Seeking Social Justice through Satire: Jonathan Swift's "A Modest Proposal"
JJonathan Swift's 1729 pamphlet "A Modest Proposal" is a model for satirizing social problems. In this 2 week unit, students complete multiple readings of Swift's essay: a guided reading with the teacher, a collaborative reading with a peer, and an independent reading. Through guided reading questions, students will examine satiric devices used by Swift, in addition to analyzing tone and how the various sections of the piece work togeher. Then, pairs of students will develop a mock television newscast or editorial script, like those found on Saturday Night Live's "Weekend Update," The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, or The Colbert Report, including appropriate visual images in PowerPoint. In their script, students will collaboratively identify a contemporary social problem, analyze it, and develop an outrageous satiric solution to resolve it.