Have you ever read a limerick? Do you know what a limerick is? A limerick is a poem made up of 5 lines with the 1st, 2nd and 5th lines ending with words that rhyme and the 3rd and 4th lines ending with words that rhyme but a different rhyme than the other 3 lines. And the 1st, 2nd and 5th lines have 8-9 syllables each and the 3rd and 4th lines have 5-6 syllables each. Does that sound complicated? It’s not really. Let me show you an example of a limerick…this one was written by Edward Lear, who wrote many limericks.
Limericks usually have some humor or a twist to them which makes them so enjoyable. Here’s another fun one:
Are you ready to write your own limerick? Let’s give it a try! There are different ways you can start writing your limerick. You can think of a funny story that happened and build your limerick around that story. Or you can make a list of a bunch of rhyming words and see where that takes you. (A rhyming dictionary comes in handy!) Remember, you need 5 lines in your poem. Lines 1, 2 and 5 have a rhyming word at the end and 3 and 4 have a different set of rhyming words. And lines 1, 2 and 5 need to have 8-9 syllables while lines 3 and 4 need to have 5-6 syllables. Here is a limerick I wrote. Let’s break it down and see how it works.
There once was a boy who was mellow, (9 syllables)
He really was quite a nice fellow, (9 syllables; mellow and fellow rhyme)
Until late one night, (5 syllables)
He was given a fright, (6 syllables; night and fright rhyme)
And then he let out a loud bellow! (9 syllables; mellow, fellow and bellow all rhyme)
What do you think? I think it’s rather fun to write limericks! I’m sure you can do it if you give it a try! It will take a little time to get your limerick just the way you want it, but just keep working on it till you are happy with the results. Many limericks seem to start in a similar fashion with “There once was a…” or “There was a…”, but you don’t need to start that way. Here is another limerick that I wrote…
That hen looks a little worried, doesn’t she? Haha! I hope you’ve had fun with today’s activity and you discovered the fun in writing limericks! I’d love to see your limericks when you finish! 🙂
A word of caution to parents: Be careful letting kids look up limericks online by themselves because there are “adult versions” out there too that are not too good for kiddos! Maybe look up “limericks for kids”. 😉