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Buzz! Whiz! Bang! Using Comic Books to Teach Onomatopoeia

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Buzz! Whiz! Bang! Using Comic Books to Teach Onomatopoeia

Grades 3 – 5
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Four 60-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Maureen Gerard

Maureen Gerard

Phoenix, Arizona


International Literacy Association



From Theory to Practice



Bam! Beep! Zoom! Students are sure to delight in the study of onomatopoetic words through the use of comic strips. In this lesson, students begin with an introduction to onomatopoeia, which describes words that imitate the natural sound associated with an action or object. As a class, students view several comic strips and are guided in identifying examples of onomatopoeia. The group then discusses the purpose of onomatopoeia and its effect in a story before students work individually to find examples of onomatopoeia in other comics. Finally, students work individually or in pairs to create their own comic books that include onomatopoeic language. After presenting their comics to the class, students discuss the use of onomatopoeia and its effectiveness in each comic strip.

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Norton, B. (2003). The motivating power of comic books: Insight from Archie comic readers. The Reading Teacher, 57(2), 140–147.

Comic books have had a motivating power in literacy development for children, especially young boys, since their introduction in the 1930s. This nontraditional type of literature—often dismissed by educators as superficial and shallow—is highly visual, contains complex literary elements, and lends itself to critical examination of moral, ethical, and social issues.


McCloud, S. (1994). Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art. New York: Harper Collins.


Moon, B. (1999). Literary Terms: A Practical Glossary (The NCTE Chalkface Series). National Council of Teachers of English: Urbana, Illinois.

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