Mentor Text: Onomatopoeia

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SWBAT develop descriptive writing skills through the use of vivid sensory details.

Big Idea

How do students use mentor text to develop writing skills? Today, we focus on onomatopoeia in Donald Crews' Shortcut.

Introducing the Mentor Text

20 minutes

This is the first lesson in my Mentor Text unit.  I start with onomatopoeia because students are familiar and fascinated by sound effects, as demonstrated by their interest in cartoons and comic strips. My students have special affection for Batman and Spider Man, as noted in their drawings and story telling using onomatopoeia. Students have prior experiences with this literary device and therefore intrinsically drawn into the lesson.  Developing reading and writing connections is the purpose of mentor texts.  I have found that explicit instruction on the use of literary devices in mentor texts impacts the quality of student writing, particularly narrative writing.  The third anchor standard of writing in Common Core has to do with writing narratives that use effective, well chosen details.  To help students learn to use effective details, this lesson focuses on the literary device of onomatopoeia. Onomatopoeia creates a descriptive sensory effect to student writing by imitating sounds.  Using the device helps students bring their writing to life!

We read a book entitled:  Shortcut by Donald Crews.  I chose this book to exemplify the author's craft of integrating the literary device of Onomatopoeia into students' writing.  We begin by analyzing how the author uses this device in Shortcut.  This book serves as a mentor text because students learn by the example the author uses to generate ideas and skills when they write.  Using mentor texts give concrete examples to abstract concepts.  It is especially effective for second graders. 

Then, we discuss the meaning of onomatopoeia that is displayed on the Promethean Flip Chart of Onomatopoeia.  This flip char also contains examples that students analyze and discuss. Students learn that using onomatopoeia draws the reader into the story by sensory words that they can hear as opposed to words that tell about the story.  There is emphasis on sound so the reader feels like part of the story.  Students are learning to write narratives using details that are descriptive.  They learn to show through descriptive details while recounting the story.

Developing Writing Skills

20 minutes

I model writing that incorporates onomatopoeia so that students can see another concrete example.  I use a Onomatopoeia Organizer to plot my sample narrative, which takes place at a Physical Education Class.  We discuss the sounds you hear at the PE field.  I show students how it plot it on the organizer to keep their writing on target.  After reviewing the organizer, we discuss the final writing.  After the discussion, I inform students that they will create their own writing, similar to the one I modeled, but on a topic of their choosing. 

Students are paired to work on their creation of a story that integrates onomatopoeic devices.  I give each pair of students a large poster size paper and ask them to create a comic strip with both sentences and speech bubbles that display this literary device.  I encourage students to discuss and collaborate with their partners and co-write and illustrate comic strips that they will later present to the class.

Sharing our Writing

20 minutes

I asked students to share their comic strips displaying onomatopoeic devices they used in their writing.  Students conveyed their knowledge gained by conducting an oral presentation.  Sharing our knowledge is essential to common core because communication of ideas leads to depth in understanding.