Creating Spooky Stories with Onomatopoeia

Whew! Aren't you glad that onomatopoeia was never a spelling word? That would have made me scream, "Ahhhh!" That silly word, which means the sounds or actions objects make, is actually a fun concept to teach kids. For little kids, it can be as easy as teaching animal sounds and the sounds from everyday objects. When children get older and begin writing descriptive stories, it is a perfect time for the lesson below.

You can teach the sounds and actions to children by doing a search on-line and printing off onomatopoeia words. Use that list as a reference sheet for your child to grab words from. I usually print my reference sheets on cardstock, so we can reuse them multiple times for the future.

Since Halloween is coming soon and my kids enjoy writing spooky stories, I thought this week is a perfect time to teach onomatopoeia. First, I will explain what onomatopoeia is and provide examples. Next, I will have them create spooky stories using the reference sheet below that I created. I searched high and low on-line for a list but couldn't find one so I made my own. You can print it for free if you'd like.

The following week I will have my kids create comic strips using onomatopoeia. Have you ever noticed that comics are filled with words like "Bam! Beep! Zap!"?

This is a great way to have kids practice onomatopoeia by creating their own comics by using this free on-line program. offers 128 characters with different emotions, thought and talk balloons to fill in with text, story prompts and printables. The site's goal is to help children use their imaginations to create wonderful stories, as well as to help them improve their writing and reading. I can't wait for my kids to hop on that site and have some fun practicing what they've learned.

Next, I will review the concept with these worksheets from, my new favorite site, such as these one below.

I love using literature to writing skills. It just seems like a natural way to learn and teach. For example, I am planning to read The Spooky Wheels on the Bus to my children, which is a funny story that is filled with all sorts of spooky sounds. Clues in the Attic is a graphic novel that is filled with of all sorts of sounds, too.

If you're looking for more children's books that are fantastic for teaching onomatopoeia, check out this site's fabulous recommendations. You may already have some of these books at home that are perfect for teaching sounds.

I will continually remind them to use onomatopoeia in future writing assignments. In my 14 years of homeschooling, I've never purchased a formal grammar or mechanics curriculum for my elementary-age children. {Click Here} to read why I avoid using most language arts curriculum. This post is an example of how I teach grammar skills to my kids. I make our lessons hands-on with lots of opportunities to practice the skills they learned. That is my goal in teaching grammar and mechanics- creating strong writers with a passion for writing, not mastering a curriculum.

Enjoy making writing fun!