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Lesson Plan

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


Materials and Technology

Student Interactives






  • Copies of comic books or strips

  • LCD or overhead projector

  • Chart paper and markers

  • Computers with Internet access and printing capability

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Comic Creator

Grades   K – 12  |  Student Interactive  |  Writing & Publishing Prose

Comic Creator

The Comic Creator invites students to compose their own comic strips for a variety of contexts (prewriting, pre- and postreading activities, response to literature, and so on).


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1. This lesson assumes that students have previous experience with the structure of comic books and comic strips. If students need to build their background knowledge about comics, consider completing the lessons Comics in the Classroom as an Introduction to Genre Study and Comics in the Classroom as an Introduction to Narrative Structure prior to teaching this lesson. Combining these lessons creates a mini-unit of literary investigations using comic books or strips.

2. Choose some sample comic strips to share with the students that contain multiple examples of onomatopoeia. You will want one or two to use as examples with the class and then a variety of examples for students to explore on their own. Online resources for comic strips include Archie Comics, Garfield and Friends Official Site and The Official Peanuts Website.

3. Arrange to use an LCD projector to share the comic strips with the class or print them and make transparencies. Print copies of the comics that students will explore independently (see Session 1, Step 6).

4. Make sure that students have permission to use the Internet, following your school policy. If you need to, reserve a session in your school's computer lab (see Session 3).

5. Familiarize yourself with the Comic Creator and bookmark it on your classroom or lab computers. This online tool allows students to create a comic strip using a set of characters and props. Students have the ability to write their own captions.

6. Make copies of the Comic Strip Planning Sheet and the Comic Strip Rubric for each student. Students will use the planning sheet to draft and revise their work before actually creating and printing their comic panels on the Comic Creator. Introduction of the Comic Strip Planning Sheet provides an excellent mini-lesson for reviewing the literary elements of character, setting, and plot.

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