A Limerick is a 5 line poem with a rhyming pattern of AABBA. It’s typically a funny short story about a person in a specific place.
The rhythm of the poem is usually:
1st Line: 9 syllables
2nd Line: 9 syllables
3rd Line: 6 syllables
4th Line: 6 syllables
5th Line: 9 syllables
Common Core State Standards
NOTE: This game can address the following Common Core Standards: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.RF.K.2.A, RF.K.2.B, RF.1.2, RF.1.3.E, RF.3.3.C and RF.4.3.A
Rhyme and Syllables
Because this poem incorporates both rhyme and syllables it takes the children more time to understand and complete. Be patient with them. Listen to their ideas and help them sort out their ideas so they fit the rhyming and syllable pattern.
Young or Struggling Writers
For younger or struggling writers I will actually write the words that we come up with together on a draft paper for them to copy onto a final paper.
Here are the steps!
Here’s how I guide the children in writing their own limericks!
- First, explain to the students the elements of a limerick (above).
2. Second, brainstorm people: boy, girl, man, woman, prince, princess, king, queen, dentist, doctor, baker etc.
3. Third, brainstorm cities, states, countries, landmarks and general places that are easy to rhyme with:
The Great Wall
Show the Layout
4. Next, show the layout of the poem:
LINE 1: There was once a ___(person)__ from ____(place)_____. 9 syllables
LINE 2: Who _______(action)___________________________. 9 syllables
LINE 3: When ________________________________________. 6 syllables
LINE 4: He/she _______________________________________. 6 syllables
LINE 5: ____________(how the story ended)________________. 9 syllables
- Point out that the last words on line 1, 2 and 5 should rhyme.
NOW TO WRITE!
- Choose a person and place.
- Write a long list of words that rhyme with the place.
- Think of a short silly happening or action that can fill line 2.
- Next, think of a silly problem to continue the story and to fill lines 3 and 4.
- Find a couple of words from your idea that are easy to rhyme with.
- Write a long list of words that rhyme with those words.
- Brainstorm ways to fill lines 3 and 4 so that they rhyme and have 6 syllables each.
- Think about how you can finish the short story using 9 syllables and rhyming with lines 1 and 2.
- Then, write your draft on scrap paper. Work with the poem until you like it and it follows the rhyme and syllable patterns.
- Lastly, write your final draft on paper with a border so it looks nicer.
Print the Lesson
As soon as the students finish their limerick they can fill their border with a St. Patrick’s Day art accent.
More Limericks to Read
Find funny limericks to share with your students here!