Roy Lichtenstein Onomatopoeia Collages


Since the Grade 5 students at our school were examining super heroes in their homeroom classes and comic books in French, I decided Roy Lichtenstein was a perfect artist study to embark on. Probably the chief place I look for lesson inspiration is on Pinterest; I start with an idea, say, Roy Lichtenstein, and type in “Roy Lichtenstein lesson” in the search and then just scroll through the photos until I find something I like, then I make up the process that will take us to that end result. So to give credit where it is due, I found this pin: and worked backwards from there. 

This project was a perfect fit in Grade 5, and would work well in any class that knows how to make block letters. It is a great intermediate lesson with a very high success rate! 

Learning Intentions:

  • Students will be able to use found text to create texture.
  • Students will be able to show understanding of good composition by using the whole space.
  • Students will be able to express an onomatopoeic word visually.
  • Students will be able to use layering to create depth.



  • Blue construction paper
  • Yellow construction paper
  • Red construction paper
  • Newspaper or magazine pages (with lots of text)
  • Glue sticks
  • Black markers
  • Pencils
  • Scissors

tricky spot 3

Pre-Lesson Conversation:

Show some slides of Roy Lichtenstein’s work, and explain what Pop Art is. Pop Artists were trying to change the way people thought about art. Many people thought art should be complicated and fancy and follow certain rules, but this meant that not as many people could connect with art and enjoy it. Pop Artists wanted to make art that every person could recognize instantly and engage with, so they chose to depict things that everyone in their society knew, like celebrities, Campbell’s Soup, and comic books.

Questions for the class:

  • How does Roy Lichtenstein create texture in his paintings?
  • What sort of colours does he use?
  • What do you notice about the way he uses paint? Are his colours blended together or separate?

Step 1: 

Choose one colour of construction paper to be your background, and put it aside. Choose another colour to use for your onomatopoeia word, and begin to sketch the block letters.

You can add small details to their letters, like making a “Zap” jagged like a lightning bolt, to express the meaning of the word in the way they shape the word itself.

tips for success

Step 2:

Cut out the letters for your word.

Cut out clouds, bursts, lightning bolts, or other shapes of your choosing. You should have some small shapes, some large shapes, and a few similar shapes of various sizes to layer on top of each other (see examples).


Step 3: 

Arrange the shapes and letters on your background page until they are exactly the way you like them. Do not glue them down until you are absolutely sure, and make sure you are using the whole space.


  • Have you used the whole space?
  • Have you layered shapes to create depth?
  • Do you have enough texture (text) showing?


Step 4:

Glue your pieces down.

Step 5:

Use a black marker to outline all your shapes, and add a few little detail lines.


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