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Use Common Figures of Speech: Alliteration, Assonance and Onomatopoeia

In this worksheet, students will explore how to use alliteration, assonance and onomatopoeia and learn how to recognise them whilst reading for meaning.

'Use Common Figures of Speech: Alliteration, Assonance and Onomatopoeia' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 3

Curriculum topic:   Reading

Curriculum subtopic:   Poetic Convention Awareness

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

Alliteration, Assonance and Onomatopoeia
 

 

Writers use figures of speech to add meaning to the text they're writing. These techniques engage the reader's interest using sound and imagery or by sequencing and contrasting ideas, in order to increase the effectiveness of the writer's words in conveying meaning.

There are many different forms of figures of speech. It's important that you recognise the most common ones so that you can demonstrate your knowledge and understanding when you are discussing a piece of writing. We are going to take a look at various figures of speech and then test what you have learned.

Alliteration

Alliteration is the repetition of the same first sound in a group of words in succession for emphasis.

For example:

'Everyone knew big, bold Billy from Brighton.' The repetition of the 'b' sound reinforces our image of Billy and makes the associations of 'big', 'bold' and 'from Brighton' more memorable.

"Tyger, Tyger burning bright."


 
Assonance

Assonance is the repetition of identical or similar vowel sounds in a group of words.

For example:

'His father's car is a Jaguar.'

'How now brown cow.'

 
Onomatopoeia

This figure of speech applies when the sound reflects sense or meaning. The word then sounds like its meaning.

For example:

'The leaves rustled in the wind.' The word 'rustled' reflects the sound leaves in a tree make in a breeze.

'The hum of the bees.'

 

Now it's your turn!

Identify whether these quotations demonstrate examples of alliteration or assonance.

 AlliterationAssonance
'The stroke was swift and strong'
'I saw him fawning on the lawn'
'He chirped cheerfully'
'I broke my back building it'
'Blue moon'
'Their hatred hurt'

Which figure of speech is used in the sentence below?

 

'Her hair was smooth and sleek.'

 

Write your answer in the box below.

Which figures of speech are used in the following quotation from 'The Bells' by Edgar Allan Poe?

 

"What a world of solemn thought their monody compels!
In the silence of the night,
How we shiver with affright
At the melancholy menace of their tone!"

 

Choose as many answers as you think are correct.

Alliteration

Assonance

Simile

Read the same excerpt again. Can you find an example of onomatopoeia in the last two lines?

 

"What a world of solemn thought their monody compels!
In the silence of the night,
How we shiver with affright
At the melancholy menace of their tone!"

 

Write the word in the box below.

The following quotation is taken from Alfred Tennyson's poem 'Come Down, O Maid'. It contains a good example of onomatopoeia.

 

"...the moan of doves in immemorial elms,
And murmuring of innumerable bees."

 

Which consonant is used to reflect the sound of bees humming? Write the letter in the box below.

Other than onomatopoeia, which figures of speech can you find in the quotation below?


"...the moan of doves in immemorial elms,
And murmuring of innumerable bees."
 

Write your answer in the box below.

Identify the figure of speech used in each phrase below.

 AlliterationAssonanceOnomatopoeia
'She was fair and frail'
'He flicked the switch'
'The bird chirped merrily'
'The plate clattered on the floor'
'The cat crept in'
'She bleats when she speaks'
'Eleventh heaven'
'It was a bright and balmy day'

Identify the figures of speech used in this quote from 'The Daffodils' by William Wordsworth:


"I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze."

 

Choose as many as you can find.

Alliteration

Assonance

Onomatopoeia

Which figure of speech can you find in this line from the poem 'The Raven' by Edgar Allan Poe?

 

"Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary"

 

Write the answer in the box below.

Match the figure of speech with its definition. 

Column A

Column B

Alliteration
The repetition of vowel sounds in a group of words...
Assonance
The repetition of the initial sound in a group of ...
Onomatopoeia
The sounds in the word reflect its sense or meanin...
  • Question 1

Identify whether these quotations demonstrate examples of alliteration or assonance.

