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Read for My Summer
Beat the summer heat with engaging activities from ReadWriteThink.org.
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That Sounds Fun! Sound Words and Sports Poetry
|Grades||6 – 8|
|Activity Time||That Sounds Fun! Sound Words and Sports Poetry|
- An experience at an outdoor game or sporting event
- Paper, pencil, and crayons or the Flip Book Student Interactive
- Example Sound Words (optional)
- Example sports poems (optional): "Analysis of Baseball" and "The Sweetest Roll" (Scroll down until you find this title. This is an audio recording of the poem)
- Access to a computer with a word processor (optional)
- NPR's Sound Clips: Audio Experiences (optional)
- Diamante Poetry tool (optional)
- After children and teens have participated in some kind of outdoor game or activity (such as playing or watching a sport, going to the playground or the park, and going swimming in the neighborhood pool), ask them to think back to the sounds they heard. Encourage them to be specific. (They might also choose to record the activity so they can listen to the sounds again).
- What did the athletes or participants sound like when they were in the game?
- What about the equipment such as the bat and ball in a baseball game?
- How did spectators sound?
- Have them list these sounds on a piece of paper or on a computer.
- Discuss how these sounds affect the activity. Ask questions such as:
- Are these sounds important to making the activity feel "real" or "exciting"?
- Do they contribute to the emotion or feelings of the activity? For example, when you hear the crack of a bat in a baseball game, you know the batter has hit the ball and the excitement has begun. Does this sound add tension or expectation to the game?
- What do you think will happen next based on these kinds of sounds?
- Once children and teens have made plenty of notes and have an understanding of how sound can contribute to the emotions and feelings they associate with an activity, encourage them to begin writing a poem to represent the activity. You may wish to use this list of Example Sound Words and the example sports poems "Analysis of Baseball" and "The Sweetest Roll" to give them ideas.
- While children and teens read or listen to these examples, ask them if they can point out instances of onomatopoeia. Discuss how these words contribute to the emotions and feelings in these poems.
- As children and teens are writing on their poem, suggest that they challenge themselves to use onomatopoeia at least three times in ways that add to the emotions and feelings they associate with the event. Also, encourage them to use a variety of descriptive words to make the sights and sounds of the activity come to life for the reader.
- Have the writer use her or his poem to make a flip book that includes illustrations for his or her poem. Invite the child or teen to locate the most important scenes, sounds, and events in the poem and use those as guides for her or his illustrations.
- Use the Diamante Poetry tool to provide additional structure and challenge to the poetry writing process.
- Instead of the child or teen writing about the event after the fact, encourage the writer to take a notepad to the park or wherever the sport or game is taking place. He or she can observe and take notes, paying attention to all five senses and how they are being engaged. Then the writer can use these notes to start a new poem, focusing on the five senses including onomatopoetic sounds.
- Use the NPR's Sound Clips to have children and teens write about sound in new ways. Writers can choose from a variety of sound clips and create a scene or poem based on what they hear. They also might create their own sound clips and challenge themselves to invent new sound words for these sounds. Then writers can work their new words into an original poem.
- Older teens might enjoy teaching younger children about onomatopoeia by inviting them to make a flip book full of sound words that they hear in the park or on the playground. They might then works together to create a poem or story from these words and illustrate it.
Discussion is a natural way for children and teens to express or explain what they already know or what they are learning. When possible, let children and teens lead the direction of a discussion. Ask questions that lead to an extended response (“What do you think about…?” or “Why do you think…?”) rather than questions that might result in a yes or no or a simple answer.