Lesson: Onomatopoeia

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Lesson Objective

Students will be able to define and identify examples of onomatopoeia in poetry.

Lesson Plan

Connection (3-5 mins): Students should be seated on the carpet with a partner.  They will be expected to turn and talk to this partner throughout the lesson.  Yesterday we learned about one way that poets can create interesting poems using word sounds.  Today, we will learn about a different way to express sounds with words, called onomatopoeia. 

Teach/Active Engagement (10-12 mins):  Onomatopoeia is a word that sounds like what it actually is.  For example the word zip is an example of onomatopoeia because it sounds like a jacket that is zipping up.  When you zip up a zipper the sound the zipper makes is zip.  Another example of onomatopoeia is the word “crash”.  Think about when you read comics or watch movies and a car crashes into something else.  The noise that makes is “crash”.  The word crash sounds like what it is.

Let’s look at a poem that features many examples of onomatopoeia.  Teacher reads aloud poem below.


Went the food
Clap! Clap!
Goes the teacher.
Went the
plastic bag.
Munch! Munch!
Go the students.
Went the straws.
Is what half the kids
in the room
are doing.
Go the candy bars.

That poem had so many examples of onomatopoeia.  The first example I noticed was the word “boom”.  I can imagine someone slamming their food trays down in the cafeteria to make the sound boom. 

Turn and tell your partner another example of onomatopoeia you notice in this poem.  Allow students a few minutes to discuss with their partners.  Teacher calls on a few students to share out their responses.  Teacher should ask students to visualize in their head the scene in the cafeteria. 

You all did a great job noticing all the many different examples of onomatopoeia in this poem.  When you return to your seats, keep your eyes open for more examples of onomatopoeia. 

Independent Reading (15-20 mins): Students return to their seats to read independently from their poetry folders.  As they read students should underline any examples of onomatopoeia they notice while reading.  Teacher should circulate and help those students who may be struggling with the skill.

Exit Slip/Share (5-10 mins): Students should complete the onomatopoeia exit slip to determine which students mastered the concept.  This exit slip requires students to identify onomatopoeia in a poem.

Reflection: Onomatopoeia is a relatively easy concept for students to understand.  The difficult part is for students to understand the defintion.  I would suggest reviewing this skill over the course of the unit, as it is easy to incorporate and fun for students to practice in their own poetry writing.

Lesson Resources

Onomatopoeia Exit Slip   Activity


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