English Language Arts, Reading Literature
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
High School
  • Grade 12 ELA
  • Jonathan Swift
  • Satire
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial

    Juvenalian or Horatian approach

    Juvenalian or Horatian approach


    In this lesson, students will finish and share their cartoon characters and spend some time analyzing each other’s creations. They’ll look specifically at whether their classmates took a more Juvenalian or Horatian approach.


    • Read the lesson and student content.
    • Anticipate student difficulties and identify the differentiation options you will choose for working with your students.

    Guiding Questions

    • Allow about 5 minutes for students to share.
    • Ask a few students to share their responses with the whole class.
    • Let students know that they will be returning to the Guiding Questions later in the unit.
      • ELL: Be sure that all students (including ELLs) participate in the share exercise, and monitor that ELLs do not avoid this activity, as it is important that they share aloud so that they can hear their own voice and get used to talking in front of large groups. If needed, allow time for them to practice with one student before sharing with the large group.


    In small groups, share your responses to the Guiding Questions from the Closing in Lesson 8.

    • What is satire, and when is it too harsh?
    • How can humor and irony make you more persuasive?
    • What do you think is funny? How far would you go to satirize it?
    • Who gets more reaction—satirists or protesters?

    Stock Character Cartoon

    • Give students about 15 minutes to finish their stock character cartoons in class.
    • The biggest challenge will be to encourage students to make their characters as specific as possible. You can prod them as you go, noting the characters’ outfits, props, and so on. You can also suggest hyperbole.
    • More apt students might include two characters who, juxtaposed with one another, would be even more interesting.
    • Be sure students have a clear idea of what their character is satirizing.
    • Also, students should be able to talk to you about whether their character remains a caricature or moves to a fuller development level.
      • SWD: Support SWDs if they are having trouble answering this question. Give them examples if needed. Allow them to hear other students’ responses if that might be of help.

    Work Time

    Return to your stock character cartoon.

    • Continue to work with your partner to create a cartoon of a stock character in high school today.

    Remember, it’s your choice whether you’d like to make the character more than a caricature. The key, as with all satires, is to make your subject recognizable and familiar through your use of concrete details.

    Share your work when you’re done, so your classmates can enjoy it.

    Stock Character Cartoon Review

    • It would be great to model the two questions with one of the cartoons before you set the students loose on their own.
    • You may need to again review the definitions of each type of satire and to remind students of the contemporary models they've looked at: “Once Upon a Time” and their chosen film or television show.
      • SWD: Go over the differences between the two types of satire again, if necessary.
    • Students may need help determining what’s being satirized. This can be due to the student creators or the students who are assessing; you'll need to figure out how to help in either case.

    Work Time

    Look at your classmates’ cartoons and consider the following.

    • What is being satirized in each cartoon?
    • What are the details that bring each character to life the most?
    • Who are the most effective stock characters?
    • Who are the most Juvenalian stock characters?
    • Who are the most Horatian stock characters?

    Stock Character Awards

    • Spend the most time on the most effective stock character, since it will yield closer analysis of some of the strategies for satire you’ve looked at in the unit so far: hyperbole, use of caricature, paradox, irony, use of concrete details, perhaps even paradox or juxtaposition.
    • When you talk about the more Juvenalian or Horatian cartoons, you can talk about how specific details contribute to tone.
    • You can try to talk about at least one other detail in each cartoon so that all students are noticed in the class discussion.

    Work Time

    Discuss your opinions about the stock character cartoons with your classmates and come to a consensus on the most effective stock character, the most Juvenalian stock character, and the most Horatian stock character.

    • Who is the most effective stock character? What made the character work so well?
    • Who is the most Juvenalian stock character? What details made the most Juvenalian character so harsh?
    • Who is the most Horatian stock character? What details made the most Horatian character so gentle?
    • Was the “most effective” cartoon more Juvenalian or Horatian?

    Other Satirical Strategies

    • Struggling students might be encouraged to use a specific strategy, such as concrete details or hyperbole.
    • You might suggest to stronger students that they go to the Pulitzer Prize site to locate editorial cartoons and explore which of the strategies professional cartoonists use. Past and present winners are there to consider.


    Complete a Quick Write.

    • What other satirical strategies could you use to make the class favorite for the most effective cartoon even stronger?

    Open Notebook

    Poverty?s Poster Child

    • This is a good opportunity for a cross-curricular connection. Many students will have studied the Native Americans in social studies.
    • Accessing some prior knowledge will make the reading richer.
    • You can also ask students what a newspaper column is—what its purpose is and what its style is. Where is it found in the newspaper? And how is it different from a news article?


    Think about what you know about Native Americans and their lives today.

    • Read a column describing the lives of Native Americans today.
    • As you read, think about how you would describe, as precisely as possible, what the author, Nicholas Kristof, wanted his audience to feel or do. What was his purpose?