To be honest, when I signed up for this link-up I had no idea what book I was going to choose. I couldn't think of a single fall themed book that truly excited me that hasn't been covered in previous link-ups. I drove to my local Barnes & Noble here in Ann Arbor, Michigan to take a look around.
As soon as I walked into the children's section, I saw the most beautiful book on display, Wonderfall by Michael Hall.
I grabbed a copy and stared reading. Immediately I was intrigued with how each page contained a title (single word) that substituted the suffix -ful with -fall. Wonderfall, Peacefall, Dutifall, Plentifall, Beautifall.....
The short poems that make up each page tell a story about a single tree that starts to prepare for the winter and the things it observes along the way. As I read each page, I was able to hear, see and feel the simplicities that fall offers each year. Michael's use of onomatopoeia to describe fall happenings is remarkable and is reason why this would make a fabulous mentor text. I don't want to give away the ending but it surely is adorable!
As I was standing in line to purchase this book, I turned to the back to read the author's bio. To my surprise the bio talked about Michael Hall growing up in Ann Arbor Michigan (where I just moved in June) and the things he enjoyed about the fall season in the beautiful state. It was meant to be...
Here is how I will use this text to teach the figurative language component of onomatopoeia.
Use the web tool (it now has a FREE app too!), Answer Garden, to have your students collaboratively brainstorm ideas about the kinds of things they see happening in the fall. Simply create an Answer Garden room and share the url with your students. When they submit their answer, it will pop up on everyone's screen in real-time. A garden full of ideas will start to emerge on the screen.
Once students have added their ideas, discuss what type of sounds they might hear when these fall activities occur. Use this opportunity to introduce onomatopoeia and talk about how good authors use this type of figurative language to provide sound effects for actions being described to make their writing more expressive and interesting. You could even play a guessing game by having students close their eyes and visualize what they hear when you play the following sound bytes that are examples of onomatopoeia:
Once students are familiar with onomatopoeia and you have activated some of their background knowledge about fall, read the book Wonderfall twice. The first time you read it, read it just for fun. Enjoy the beautiful pictures and the story of all the different events that happen during the fall.
Create the onomatopoeia responders pictured to the left by printing out THIS sheet, cutting and gluing the circles to popsicle sticks, pencils or straws. Give one to each student. Read the book a second time and have students listen out for examples of onomatopoeia. When they hear onomatopoeia examples, they should raise their responder in the air. This makes for a cute keep sake that your students can take home and hopefully explain to someone what the responder was used for in school 🙌
The main page of this slide contains images of migration, hibernation and dormancy that have clickable links that take the students to the vocabulary slides. The slides that are linked in are blank templates for students to fill in information about each type of behavioral adaptation as well as images/videos to match. BUT WAIT...they must start their description with an example of onomatopoeia that would go with the topic. Here is an example of a finished presentation:
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