Writing Lesson Plan: Onomatopoeia Poems
A fun writing activity that solidifies students’ understanding of onomatopoeia. They become more aware of the sounds of words and objects. Spoken sounds are surrounded by quotation marks. After reading a short story, students retell it using onomatopoeia generated by them (or teacher can just read the poem included called “Farmer Brown’s Noisy Farm”). With their new understanding of onomatopoeia, students write a short poem (suggested titles and lists included below).
- learn that onomatopoeia is when a word imitates the sound it makes or the objects they name
- use quotation marks correctly
- retell story
- write a poem demonstrating their knowledge of onomatopoeia (see below for ideas and onomatopoeia lists for several story ideas)
- chart paper and markers listing onomatopoeia words OR blackboard and chalk
- Onomatopoeia List (pdf)
- “Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type” picture book
- “Giggle, Giggle, Quack” picture book
- Farmer Brown’s Noisy Farm poem (example of retell, see below in Method #3)
- Give students a couple of examples of onomatopoeia. Ask students what the words remind them of. For example, you might say, “oink, oink. What’s that make you think of?” Students: “Pigs.” You: “Why do those two words make you think of pigs?” Students: “That’s the sound they make.” You: “Great. What does ‘Rrrrrrroar’ make you think of?” (sound of lion, loud noise, ocean…) “What about ‘splish, splash’?” (sound water, rain…makes) “What about ‘snap, crackle, pop’? (cereal commercial) clickity-clack, clickity-clack? (train, typewriter from books you will read next…see materials) Tell students that onomatopoeia is when a word imitates the sound it makes or the object it names. Create an onomatopoeia list for the class by starting students off with sounds animals make. (You may print out Onomatopoeia List in Materials #2 to post in class.)
- Read one or two of the stories listed above in the materials. Talk about the onomatopoeia words that could be added to this story. Ducks usually say “quack”, chickens usually say “cluck”, the farmer might say “grrr”. What other sounds might they say or make? (splish, splash, boo hoo) If someone or something makes a sound or word, you can use quotation marks to show exactly what they said.
- On the chart paper, begin to write a retell poem with the examples you get from the class. Encourage students to use their imagination and help you retell the story using onomatopoeia. For example: Farmer Brown’s Noisy Farm (pdf)
- Students now have some knowledge of how to use onomatopoeia. Tell them that they will be writing a short poem using onomatopoeia. (see example at end of lesson) You can either brainstorm appropriate onomatopoeia for students to use or let them use your Onomatopoeia List to create their own story idea list. Here are some examples of topics and related onomatopoeia:
- The Rain Storm (crash, boom, pitter patter, squish, splat, rumble, rattle, zap) ,
- The Musical Parade (crash, clang, clink, click, clack, boom boom boom, oompa, rattle, beep beep, honk),
- The Animal Parade (meow, woof, skitter, hiss, croak, burp, quack, honk, oink, cluck),
- The Hockey Game (buzz, tick tock, zoom, boo hoo, yahoo, roar, zip, swish, swoop, dash, wham, gasp, ouch, moan, zip, grr, crunch, snap),
- The Soccer Game (buzz, tick tock, zoom, boo hoo, yahoo, roar, zip, swish, swoop, dash, wham, gasp, ouch, moan, zip, grr, crunch, snap),
- The Car Ride (honk, beep, zig zag, spurt, hiccup, yawn, gasp, zoom, zip, burp, belch, crunch, chirp, meow, woof)
(example) The Car Ride, by Mrs. Z
“Honk, honk, beep, beep.”
There were lots of cars today.
“Zig, zag, zoom, zoom, zoom.”
One car was going way too fast.
“Gasp,” said mom.
“Hiccup,” said baby.
It was scary to watch.
Dad turned into our driveway.
“Whew,” I said.
“Meow,” said kitty.
“Woof,” said puppy.
“Yawn,” said dad.
“We’re home ! “