Poetry Tuesday

Advanced Poetry Lesson: Limericks

Let’s write some poetry!

Edward Lear’s illustration of his Young Person in Green


The next two Tuesdays we’ll put on our creative caps and write some Limericks!

A. Introduction to Limericks
What’s a limerick? They sound a little like this …

Let’s all try to write a new limerick.
I bet you can all learn it really quick!
Just try to engage
As you read down this page
And soon you’ll be writing them— pretty slick!

B. About Limericks
Here are some facts about limericks:

  1. A limerick has 5 lines.
  2. Limericks rhyme:
    The last words of lines 1, 2, and 5 rhyme
    The last words of lines 3 and 4 rhyme
  3. They have set syllables:
    Lines 1, 2, and 5 have 7-9 syllables
    Lines 3 and 4 have 5-7 syllables
  4. Fun fact: There’s a town in Ireland named Limerick that probably has nothing to do with the poems
  5. They’re usually kind of silly and often start with “There once was a…”
  6. Edward Lear made them popular in his book: A Book of Nonsense

C. Limerick Examples

There was a young person in green,
Who seldom was fit to be seen;
She wore a long shawl,
Over bonnet and all,
Which enveloped that person in green.
    ~Edward Lear

There was an Old Man with a beard,
Who said, “It is just as I feared!–
Two Owls and a Hen,
Four Larks and a Wren,
Have all built their nests in my beard!”
~Edward Lear

Hickory dickory dock.
The mouse ran up the clock.
The clock struck one,
And down he run.
Hickory dickory dock.

There once was a kind man named Terry,
Who’s manner was jolly and merry.
He made lots of bread
Then sat down and said,
“Oh dear, I’ve forgotten to marry!”
~My children (with a little help)

D. Write your own Limerick
Feel ready to write your own limerick? Great! Follow the guidelines above and see what you can concoct! 

Happy with your poem? Remember to share it on my Facebook page or in the comments!

Hungry for more? Check out this week’s…

Poetry Activity (for kids, adults, and everyone in between): Analyzing Poems

Poem Study:  The Arrow and the Song by Henry W. Longfellow

3 thoughts on “Advanced Poetry Lesson: Limericks”

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