Assignment Overview

A parody is an imitation of the style of a particular writer with deliberate exaggeration for comic effect. Parodies can be very fun, and they also provide unique opportunities for you to improve your writing skills by mimicking great authors. Over the next week, you will write a parody of a published poem to prove that you can identify and mimic a variety of literary devices and that you understand how poetic elements work together to create meaning.

Assignment Objectives

Students will be able to:

  • Analyze how poetic elements contribute to the meaning of a poem by annotating a poem for structure, sound devices, figurative language, and diction.
  • Create a parody of a poem by mimicking the source author’s use of poetic elements to create a similar poem with a different theme.
  • Defend poetic decisions in a five-minute presentation comparing and contrasting a parody to its source poem.

Assignment Requirements

Your five-minute presentation must include:

  • Image of the copy of the source poem with clear annotations identifying the poetic elements used in each line, and clear notes explaining how these elements help to develop the theme of the poem
  • The parody displayed next to the source poem for easy comparison
  • Three side-by-side comparisons between specific sections of the source poem and the parody, each with a clear explanation of how the original and the parody are similar yet different.

Common Core State Standards

RL.9-10.1: Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

RL.9-10.2: Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.

RL.9-10.4: Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the cumulative impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone (e.g., how the language evokes a sense of time and place; how it sets a formal or informal tone).

RL.9-10.9: Analyze how an author draws on and transforms source material in a specific work

W.9-10.4: Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.  

Source Poem Break Down – 40 Points

Before you can parody a poem, you need to break it down to understand it’s unique characteristics. Your parody must mimic these characteristics while also communicating a different message. When parodying poetry, look at these specific elements:

Structure Sound Devices Figurative Language Diction
Line Length



End Stop

Stanza Length

Line breaks

Tone Shifts





Rhyme Scheme















Once you’ve analyzed the poem line by line to identify specific poetic elements, ask yourself which elements are the most significant to creating the poem’s meaning. How can you modify these elements to create your parody?

Parody – 40 Points

Once you understand which poetic elements you must use, select a topic completely different from the original. This is usually a light-hearted topic that makes fun of the mundane realities of daily life. Next, change the words of the poem to be about your mundane topic, but be sure to use the same poetic elements in the same places as the source.

You may select any of these poems to parody.

Analysis Presentation – 20 Points

You will present your final poem to the class in a five-minute presentation. During this presentation, you will present the source poem and your parody poem to the class side by side. You will first read the source poem aloud and then read the parody aloud to the class. You will explain which elements were most important to mimic and the changes you made to reflect a new topic while also mimicking the source during the last half of the presentation.