Activity Overview

Allusions can be found throughout the novel Chains. They reference actual people, places, and events from the time period. There are even quotes from primary sources at the beginning of each chapter. These references help plunge the reader into the time period and help them analyze Isabel’s journey in their context. Students studying or who have studied the 13 colonies in the 1700s and the Revolutionary War can enhance their understanding of the people, places and events by seeing them through the eyes of the characters in the book. In this activity, students will create a storyboard that identifies different allusions in the novel.

Examples of Allusions in Chains

  • Thomas Paine, Common Sense
  • Phillis Wheatley
  • The River Jordan
  • Siege of Boston
  • George and Martha Washington
  • King George III
  • John and Abigail Adams
  • General Gage
  • Declaration of Independence
  • General William Howe
  • John Hancock
  • Thomas Jefferson
  • Benjamin Franklin
  • The Great Fire of New York
  • Battle of Fort Washington
  • Yankee Doodle

Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Use This Assignment With My Students", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)

Due Date:

Objective: Create a storyboard that identifies allusions present in Chains (references to actual people, places, events or works of art or literature). Illustrate instances of each allusion and write a short description below each cell.

Student Instructions:

  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. Identify the allusions from Chains you wish to include and write them in the title boxes.
  3. Create an image for an example that represents this allusion using appropriate scenes, characters, and items.
  4. Write a description of each of the examples.
  5. Save and submit your storyboard.


Lesson Plan Reference

Grade Level 6-8

Difficulty Level 3 (Developing to Mastery)

Type of Assignment Individual or Partner

Type of Activity: Literary Allusions


(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)

Allusions in a Story
As we read and discuss, identify and track the different allusions that appear in the book. Look for references to real people, places, events and works of art or literature. For each allusion, create a scene and description that depicts the original meaning of the allusion, along with how it is connected to the story.
33 Points
25 Points
17 Points
The allusion and its depiction are historically or factually accurate. The context from the story is given in a brief summary.
The allusion and its depiction may be slightly inaccurate historically or factually. The context from the story may be missing.
The allusion and its depiction have serious errors in accuracy. The context from the story are missing, or there is no description at all.
Artistic Depictions
The art chosen to depict the scenes are historically appropriate to both the allusion and to the work of literature. Time and care is taken to ensure that the scenes are neat, eye-catching, and creative.
The art chosen to depict the scenes should be historically appropriate, but there may be some liberties taken that distract from the assignment. Scene constructions are neat, and meet basic expectations.
The art chosen to depict the scenes are historically inappropriate. Scene constructions are messy and may create some confusion, or may be too limited.
English Conventions
Ideas are organized. There are few or no grammatical, mechanical, or spelling errors.
Ideas are mostly organized. There are some grammatical, mechanical, or spelling errors.
Ideas may be disorganized or misplaced. Lack of control over grammar, mechanics, and spelling reflect a lack of proofreading.

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