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Limericks

By Mark Warner
Age Range: 7 to 11

Limericks can be very funny, and children will enjoy reading them and creating their own in the classroom.

Here are some examples of limericks which were kindly contributed by other teachers.

I went to the staffroom one day
For a nice cup of tea during play
But a troll had got in
And was making a din
Even though he had nothing to say.
There was a young man from Dealing
Who caught the bus for Ealing.
It said on the door
Don't spit on the floor
So he jumped up and spat on the ceiling

An artistic male cat called Greebo,
To an evening class he decided to go.
The teacher said, "That's not right
Your page is all white!"
Greebs said, "It is a polar bear in the snow."

There was a young lady from Ickenham
Who went on a bus-trip to Twickenham.
She drank too much beer,
Which made her feel queer,
So she took off her boots and was sick-in-'em.
There was an old person of Fratton
Who would go to church with his hat on.
'If I wake up,' he said,
'With a hat on my head,
I will know that it hasn't been sat on.'
There once was an old man from Esser,
Whose knowledge grew lesser and lesser.
   It at last grew so small,
   He knew nothing at all,
And now he's a college professor.
There was a young lady from Hyde,
Who ate a green apple and died.
   While her lover lamented,
   The apple fermented,
And made cyder inside her inside.
A mosquito was heard to complain,
'A chemist has poisoned my brain!'
The cause of his sorrow
was paradichloro-
triphenyldichloroethane.
There once was a lass in the staffroom...
who found a long and thin broom
she waved it about
with a scream and a shout
and cleaned up the whole of her classroom..

I once had a blind date with Cilla.
I took her to watch Aston Villa.
She sang to the crowd
And she sang very loud
And that's why they threatened to kill 'er.

There was an old man from Milan,
Whose limericks never would scan.
When told this was so,
He said, 'yes, I know.
'But I always try to get as many syllables into the last line as I possibly can.'

There was a young man from Dundee,
Got stung on the leg with a wasp
When asked if it hurt
He said no not a bit
It can do it again if it likes!


Activities

1) Ask the children to investigate the structure of a limerick. How many lines does a limerick have? How many syllables are there in each line? What is the rhythm of the limerick like? What is the pattern of rhyming in the limerick?

2) When the children are familiar with the structure of limericks, they could create some of their own. Depending on their age and ability, you might want to provide some starters for them, for example...

There once was a young man called Pete...

There once was a girl from Peru...

You could also provide sets of rhyming words for the children to use in their poems, for example...

Mark, dark, park, spark, lark, bark....

Wales, tales, sales, scales, nails, gales, males, quails, rails...

3) When the children have created their limericks, they could jumble up the lines, and ask their friends to rearrange the limerick back to the correct order (developing their sequencing skills).

Find more ideas and resources on our Poetry Writing page.
2D Shapes


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