The Legend of Sleepy Hollow Allusion Activity

  • 8 pages
  • Subject: Allusion, Literary Devices, Lesson Plans and Educational Resources
  • Common Core Standards: RL.11-12.1, RL.11-12.4, RL.9-10.1, RL.9-10.4, RL.9-10.9

Additional The Legend of Sleepy Hollow Resources

Product Description

The short story “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” first appeared in Washington Irving’s 1820 collection The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon. The story tells the tale of Ichabod Crane, a hapless schoolmaster from New York who moves north to the Dutch settlement of Sleepy Hollow to seek a fortune and a bride. Sleepy Hollow is both beautifully dream-like and haunted, and Crane finds his progress impeded by the local legend of the Headless Horseman. Through his layered narrators, Irving draws on a rich array of allusions to tell this now-classic story, blending humor and horror in equal measure.

Skills: analysis, close reading, drawing inferences from a text, interpreting implications of allusions

About This Document

The Owl Eyes Allusions activity gives students an opportunity to practice identifying and analyzing allusions. Allusions broaden the scope of a text and imbue passages of the text with deeper meaning by subtly drawing on literature, history, science, geography, philosophy, mythology, or other cultural sources. The main components of this activity include the following:

  • A contextualized paragraph of the text
  • A handout defining “allusion” with examples from classic works
  • A list of tips for spotting allusions
  • A step-by-step guide to activity procedure
  • An example answer

In completing this activity, students will be able to identify, analyze, and interpret allusions, thereby accessing deeper meanings within the text.