Oxymoron Lesson Plan

Instructor: Artem Cheprasov

Artem has a doctor of veterinary medicine degree.

This lesson plan uses an activity, mini-activity, extension, quiz, and discussion questions that will help your student learn about, find, and create their own oxymoron.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson plan's activities, your students should be able to:

  • Define oxymoron
  • Create their own oxymoron
  • Spot an oxymoron in real life


30-60 minutes without the activity


  • Blank computer paper
  • Colored pencils/markers/crayons

Curriculum Standards


Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts, to make effective choices for meaning or style, and to comprehend more fully when reading or listening.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.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).

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.1

Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9-10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.

Key Terms

  • Figurative language
  • Oxymoron


Warm Up

Begin the class by gauging how well-versed the class is on the topic already:

  • What is an oxymoron?
  • Which of the following do you think is an example of an oxymoron?
    • Cold fire
    • He's as fast as a cheetah
    • 'If you don't control your mind, someone else will'
    • Woosh!


  • Watch the following video lesson as a class:
  • Once you've watched the video all the way through, stop for a discussion. Use the following suggested questions and topics:
    • What is figurative language?
    • What's the purpose of figurative language?
    • Give some more examples of figurative language for your students.
    • Mini-activity: give your student 5 minutes to write a sentence that uses figurative language. Have each student share what they've written down.
    • What is an oxymoron?
    • Where does the word oxymoron come from?
    • When/why would a writer want to use an oxymoron?
    • Aside from those in the lesson, pass out or simply verbalize some more examples of oxymorons for your students so they get a solid sense of what an oxymoron actually is.

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