“Onomatopoeia” is a word whose sound imitates the actual sound to which it refers, such as “pop,” “sizzle,” and “crash.” Poets use this device in which the words they use sound like the very thing being named or written about. “Onomatopoeia” is an ancient Latin and Greek word meaning “name-making”.
The many roles of an educator is to assist in the child’s reading and writing ability-literacy does sit on a high throne in the educational process of children. It would be a great advantage for children to be involved in creative activities that will get their young minds in gear and enthusiastic about learning to read and write. The process of reading and writing is somewhat challenging to young children and speech can be awkward during this stage. Our society is not as quiet at times as we would like. Everywhere we go, signs of communication are around. Words and sounds are the way of our planet. Children are surrounded by words and sounds that they may or may not understand. In any instance, they are encouraged to begin ways of communicating.
Since Onomatopoeia is a form of poetry with sound words as it focus, children will have very little difficulty in creating a word that imitates the sound it represents. This perception of sound can be demonstrated through instruction of simple songs. With simple songs, musical sounds and sound words blend into a harmonic capacity that youngsters can comprehend-especially if it is repetitive. Old favorites such as “Old MacDonald Had A Farm” and “The Wheels On The Bus” are songs among a few others that young children love to sing. Their perceptions of these songs are realistic enough for them to understand. The rhythms of these songs have a repetitive pattern that young children can follow and retain long after the song is over. The power of music and reading sound poetry is a lesson taught that many youngster have yet to realize. With Onomatopoeia, these sound words can be visually written and displayed. Children can create their own imitation of what objects make what sound. A list of comparison and association are sometimes more perceived and strengthen by letters and syllables that imitate, repeat or reproduce the sound described. Ex. “r-r-r-ring,” “m-m-m-moo,” “a-chooo” are just a few familiar sound words. Singing simple songs and visually displaying what sound words look like, incorporates and gradually produces a level of reading, writing, and speaking that children can successfully master.
Once the children can understand what Onomatopoeia is and its relationship to poetry, I would suggest, as a reinforcement tool, to read a book to them that contains Onomatopoeia poetry. Jill Bennett’s collection of children’s poems called “Noisy Poems”, illustrated by Nick Sharratt, is great! This book has vivid, bold pictures that the children would love. The titles are cute too. From this book, children will hear sound word for a fish, spaghetti, a yak and other familiar things. Of course books are an excellent resource for children to enjoy. They foster reading on their own, even if they only read the pictures. Many books and songs that children begin to discover have repetitive verses and rhymes. These repeated patterns also have a definite and pronounced rhythm. When these poetic elements are combined and taught to children, they begin to have fun with this skill of memorization. Children are taught to memorize the sounds of letters, which leads to letters forming words and words forming visual pictures. This recipe of word formation can be distinctly blended into what we see, hear and read in Onomatopoeia.
Children can choose words that sound much like the things or actions they name; such as creating sounds for a dripping faucet, a washing machine, the wind in a forest, an ocean beach, the Fourth of July, a busy street. Literature for creative expression in the sound of poetry will encourage children to write and simply read the sound words that they’ve created. Children will find joy and feel successful in their accomplishments on a lesson that doesn’t have any right or wrong responses. Children should be comfortable to express themselves in a way that they can relate to.
Prior knowledge for them is important and retainable in ways that just workbooks can’t supply. Manipulatives, books, personal experiences, creative expressions and visual display of work rendered by children can give them the rewards of learning that all children on all levels should be exposed to. With the aforementioned introduced and produced ( reading, writing and speaking ( these ingredients can mix co-operatively into sound-musical sound.
Sound has been around for ages; it is universal in all varied and complex environments. Musical sounds may or may not have accompaniments, but they can be musical sounds just the same.
Onomatopoeia has no limits to its usage. It’s a language that can fit in many subjects. Having a voice and an ear are prerequisites to Onomatopoeia, so there is no real wrong way to teach it, unless one is without the use of hearing and speaking. Exploring the sounds of our inside and outside environment and the sounds in musical instruments can create a source of musical communication in a poetic language that we are familiar with today. Music is a source of communication. Humans have produced and used music for thousands of years. Musical instruments can be a way of alerting one of danger approaching or to relax and comfort those in need. Musical sounds can be joyful or painful. Our emotions can be influenced by the musical sounds we hear. A live, symphony orchestra would be an excellent opportunity for children to see and hear the harmonic blend of musical instruments making sounds. They’ll take a delight in hearing and seeing their favorite song or jingle from television performed on a stage. Children will have the chance to see individual instruments combined to produce a variety of sounds. The visual aspect of these musical instruments can be very captivating for young and older audiences.
This musical experience can also lead to the viewing of the Walt Disney classic “Fantasia”- where they can see and hear musical sounds portraying distinct, individual characters. The musical experience with Onomatopoeia is continued by using sounds heard and by relating words to it and hopefully poetry begins-the rhythm of poetry put to music.
With some assistance from the music teacher, children can “compose” their own musical piece of Onomatopoeia. Constructing musical instruments through materials collected by teachers and students will have children co-operating in groups, refining social skills, and, with practice, these Onomatopoeia experts can perform a mini-concert of their own for the school!
The ultimate learning facility is the classroom. The entire school is a sound paradise. Within each room, there are sounds imaginable and unimaginable-children and adults are bombarded with constant sound. It is strongly suggested, when focusing on Onomatopoeia, to allow children to listen quietly and attentively. They will become experts to what makes what sound and they’ll be able to imitate it. They’ll be able to hear the sounds of the motor in a water fountain, the sounds of a fish tank, footsteps in the hallway, maybe outside sounds as well. There is really no limit to the way in which sound is perceived. If possible, allow the children to visit the main office, the cafeteria before and after lunch, the gym. As these in-school trips occur, the children can have group discussions about what sounds they heard and list these sound words on the blackboard. Mini trips can also be a walk around the block. Discovering outside sound is great. Children can become more aware of outside sounds when their eyes are closed.
Outside sounds can be overwhelming or quite tranquil. In the city, sounds of cars, traffic, construction machinery, horns, whistles may be more evident; whereas country sounds may be a babbling brook, wind blowing through the leaves of a tree, insects, or the chirping of birds.
With the physical and not-so-physical environment, children can continue to become creative in their own unique way in learning to read and write “sound words”.
As this unit develops and expands, it might be somewhat difficult to actually find materials on Onomatopoeia poetry. It is important to remember throughout this unit that children are very creative when given the proper tools to express themselves creatively. Many children have a want, a need and a desire to learn-a little encouragement and creativeness can go a long way-this applies to those from pre-school through high-school.
Guidance through words, sounds, music, and prior knowledge of varied experiences can lead to dramatic academic gains for children. Sound is heard and created at all levels and volumes. The time has long since come when we as educators must relate the reality of our society in our educational institutions. Learning to read and write should be a pleasurable experience in our schools for all students.
Children and teachers thirst for new and innovative ways to promote learning. Onomatopoeia poetry, music and sound words, with the collaboration of basic reading and writing (and other needed elements) can create a new dimension of higher intellectual learning for children.