Carnival of the Animals Language Arts Unit Study
As the Maestro mentions on the CD, onomatopoeia is a literary device which equates the sounds of words with the actual meaning of the word. For example, “hiccup” and “achoo” sound like the actions themselves, and “hee-haw” is the sound a donkey makes. Can you think of any more of these types of words? Here’s a lesson on onomatopoeia for young children.
Alliteration is repetition of a speech sound in a group of words that are near each other. Common tongue twisters are alliterations, such as “Sally sells seashells by the seashore”, or “Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers”, but you will often come upon alliteration in poetry or novels. Here are a couple of articles with further explanation, and examples, of alliteration.
Another fun literary device is the hyperbole, or literary exaggeration, often used to create strong feeling. If you’ve ever said, “I’m so hungry, I could eat a horse!” you’ve used hyperbole. Has your mom ever said, “I’ve told you that a thousand times!”? That’s hyperbole. See some more examples here.
Now, write your own poetry using these literary devices. They each create such wonderful variety in writing!
Poetry is a type of imaginative writing that uses sound, rhythm and language to express feelings and thoughts, and elicit an emotional response from the reader. Some poems rhyme, but many do not. Explore poetry with the following links and suggestions:
- Poetry website for kids- lots of links!
- Find a great poetry unit study that includes different literary devices (such as imagery and personification) here.
- Ogden Nash is the poet who wrote the text for Carnival of the Animals. Find the text and a brief unit study at this website, Now choose another animal, not represented in Saint-Saens work, and write your own poem in the style and rhyme scheme of Ogden Nash’s poetry.
Explore these other poets who write humorously for children:
- Shel Silverstein (click for official kids’ site) was a creative and hilarious poet who specialized in imaginative and inventive characters and events. Check out his books from the library. His poetry ranges from typical rhyme to non-rhyming, and are great for reading aloud!
- Dr. Seuss- do you think of Dr. Seuss as a poet? He was one of the best! My personal favorite is the nonsense poetry of Fox in Socks. Work up a good rendition of the Tweedle Beetle section, just for fun. Here is the official Seussville site.
- Edward Lear was known for his limericks and nonsense poetry. Here is his entire “Book of Nonsense” with illustrations, available for free online.
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