Oxymoron Definition, Examples, and Lesson

This figurative language lesson on oxymoron includes a free organizer and digital resource. 4th, 5th, and 6th graders will love these fun activities. This lesson covers the definition with examples appropriate for upper elementary students.

An oxymoron is a figure of speech that contains words that seem conflicting with one another.


pretty ugly

recorded live

The budget was unlimited, but I exceeded it. – Donald Trump

I am going to order some jumbo shrimp for dinner.

A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business. – Henry Ford

He talks in riddles. He has me clearly confused.

Phillip plays ten different instruments. He is a one-man-band.

George has a fever and chills. He is in poor health.

We’re busy doing nothing. – Bing Crosby

I am so hungry. The pizza looks awfully good.

David is seriously funny when he starts telling jokes.

The band is going to record live during the concert.

A joke is an extremely serious issue. – Winston Churchill

The monster is pretty ugly.

Free Oxymoron Activities

Read the definition of irony and find examples with this free mini lesson on oxymoron.
Free Mini Lesson on Oxymoron - includes a Video, Slides, and Printables

In this mini-lesson, students watch the video. The video goes over the definition and one example. Next students pause the video to complete either the digital or printable organizer. After completing the organizer, students continue watching the video to check their responses. This activity is a great introduction to an oxymoron lesson.

Activities in this free series are set up as individual lessons making them great to assign through Google Classroom. Click here to download the free activities from Google Drive.

This is the digital version.

Here you will find the printable version.

Want to Dig Deeper?

Activity#1Have students make their own memory games with the words below. To play, students match the two words together that make the oxymoron. 

    • act naturally
    • alone in a crowd
    • amazingly awful
    • bad luck
    • bittersweet
    • climb down
    • deafening silence
    • definite maybe
    • found missing
    • friendly takeover
    • guest host
    • growing smaller
    • icy hot
    • loosely sealed
    • old news
    • only choice
    • random order
    • same difference
    • soft rock
    • student teacher
    • sweet sorrow
    • terribly good
    • true fiction
    • walking dead
    • wise fool

Activity#2Make a class book. Assign each student one oxymoron to draw and use in a sentence. 

This is the digital version.

Here you will find the printable version.


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    • Tricia Daniels on August 18, 2020 at 7:25 am

    Thank you for sharing your resources!!! I can’t wait to use this in class!

    1. You are most welcome. Enjoy!

    • Anne on August 18, 2020 at 10:34 pm

    This is good clean fun and hopelessly great – thank-you for sharing 🙂

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