Rip Van Winkle Allusion Activity

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

Additional Rip Van Winkle Resources

Product Description

While Washington Irving’s short story “Rip Van Winkle” was published in 1819, it is set firmly in the years surrounding the American Revolution. As the story itself—which tells of a hard-pressed farmer’s 20-year sleep in the Catskill mountains—doesn’t directly engage with the events of the Revolution, Irving turns to allusion to frame the historical and cultural context of Rip’s adventure. Irving’s use of allusion, both overt and subtle, allows the relatively simple narrative to invoke broad themes encompassing personal and national identity, and one’s placement in the narrative of history.

Skills: analysis, drawing inferences from text, close reading, identifying the relationship between words

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.