How to Write a Limerick with Kids

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Need an activity that doubles as a learning moment? Writing a limerick is actually simple when you learn the basics of its structure and it’s an excellent way to practice rhyming words with kids. While the origin of the limerick is unknown, many people believe it refers back to an Irish soldier’s song, “Will You Come Up to Limerick?”. Read on to get the simple tutorial on writing your own limerick with the kids!

1. Rhyme Time

A limerick has five lines.
The first, second and fifth lines all rhyme with each other.
The third and fourth lines rhyme with each other.

  1. To
  2. Who
  3. Lock
  4. Stock
  5. Glue

2. Feel the Beat

The first, second and fifth lines (which all rhyme with each other) have the same rhythmic pattern:

Ba dum ba da dum da da dum (8 syllables)

The third and fourth lines (which rhyme with one another) have this pattern:

Ba dum ba da dum (five syllables)

3. Try it out

  1. There once was a kid who was sad
    (Ba dum ba da dum da da dum)
  2. He made up a lie to his dad
    (Ba dum ba da dum da da dum)
  3. His pop knew the trick
    (ba dum ba da dum)
  4. And called it out quick
    (ba dum ba da dum)
  5. And now the kid’s ice cream’s gone bad
    (Ba dum ba da dum da da dum)

A famous example:

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

4. Get creative!

Want to make it easier on little ones? Try a “fill-in-the-blank” method. Just take away a few of the rhyming words and have them guess the answers.

There once was a _____ from the farm
Who had sixteen hairs on his ______
Dog gave them a pull
Cat laughed like a _____
They never meant him any ____.


Line Up: 4 Crafty Ways to Introduce Kids to Poetry

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