Examples of Onomatopoeia Poems for Kids

Onomatopoeia is difficult to explain and even more difficult to spell. Combine it with poetry and the result is a potent sleeping potion. If I was your school teacher, I'd try to explain what onomatopoeia is and then wake the class from its comatose state to analyse a suitable example poem. We're going to do things the other way round. First we'll read a slightly strange looking poem and then we'll try to work out why, or indeed, if it's an example of an onomatopoeia poem:

The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets' Nest
by Max Scratchmann

Buzzz! Buzzz! Buzzz!
Buzzz! Buzzz! Buzzz! Buzzz!
Ow! Yow! Wow!

When I asked you to read The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets' Nest, you probably just read it silently to yourself in your head. But to get the most out of a poem, especially if you're trying to decide if there's any cleverly disguised onomatopoeia lurking inside, you must read it aloud. Find a quiet, private place and give it your best shot.

Now have a good hard think. Did you understand the poem? Is it written in real or made up words? Was the meaning conveyed by the words themselves, or the sounds of the words? Did the girl survive her encounter with the hornets' nest? My answers would be:

Made up
The sounds

If I explain in a bit more detail, we'll finally discover what onomatopoeia is and be able to answer the real question, Why are teachers obsessed with onomatopoeia?

More Examples

The next poem was written with school teachers in mind, but as it involves a gory death it is only suitable for older primary school pupils at KS2 or junior secondary school pupils at KS3. Every other line of the poem features an example of onomatopoeia, making it an ideal poem to set for novice spotters.

The Late Commuter
by Patrick Winstanley

Chuff-chuff went the train
Standing in the station
Puff-puff went the man
Panting up the platform
Whooooosh went the doors
Closing as he climbed aboard

Clickety-clack went the wheels
Racing along the rails
Clickety-clack went Granny's
Knitting needles knocking
Clickety-click went the man
Tapping on his laptop

Screeeeech went the train wheels
Barely able to brake
Scrunch went the engine
Into the crossing gates
Aaaaaah went the man
Crushed in the crashed carriage

Ziiiiip went the zipper
Sealing the body bag
Tap-tap went the nails
Closing the coffin lid
Splish-splash went the tears
Of the mourners, mourning




The next offering is a poetic reworking of the biblical tale of David and Goliath. The middle verse is brief, intelligible and pure onomatopoeia. If you got to grips with the Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest, you'll find understanding this poem a piece of cake.

D & G
by Patrick Winstanley

David was a hot shot
With a slingshot


Goliath was not

The final example is really an anti-onomatopoeia poem, which is deliberately silly and subversive. It's not a sensible choice for a school project, unless you like winding your teacher up and enjoy detention.

Of Sound Mind
by Patrick Winstanley

Plink, plank, plonk
Splish, splash, splosh
Is a load of tosh

It's very tempting, isn't it!

Shape PoemsOnomatopoeia Poems

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Individual poems are copyright of the stated authors and used with permission