme charts based on the story. Teachers can divide the class into groups and assign each group a different theme from the story. The group can use any form of art to represent that particular theme on the chart.

    Frequently Asked Questions About Situational Irony in The Necklace

    What does the story's use of situational irony indicate?

    The situational irony in "The Necklace" draws attention to the issue of outward appearances against the truth. Tragic repercussions result from Madame Loisel's mistaken belief that the necklace is precious and her acts that transpired.

    Which parts of the short story include instances of situational irony?

    Situational irony may be shown in "The Necklace" in Madame Loisel thinking she is wearing an elegant necklace to the ball while in reality, it is a fake. Another illustration is her ten-year attempt to replace the jewelry only to find it to be worthless. Students can reflect on the point that the value of objects is only created by human beings as no one was able to recognize the difference between the real and the fake but everyone believed Madame Loisel as she was confident.

    This Activity is Part of Many Teacher Guides

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