The characteristics of speech and the complexity of language and articulation are dramatic in the way in which people communicate. As students become more knowledgeable with the linguistics of Onomatopoeia, they will become more sound perceptive. It is necessary to review and reinforce lessons on Onomatopoeia and relate it to more in-depth, auditory exercises.
Linguistic sound is very complex. The smallest linguistic sound segment is conventionally called a phoneme, but even a single phoneme is itself a complex construction of such features as voice, nasality, plosiveness, height, length and many others. When phonemes are combined to form larger units such as words and phrases, these units then require what are called prosodic featurespitch, loudness, and all of which to turn have something to do with how language sounds.1.
Throughout the use of this curriculum unit, it is essential for students to be active participants in listening and producing soundrelated primarily to Onomatopoeia. For a more detailed, auditory lesson, allow the students to listen to the music from Walt Disney’s Fantasia on cassette tape without the colorful, visual effects of the movie. This technique will have students use their sense of hearing and focus basically on what the sound is and how the sound was created. They could listen to see if the sound they hear had a high or low pitch or if it was loud or soft. They could identify the instrument that produced the sound; drum, flute or violin. By listening, the students could try to identify what object the sound is suppose to represent; singing tulips, dancing elephants, or a waterfall. Students could also be active by making vocal sounds---a tone, and possibly matching it to a keyboard sound and identifying the note.
Students need to understand the correlation between sound and speech and how it influences they way we judge people. Within the language of Onomatopoeia, students will realize that vowel sounds and speech have tones and they repeat themselves on a regular basis. Expressive sounds such as “eek”, “ah”, “oh” and “whee” have strong vowel and consonant pitches. These pitches and their frequencies can be dimensionally displayed for students on a vocal register.*
Let the students speak into the vocal register, they can watch the indicator on the device and see were the sound of their voice “peaks”. They’ll be able to learn the frequencies and pitches that occur on the vocal register. If possible, it would be ideal to have available a musical scale chart that shows the note and its frequency when using the vocal register.
The vocal organs are where sound comes from. The vocal cords vary the tone or intensity of air that moves freely by opening and closing quickly. This nature of opening and closing gives off a vibrated sound from which vowels and voiced consonants are made. These vocal organs, which have unique and individual functions, produce a variety of consonant and vowel sounds, along with dipthongs. They each offer varied levels/pitches of Onomatopoeia resemblance.
Upon completion of this curriculum unit, it will be feasible for students to read and think of Onomatopoeic words. Whizz, bang, splash, thump are a few familiar examples for students to recognize, and for them to invent new ones. While there are quite a few definitions for Onomatopoeia, it is truly the name of a relationship between the sound of a word and something---keep the imagination flowing.