Swish! Pow! Whack! Teaching Onomatopoeia through Sports Poetry

Lesson Introduction

Students explore different poems written about sports by reading and listening, looking closely at the use of onomatopoeia in each piece. After a discussion of the poems, students view a segment of a sporting event and generate a list of sounds used in that event. Using their lists as a springboard, students then create their own onomatopoeic sports poems, draw accompanying illustrations, and compile their work in a flip book. Finally, students present their flip books to the class.


Learning Objectives

In this lesson, students will have opportunities to:

  • Define onomatopoeia and discuss the use of onomatopoeia within a poem.
  • Utilize creative and critical thinking skills to compose a sports poem using onomatopoeia effectively.
  • Collaborate with a partner to respond to a peer’s poem as part of the writing and revision process.
  • Synthesize language and illustrations within a flip book.
  • Practice effective presentation skills by sharing their flip book with their classmates.

Materials and Resources

To teach this lesson, you will need:

  • Online audio rendering of "The Sweetest Roll" from Rimshots, written and performed by Charles R. Smith, Jr.
  • Video clip of a sporting event and television with VCR/DVD player OR computer with Internet access and projector
  • Flip Book The Flip Book is designed to allow users to type and illustrate tabbed flip books up to ten pages long. Students and teachers can use the flip book for taking notes while reading, making picture books, collecting facts, or creating question and answer booklets.
  • RWT Flip Book The Flip Book app is designed to allow users to type and illustrate tabbed flip books.
  • printouts
  • “Analysis of Baseball” by May Swenson website
  • Flip Book Tip Sheet (Optional)
Lesson provided by ReadWriteThink.org, a website developed by the International Reading Association and the N.C.T.E.

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