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AP English Language and Composition/ENG 121
English 10 Honors: American Literature
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English 12/LIT 115
English 10 Honors: American Literature » 'Rip Van Winkle' by Washington Irving

'Rip Van Winkle' 'Rip Van Winkle' by Washington Irving
A story revealing the attitudes of Americans at the time of the Revolutionary War

Scroll down for the discussion questions, vocabulary, the compete text, and a handout describing the features of American Romantic Literature.

Analysis: "Rip Van Winkle"


Learning Goals: 


Students will demonstrate their understanding of:


  • the distinctive features of American literary periods, particularly the Romantic Period;
  • the world climate which precipitated the American Romantic Period;
  • how the Romanticism impacted American literature;
  • the Romantic American Hero archetype;
  • how to interpret “Rip Van Winkle” as an allegory representing American history;
  • how to interpret the roles of characters in allegory;
  • how framing works in a story;
  • how introductory paragraphs of stories can establish mood, help readers predict;
  • how “Rip Van Winkle” exemplifies American Romantic Literature;
  • how strong imagery creates vivid settings;
  • how imagery develops meaning;
  • how we can use “Rip Van Winkle” to help us comprehend the behaviors of subjects/citizens the context of the American Revolution;
  • how these human behaviors manifest themselves today, the relevance of “Rip Van Winkle” in our culture today;
  • how to participate in a successful Socratic discussion.


Before you read the story:

§         review the handout on “Close Reading”;


Immediately after you read the story:

§         develop 5 level two, and 3 level three questions.



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