Package 1-1: Onomatopoeia – Part 1

This lesson is the first in a series of three lessons about the literary device Onomatopoeia which refers to words like swoosh, plop and bam.

Things your child needs

Have these things available so your child can complete this task

Ideal Backup

Device to watch the lesson video and Onomatopoeia lesson- Part 1

Onomatopoeia- Part 1 Power Point - printed

Onomatopoeia activity sheet 1- Water brainstorm

Onomatopoeia activity sheet 2- Identifying onomatopoeia

Pencil or pen

Before your child starts

This lesson is the first in a series of three lessons about the literary device onomatopoeia.

What are literary devices?

Literary devices are used in texts to connect with the reader and convey meaning. As your child reads they are beginning to recognise simple literary devices used by authors. Your child is also beginning to learn how to explain why the author has used the device. In narratives or stories, authors might use literary devices such as personification, similes, alliteration, onomatopoeia and imagery to engage the reader and allow them to visualise the setting and characters.

What is onomatopoeia?

Your child will learn that onomatopoeia is when a word imitates or mimics the sound of the object or action it refers to. Words like swoosh, plop and bam are examples of onomatopoeia. Your child will learn that authors use these words to emphasise the sounds of the object or action that is being described. Authors use onomatopoeia to enhance their text and impact what the reader thinks or feels as they read.

What your child needs to do

Your child will watch a video of a lesson about onomatopoeia. The teacher will guide your child as they learn how to identify onomatopoeia in a text.
Throughout the lesson, your child will be asked to pause the video to complete the activity sheets for the lesson.

By the end of the lesson, your child should be able to:

  • explain what onomatopoeia is
  • give some examples of onomatopoeia
  • recognise the use of onomatopoeia in a text

Options for your child

Activity too hard? Activity too easy?

Read the text examples to your child and have them identify the onomatopoeia orally.
Work with your child to find examples of onomatopoeia in texts they are familiar with and able to read.

Have your child find examples of onomatopoeia in other texts.
Have your child sort and classify different examples of onomatopoeia based on whether they are normally used to refer to humans, animals or objects.

Extension/Additional activity

Examples of onomatopoeia are everywhere! As you and your child notice examples of onomatopoeia in conversations, books, on television, radio or in other media, keep a list of the words, phrases or sentences.

Where to next?

Learning Package 2: Onomatopoeia- Part 2 of 3 is available on the Learning at Home website.

Onomatopoeia activity 1: Water brainstorm

Learning intention:

I am learning to identify, explain and use onomatopoeia in a text.

Success criteria:

  • I can explain what onomatopoeia is.
  • I can give some examples of onomatopoeia.

Instructions: List examples of onomatopoeia that are related to water.

Challenge: You might find a way to categorise your water words.


Onomatopoeia activity 2: Identifying onomatopoeia

Learning intention:

I am learning to identify, explain and use onomatopoeia in a text.

Success criteria:

  • I can recognise the use of onomatopoeia in a text.

Instructions: Highlight or underline the examples of onomatopoeia in each section of text.

Challenge: Find some more examples of text extracts that contain onomatopoeia. You might also like to think about why the author has used onomatopoeia in the text.

Text extract

“Chug, chug, chug. Puff, puff, puff. Ding-dong, ding-dong. The little train rumbled over the tracks.”

“The Little Engine That Could” by Watty Piper

“It went zip when it moved and bop when it stopped.

And whirr when it stood still.

I never knew just what it was and I guess I never will.”

“The Marvelous Toy” by Tom Paxton

Water plops into pond

splish-splash downhill

warbling magpies in tree

trilling, melodic thrill

whoosh, passing breeze

flags flutter and flap

frog croaks, bird whistles

babbling bubbles from tap

“Running Water” by Lee Emmett

And who tolling, tolling, tolling,

In that muffled monotone,

Feel a glory in so rolling

On the human heart a stone...

“The Bells” by Edgar Allan Poe

Over the cobbles he clattered and clashed in the dark inn-yard,

He tapped with his whip on the shutters, but all was locked and barred...

The Highwayman” by Alfred Noyes

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