Communications Arts Lesson Plan

Submitted by: Jane Halley
Putnam Co. R-I Middle School

Simile, Foreshadowing and Onomatopoeia

Lesson Plan Featuring a Dog Character

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Materials Needed: Old Yeller video, VCR, Concept Containment Set (below), Overhead projector

Subject Area: Communication Arts

Grade Level: Middle School and High School (7-9)

Show Me Standard: CA 2
GOAL 1.5, GOAL 1.6

Time Allowance: 1-2 class periods

LESSON DESIGN – Concept Formation/Simile, Foreshadowing and Onomatopoeia

COMPONENT – Activity


Show a video clip from the film Old Yeller
(Bud Searcy tells Travis how to work hogs from a tree.)
Discuss how the video scene is different from the same scene in the book. Why do you think they decided to change the scene? Is it a significant difference? Is it more or less effective?

Work cooperatively to discover and evaluate patterns and relationships in information.


Concept formation activity and the Kagan structure “Three Stay and One Strays” from Spencer Kagan: Cooperative Learning, Resources for Teachers, Inc., 1992, p.12:6.


Have students explain how they decide within their group which category the terms should go in and why.

CHECK FOR UNDERSTANDING – Use overhead projector and test items.

PRACTICE/ GUIDED & INDEPENDENT – Write a new ending for Old Yeller or write a chapter to follow the ending. Be sure to include at least one example of each of the following concepts: simile, foreshadowing, and onomatopoeia.


Kagan structure “Find Someone Who”. Have students get signatures of fellow students who can answer the questions.

Concept Formation Data Set


“They met head on with a loud crash of horns.”

“Still they went on with their roaring bloody battles.”

“…(Arliss) let out one shrill shriek after another.”

“The pig set up a loud squeal.”

“Their horns and hoofs clattered against the logs.”

“There went the frightened, snorting cattle.”

“Then he lifted his voice in a wild brassy blare.”

“His howl followed me.”


“He made me so mad at first that I wanted to kill him. Then, later, when I had to kill him, it was like having to shoot some of my own folks.”

“We never once thought about being in any danger. When we learned different, it was nearly too late.”

“…didn’t worry about it. That is not until the day Bud Searcy dropped by the cabin ….”

“I guess you can see why I nearly died when a man rode up one day and claimed Old Yeller.”

“We located the hogs in plenty of time; but before we were done with them, I didn’t want to see a bat cave or anything else.”

“Before they were finished gathering corn, we were faced with a trouble a whole lot too big for any of us to handle.”

“I didn’t call him back. As it turned out, it’s a good thing I didn’t.”

“It was a good thing for us, Son; but it wasn’t good for Old Yeller.”


“It was like she’d (the doe) suddenly lit down out of the air like a buzzard.”

“…my heart was flopping around inside my chest like a catfish in a wet sack.”

“… while the other (horn) hung down past his jaw like a tallow candle that had drooped in the heat.”

“Mama’s face was as white as a bed sheet.”

“He (Chongo) ran, slinging his head and flopping his long tongue around, bawling like he’d stuck it in a bear trap.”

“Now I raced … covering ground like a scared wolf.”

“… (Travis) slung him toward Mama like he was a half-empty sack of corn.”

“I could have wrung his neck like a frying chicken’s.”

Find Someone Who

Has a definition for onomatopoeia


Signature ____________________

Can give another example of onomatopoeia?


Signature ____________________

Has a definition for simile


Signature ____________________

Can give you another example of a simile?


Signature ____________________

Has a definition for foreshadowing?


Signature ____________________

Can give you another example for foreshadowing?


Signature ____________________

Has an idea for their chapter title page?


Signature ____________________