Teaching Students About Parody Literature
Literature can be a wonderful tool to teach students about the art of parody. Parody is a form of writing that takes a well-known work and twists it in a humorous way. Parody literature can take the form of using different characters, dialogue, plot, or even just the tone of the original work.
For students to understand the concept of parody, they first need to be familiar with the original work that is being parodied. We can use examples such as Shakespeare’s plays, fairy tales, and classic novels like “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” “The Great Gatsby,” and “Wuthering Heights.”
One of the most accessible ways to teach parody literature is through children’s books that explore parody, such as “The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales” by Jon Scieszka. These books present well-known fairy tales and nursery rhymes with an imaginative and hilarious twist. To identify these parodies, students need to understand the typical patterns and themes of fairy tales, such as archetypal characters like the hero, the villain, and the innocent maiden.
Parody literature has also developed into mainstream popular culture. TV shows, movies, and comedy skits employ parody frequently, such as in The Simpsons and Family Guy. These media parodies can help students understand how parody works in a different format.
A great way to apply parody literature in a classroom is for students to create their own parodies of the original work using their own interpretation. Students could rewrite the ending of a story and make it more humorous, put a contemporary twist on a traditional story, or even recreate an entire scene in the comedic style of a famous movie or TV show.
Creating a parody can help foster a sense of creativity and imagination among students. They have the freedom to change any aspect of the original work through their own unique lens. They also get to express their sense of humor and showcase some clever writing skills.