Wednesday Y.A.W.c #4

(Young Adults Writing creatively!)

What you need:
Selections from Ambrose Bierce’s The Devil’s Dictionary [link]

The Set-Up:
“Today, we’re going to try something new. I want you to take a few minutes (or you can assign the work to your students overnight) to look over these “definitions” written by Bierce. Find a couple you think are especially funny.”

The Activity:
Once you feel that your students have had enough time to look over the definitions provided from The Devil’s Dictionary, have them volunteer the definitions that they like (or dislike) best and have them state why they like/dislike them. Encourage conversation and discussion about the definitions. What do some of them say about society? What do some of them say about Bierce?

Now, encourage your students to write their own definitions of words in the same format that Bierce does. This can be assigned as homework or done in class. Give examples to get them started, like:

Car: n. A plastic coffin which delivers a corpse to the daily grind
Coffee: n. The elixir of life

And after they’ve created their definitions, select volunteers to read their definitions and explain what they mean (if necessary.)

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