Allusion Teacher Resources
Find Allusion educational ideas and activities
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Consider the biblical allusions in Emily Dickinson's poetry with the seventh of ten lessons in a language arts unit. Learners read "A little East of Jordan" and "Come slowly - Eden!" and discuss the allusions to the original Old Testament versions. Then, they interpret Dickinson's portrayal of Eden and how it differs from the biblical version.
An allusion can help a writer get a complex idea across with just a few words by tapping into shared cultural knowledge and memory. Examine this phenomenon in Robinson Jeffers' poems "To the House" and "Hooded Night." Learners discuss the allusions and compose brief essays about how they add to the meaning of the poems. The resource includes some information on the allusions and suggests providing time for research.
To allude, or not to allude, that is the question: whether ‘tis better to make a reference and engage your audience or risk confusing them or sounding dated. After reading an article about, and loaded with allusions, class members take a New York Times literary allusions quiz and then consider the difference between recognizing the reference and understanding the implications. Be sure and check out the riotous comments that conclude the lesson. They are full of sound and fury, but perhaps signify nothing.
Readers quick-write in response to your read aloud of Nikki Giovanni's "The Beep Beep Poem." After a discussion of allusion, they identify references in the poem and analyze their effect. Parts of the resource are intended for little-used Texas Instruments hardware, but the activity works well without it. Pair with The Things They Carried.
Emerging writers identify allusion in poetry by listening to recorded poems, like Anyone Lived in a Pretty How Town. They also discuss what makes writing satirical and how writers use allusions to make satirical points.
What is an allusion? Use this guide to introduce your class to allusions in The Scarlet Letter. A comprehensive definition is provided, as well as one clear example. Consider encouraging your learners to write down a few allusions they're familiar with before delving into The Scarlet Letter activity. A list of allusions from Hawthorne's novel is referenced by not included.
Readers respond to 10 examples of allusion in a pre-assessment. After whole group discussion of allusion leading to analysis of Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, they compare Huck's interpretation of the Bible story of King Solomon to Jim's. Copies of PowerPoint slides about allusion and the bible reference are included in the resource.
Everything you wanted to know about the history of English literature and language but were afraid to ask. From Beowulf to Canterbury Tales, the Knights of the Round Table to Robin Hood, Addison, Fielding, Shakespeare, Swift, and many more are all featured in an overview appropriate for a high school or college level survey of English literature.
Fourth graders locate and evaluate various books, journals, anthologies, and Internet sources that contain information that may be used in answering the scavenger hunt questions related to Ireland and Irish literature.
Students analyze the role of the forest in literature. They read various literature selections, analyze the role the forest played as a setting, character, or symbol, and complete a writing activity.
Fourth graders engage in a lesson where literature of Ireland comes alive with an introduction to the writings of Mc Court, Heaney and Yeats. This is an excellent way for students to be introduced to this particular world of literary work.
Illusions and allusions certainly sound similar but there is a world of difference in their meanings. The narrator of this short video distinguishes between these terms, defines them, and offers examples that are sure to engage viewers. Part of a series of videos devoted to literary terms, the films can be used together or separately to address specific situations.
For this literature worksheet, students respond to 15 short answer and essay questions about Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale. Students may also link to an online interactive quiz on the novel at the bottom of the page.
Students begin the lesson with a review of the elements of poetry. Individually, they read a variety of poems and literature one white and one black author focusing on decay, sterility and alienation. They identify these images within their poems and write their own poems using these ideas as well.
In this literature worksheet, learners respond to 41 short answer and essay questions about poetry by John Keats. Students may also link to an online interactive quiz on the selections at the bottom of the page.
"Hey, Al. Change your part and get on with your life." After a series of close reading activities that focus on modernist elements in T.S. Eliot's "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock," individuals are asked to adopt the point of view of a mental health professional and e-mail Prufrock suggestions for how to improve his state of mind.
“Bartleby the Scrivner” as an existential forerunner to The Office? Dense and often dark, Herman Melville’s stories abound with Biblical allusions and complex symbols. If you are considering using Melville’s novels or short stories with your class, the activities suggested in this resource would make a great addition to the study. Suggestions for how to investigate Melville’s background, the cultural context of his works, and the literary concepts Melville employs are included and would enrich your readers' understanding. Unless, like Bartleby, you would “prefer not to.”
Introduce your high schoolers to some tough vocabulary. No, I'm not talking about the SAT list! Revisit Victorian literature to find tricky words we still use today. Using the Visual Thesaurus, learners will preview vocabulary in a quote from Jane Eyre. Then, after sketching what they believe the quote to be about, learners split into groups to share. In these groups, they also complete the handout provided, encouraging them to use the context to determine which word fits in each sentence the best.
Edgar Allen Poe, one of the great American poets, is responsible for rhythmic and moody verses. Study "To Helen" with your high schoolers, discuss the themes of love and beauty, and analyze the poem and its use of allusions.
Reinforce rhetorical reading with your eighth grader honors class (or standard-level high schoolers). Using quotes from American presidents and political leaders, pupils identify the rhetorical devices highlighted in each quote. Additionally, they write an essay that incorporates various elements (allusion, alliteration, repetition, parallel structure, and climax). You can use the list of books and stories at the top of the page, but the activity works just as well on its own.