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Allusions, Slang, and Literary Analogies

Life Skills:

  • Thinking & Reasoning
  • Communication

Curriculum Tie:

Time Frame:
3 class periods that run 45 minutes each.


In this lesson, students analyze the allusions, slang, and literary analogies used in "Raymond's Run" by Toni Cade Bambara. To extend understanding, they will then write their own allusions and analogies.

Main Curriculum Tie:
English Language Arts Grade 8Reading: Literature Standard 4
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including analogies or allusions to other texts.

Each student will need a copy of the story "Raymond's Run" by Toni Cade Bambara. It can be found in the Holt Elements of Literature, Second Course textbook.


Intended Learning Outcomes:

  • Students will learn to identify literary allusions and explain them.
  • Students will analyze the impact of allusion and slang on the meaning and tone of a story.
  • Students will examine the use of literary analogy in a story and will write their own analogies.
  • Students will analyze the impact of word choice on the characterization in a story.

Instructional Procedures:

  1. Introduce allusions by showing the Finding Allusion in Writing Prezi Presentation.
  2. Put students in partners to identify allusions using the Allusions Worksheet.
  3. Correct the worksheet together, discussing each one. Be sure to address the background knowledge factor with students. Not everyone will pick up on allusions in a text because they are not familiar with all texts that might be referenced.
  4. Connect allusions to slang. Often, though not always, the phrases that are repeated most often in a society began as allusions to something in popular culture. Point out the limitations of slang—as time passes, slang changes and readers might not understand them anymore.
  5. Read “Raymond’s Run” by Toni Cade Bambara. Read as a class and pay special attention to the footnotes that point out the allusions and slang in the story.
  6. Hand out the “Raymond’s Run” assignment. Have students complete the first side. This can be done individually or in partnerships, depending on the skill level of students.
  7. Discuss the modern examples as a class.
  8. Teach students about analogies using the PowerPoint presentation about analogies. The assignment to assess understanding is included in the PowerPoint presentation. It should be completed individually.

Web Sites

Assessment Plan:
The assignments in the lesson are the assessments for the concepts taught.


  • Coughlin, Laura. Love::Teaching Blog,
  • Holt Elements of Literature, Second Course, 2005

Amy Geilman

Created Date :
Aug 07 2012 18:32 PM