What is onomatopoeia?

What is onomatopoeia?
Onomatopoeia is a word that names a sound, but also sounds like that sound. Find out how teachers explain onomatopoeia to school children and how to encourage your child to use it to improve their writing.

What is onomatopoeia?

Onomatopoeia is a word that names a sound, but also sounds like that sound. For example:

boom, honk, pop, crack, cuckoo, crack, splat, tweet, zoom, sizzle, whizz, buzz, hiss, rip

How is onomatopeia taught in the classroom?

Teachers will sometimes ask children to look for onomatopoeia in poetry and discuss how effective it is. They may encourage children to use words similar to those above in their stories and poems.

A teacher may show the children a poem like the following:

They may encourage them to find all the examples of onomatopoeia in the poem. They may also talk about the rhyme scheme of the poem (the fact that each pair of lines rhyme).

Children may then be asked to think about their own poem. They may be asked to list (and maybe draw) all the things in their house that make a noise and the noises they make. They may then be asked to choose the ones they like and write it into a list poem like the one above. Depending on the age and ability of the children involved, they may be asked to think about writing a rhyming poem, or changing the form of the poem.

Children may also be encouraged to look for onomatopoeia in stories they read. They may also be encouraged to use this in their own stories.