CORRECT ANSWER
 AlliterationAssonance
'The stroke was swift and strong'
'I saw him fawning on the lawn'
'He chirped cheerfully'
'I broke my back building it'
'Blue moon'
'Their hatred hurt'
EDDIE SAYS
'The stroke was swift and strong', 'He chirped cheerfully', 'I broke my back building it' and 'Their hatred hurt' all contain words that begin with the same sound and are examples of alliteration. Great engagement if you spotted that! 'I saw him fawning on the lawn' and 'Blue moon' both repeat the same vowel sounds, and are examples of assonance.
  • Question 2

Which figure of speech is used in the sentence below?

 

'Her hair was smooth and sleek.'

 

Write your answer in the box below.

CORRECT ANSWER
alliteration
EDDIE SAYS
The 's' sound is repeated as the initial sound in the adjectives describing her hair, therefore this sentence employs alliteration.
  • Question 3

Which figures of speech are used in the following quotation from 'The Bells' by Edgar Allan Poe?

 

"What a world of solemn thought their monody compels!
In the silence of the night,
How we shiver with affright
At the melancholy menace of their tone!"

 

Choose as many answers as you think are correct.

CORRECT ANSWER
Alliteration
Assonance
EDDIE SAYS
Both alliteration and assonance are used. In the second line, "silent" and "night" have the same vowel sound. This is an example of assonance. Alliteration is present in "melancholy menace".
  • Question 4

Read the same excerpt again. Can you find an example of onomatopoeia in the last two lines?

 

"What a world of solemn thought their monody compels!
In the silence of the night,
How we shiver with affright
At the melancholy menace of their tone!"

 

Write the word in the box below.

CORRECT ANSWER
shiver
EDDIE SAYS
'Shiver' is an example of onomatopoeia.
  • Question 5

The following quotation is taken from Alfred Tennyson's poem 'Come Down, O Maid'. It contains a good example of onomatopoeia.

 

"...the moan of doves in immemorial elms,
And murmuring of innumerable bees."

 

Which consonant is used to reflect the sound of bees humming? Write the letter in the box below.

CORRECT ANSWER
m
EDDIE SAYS
The repetition of the 'm' sound reflects the sound of the bees. You're making great progress!
  • Question 6

Other than onomatopoeia, which figures of speech can you find in the quotation below?


"...the moan of doves in immemorial elms,
And murmuring of innumerable bees."
 

Write your answer in the box below.

CORRECT ANSWER
assonance
EDDIE SAYS
In the last line, the 'ur' sound is repeated, which is an example of the use of assonance. Don't panic if you found that difficult, we'll keep practising together!
  • Question 7

Identify the figure of speech used in each phrase below.

CORRECT ANSWER
 AlliterationAssonanceOnomatopoeia
'She was fair and frail'
'He flicked the switch'
'The bird chirped merrily'
'The plate clattered on the floor'
'The cat crept in'
'She bleats when she speaks'
'Eleventh heaven'
'It was a bright and balmy day'
EDDIE SAYS
'Clattered' and 'chirped' are both words that sound like their meaning, because of this they are examples of onomatopoeia. 'Fair and frail', 'cat crept' and 'bright and balmy' repeat the same initial consonants for emphasis and are examples of alliteration. The repetition of the 'ea' vowel in 'bleat' and 'speak', and the 'e' vowel in "Eleventh heaven" make these examples of assonance.
  • Question 8

Identify the figures of speech used in this quote from 'The Daffodils' by William Wordsworth:


"I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze."

 

Choose as many as you can find.

CORRECT ANSWER
Assonance
Onomatopoeia
EDDIE SAYS
"Lonely", "floats", "host" and "daffodils" repeat the 'o' vowel sound and demonstrate the use of assonance. The words "fluttering" and "breeze" sound like their meaning and are examples of onomatopoeia! You're getting more confident at these with each attempt- keep pushing on!
  • Question 9

Which figure of speech can you find in this line from the poem 'The Raven' by Edgar Allan Poe?

 

"Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary"

 

Write the answer in the box below.

CORRECT ANSWER
assonance
EDDIE SAYS
"Dreary", "weak" and "weary" repeat the 'ea' vowel sound and demonstrate the use of assonance.
  • Question 10

Match the figure of speech with its definition. 

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

Alliteration
The repetition of the initial sou...
Assonance
The repetition of vowel sounds in...
Onomatopoeia
The sounds in the word reflect it...
EDDIE SAYS
Alliteration is the repetition of the initial sounds in a group of words. Assonance is the repetition of vowel sounds in a group of words. Onomatopoeia describes words that sound like their meaning. Great focus, that’s another activity completed!
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