Kids love these simple onomatopoeia writing activities!! They get kids thinking and laughing. Plus, these activities make students aware of the many onomatopoeias all around them.
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WHOA! YUCK! DRIP, DRIP, DRIP, SMASH!
Kids LOVE these onomatopoeia writing activities!
In this post, I’m going to show you 6 onomatopoeia writing activities, plus fun guided writing lessons that incorporate onomatopoeias.
What is an onomatopoeia?
First and foremost, before my students and I complete any of these activities, I explain to them that an onomatopoeia is a word that represents a sound. For example, BUZZ represents the sound that a bee makes. Or, POP represents the sound that a balloon or popcorn makes. Then, for fun, we learn and sing the colorful chant found in the center of this page. While you’re there, check out the short video for your kids to hear onomatopoeias. You can also show them this silly short video before starting these onomatopeia writing activities. Then, hop back to here to begin playing and writing all about onomatopeias!
These 6 onomatopoeia writing activities can be completed and played over the course of a week. They’re simple, fun and easy to run!
1. Onomatopoeias A-Z
First, as a class or group, students write their own A-Z list of onomatopoeias. This activitiy is important becaus we want students to see that there are MANY onomatopoeias around them. Most importantly, there are many onomatopoeias to choose from for their next activity.
Here’s how you play:
- First, write the letters A-Z vertically in 4-5 columns on a classroom white board, chalkboard or Smart Board screen.
2. Second, explain to the child or students that they are going to work together to write one onomatopoeia for each letter of the alphabet. Together, fill in 2-3 letters with examples to get them started.
3. Fourth, have 2-3 children come up at a time to write in an onomatopoeia. It gets challenging. But the kids can do it! And towards the end, if there are any letters without a word, you can use this long list of onomatopoeias to help the students out.
4. Lastly, if you’d like the students to simultaneously complete their own A-Z chart while they’re seated, you can print this template HERE. Students can write ONOMATOPOEIAS at the top.
As soon as your students have completed the A-Z chart on the board, they’re ready to start their onomatopoeia writing activity.
2. Writing Onomatopeias
First, I must say that every student I work with LOVES this writing activity. This simple onomatopoeia writing activity gives students choice and lots of room for their own creativity. I find the end results delightful each time!
Here’s how it works:
- First, students choose an onomatopeia to write about.
- Then, they write a list of nouns and phrases that MAKE that sound.
Let’s take SPLASH for example. A student writes splash at the top of their page. Under the word SPLASH, he or she writes a list of things that SPLASH, such as birds in a bird bath, babies in a tub, children learning to swim, the end of a waterslide, throwing rocks in a river, etc.
Another example is YUCK, which is something that people say. To go along with YUCK, students write things that cause someone to say YUCK. For example, the student can write, slime, moldy cheese, boogers, vomit, egg yolk, dog poo, etc. As you can imagine, these lists get kids chatting, laughing and grumbling! It’s not exactly a quiet lesson because they are writing about SOUND words after all. But, it’s a fun one!
Now to write!
Below, I list step by step instructions for your students to complete their onomatopoeia list.
- First, choose an onomatopoeia to write about.
- Second, on scrap paper, write a list of things that make that sound (i.e. SPLASH) OR a list of things that cause someone to say that sound (i.e. for YUCK!)
- Third, for the final draft, students can write their onomatopoeia word really big at the top of their page with marker, ABC stickers*, or simply pen.
- Fourth, under the onomatopoeia, students write the list of things in the center of the paper.
- Fifth, they write the onomatopoeia one more time under the list.
- Sixth, students illustrate the onomatopoeia in the space around the list.
- Lastly, make sure you give students time to read their lists and show their friends. They LOVE this part!
Enjoy some of these examples from students ages 5-11 !
Print the Lesson
Here’s the full lesson for you to print out and use.
Here are 2 examples that I created for you to print out and hang.
3. Onomatopoeia Races!
Like Acrostic races, Onomatopoeia races are a lot of fun! Here’s how you play:
- First, divide a large classroom whiteboard or chalkboard into two sections. Then, group your students into pairs. Have two pairs go to the board at a time.
- Next, call out an onomatopoeia. The partners have to race to list 3 things that make the sound. (You can vary the number of things listed according to the age and ability of your students).
Print the onomatopoeia race instructions here.
4. Onomatopoeia Lists
Of all the onomatopoeia writing activities, this one creates the most laughs. Here’s how you play:
- First, divide your students into pairs.
- Second, give each pair of students their own whiteboard, dry erase marker and sock (to serve as an eraser). You can purchase a class pack on Amazon*.
3. Third, call out an onomatopoeia or write one on the board. Common onomatopoeias that I use for this game are: drip, crash, yuck, ouch, ring, splash, slurp and squish
4. Fourth, set the timer for 1-2 minutes. During that time, one student from each pair writes words that make that sound (SLURP) or cause someone to say that sound (OUCH!).
5. Fifth, and most importantly, make sure you give the students time to read off their lists. This is their favorite part and creates lots of laughs!
Continue play until everyone has had a turn or the allotted time runs out!
In this game, kids write onomatopoeias with 3, 4, 5 and 6 letters. SNAP! CRACK! POP!
First, you’ll need one magnetic spinner*. (If you haven’t read my full post on the winner spinner you won’t want to miss it! It gives you a long list of game ideas that are so easy to run and super fun for the kids. Check out the full post here.)
Next, draw a large circle on a classroom whiteboard or chalkboard. (A Smart Board can work well too using a spinner). I divide the circle into 4 sections and write the numbers 3, 4, 5, 6.
For small groups, (8 students or less), divide the white board into 4 sections.
For larger groups (9+ students), or if you don’t have a large classroom whiteboard, you can divide the campers into pairs. Give each pair of children an individual white board, a black dry erase marker and a sock to serve as an eraser. You can purchase a class pack on Amazon*
Then, a child spins to land on a number. The students have 60 seconds to write as many onomatopoeias as they can that have that number of letters. For example, if the spinner lands on 4. The children can write a list of onomatopoeis that have 4 letters, such as, BEEP, MEOW, SNAP etc.
At the end of 60 seconds, students tally points for each onomatopoeia that they wrote. We usually play this game until we’ve written a list for each number or the allotted time has run out. If the spinner keeps landing on a number that we’ve already used, we just move it to a number that we haven’t.
Print the Instructions
Here are the instructions for you to print out and use.
6. An Onomatopoeia Talking Game
This is a quick, quiet, speaking game that can be used to review onomatopoeias. Students guess the onomatopoeia after hearing a descriptive list.
- First, one student stands at the front of the group.
- Second, he or she lists 3 things that make the sound of an onomatopoeia (i.e. DRIP) OR 3 things that cause people to say an onomatopoeia (i.e. OUCH!) For example, the student can say “a faucet, a gutter, a car after a wash” to indicate “DRIP”. Or the student can say, “a paper cut, a flu shot, a splinter in your hand” to indicate “OUCH!”
- Third, the student chooses another student who is seated, quiet and has his/her hand up to guess.
- Fourth, whichever student can guess the onomatopoeia, takes the next turn.
- Lastly, continue play until everyone has had a turn or the allotted time runs out!
Here are the instructions for you to print out and use.
Writing Prompts that Incorporate Onomatopoeias!
Here’s a list of guided writing lessons that incorporates onomatopoeias. Have students write one or more of these prompts after learning all about onomatopoeias!
A Barn, Cows and Snow-Science Fiction
Comics–Monologues and Dialogues
6 Science Fiction Writing Lessons for Kids
Kids truly love onomatopeoias! I hope you’ll try one or all of these onomatopoeia writing actvities!