Activity Overview

One of the most-taught literary terms is irony. In fiction, and in life, irony is all around. Common types of irony are: verbal, situational, and dramatic. It is critical that students distinguish between the types of irony. Asking students to create storyboards that depict each type of irony makes teaching these elements a breeze.

The entire short story is one long set up for an ironic twist. Have students create a storyboard using descriptive labels to show what the dramatic and situational irony brought about by the unexpected end.

Situational Irony

The difference between what is expected to happen and what actually happens.

Ironic Twist
While Mrs. Mallard is secretly reveling in the thought of her husband's death in the train accident, he miraculously walks away from it.

Dramatic Irony

The reader is more aware of what is happening than a character.

Ironic Twist
Everyone believes Mrs. Mallard died from the "happy" shock that her husband was alive. In truth, her shock was that of massive disappointment and sadness.

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 that depicts examples of situational and dramatic irony in the story.

  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. In the first column, define the two types of irony.
  3. In the second column, create an image that depicts what happened in the story.
  4. In the third column, illustrate and explain the ironic twist that is the result of the reality.
  5. Save and Exit

Lesson Plan Reference

Common Core Standards
  • [ELA-Literacy/L/8/5] Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings


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

Proficient Emerging Beginning
The illustrations use appropriate scenes, characters and items.
The illustrations are difficult to understand.
The illustrations do not clearly relate to the assignment.
Evidence of Effort
Work is well written and carefully thought out.
Work shows some evidence of effort.
Work shows little evidence of any effort.
Spelling, grammar, and punctuation are mostly correct.
Spelling, grammar, and punctuation are somewhat correct.
Spelling, grammar, and punctuation are mostly incorrect.

How To Discuss the Use of Irony in the Story


Give Simple Introduction

Start by outlining the meaning of irony in detail. Describe how irony is a literary strategy used to draw contrasts between what is anticipated and what really happens. Assess the prior knowledge of students and ask them what they know about irony in general and if they have come across any such situation in their daily lives.


Discuss the Types

Explain the three primary forms of irony in a simple manner such as defining situational irony as the difference between the actual and expected events, verbal irony as not meaning what you say, and dramatic irony as when the readers are aware of a situation but the characters are not.


Explain Using Examples

Use particular instances of irony from the narrative to help students understand the concept. Teachers can also look for other simple examples from the stories students are already familiar with or even examples from daily life situations that students come across.


Analyze the Significance for Plot

Analyze the significance of the use of irony for the development of the plot. The irony raises the suspense and keeps the readers hooked to the story. It also makes the storyline more interesting when the readers are aware of a situation and the characters are not. Students can also reflect on how irony can enhance the overall narrative and improve the plot.


Organize Role Play

Ask the students to write a script and recreate this short story in the form a role play. This activity can help them understand the characters and the situation in a deeper way and create a platform for discussion.

Frequently Asked Questions About "The Story of an Hour" Ironic Twists

What ironic twist may be seen in Mrs. Mallard's immediate response to her husband's passing?

When Mrs. Mallard first learns of her husband's passing, she experiences shock and sadness, which is a common reaction. But in an ironic turn, her feelings swiftly change in an unanticipated way, shifting to a feeling of release and independence. The other characters are not aware of this reaction and it also takes the readers by surprise.

How do ironic turns pique the reader's interest and keep them reading?

By going against the reader's expectations, the ironic turns build tension. The reader is kept interested and concerned in the story by Mrs. Mallard's shifting emotions and the surprising discovery of Mr. Mallard's survival. Students can experiment with this type of writing style, create some short stories, and share them with their class fellows as an activity to foster creativity and understanding of the concept.

This Activity is Part of Many Teacher Guides

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