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Poetry: What is a Limerick?

Poetry: What is a Limerick?

Author: Trista Virtue

Through this lesson you will learn about a type of poem called a limerick.


The 'Father' of the Limerick: Edward Lear

There are many forms of poetry, but one of my favorite types is the limerick. 

It is said that Edward Lear is the 'father' of the limerick poem because he wrote so many of them.  A limerick poem follows a set of guidelines such as:  the poem is made up of five lines which follow a certain rhyme scheme (AABBA) and it is a silly poem.  The ryhme scheme of AABBA means that lines one, two, and five have end rhyme and lines three and four have end rhyme.  Also, lines one, two, and five need to be consistent between seven to ten syllables.  Whereas, lines three and four need to be consistent between five to seven syllables. 


Here is a limerick that I made.  See if you can identify how many syllables are in lines 1, 2, and 5 as well as in lines 3 and 4.  Also, did you notice any end rhyme?


There once was a boy named Virtue,  (A - 8)

he got a cold and said, "Achoo."   (A - 8)

He drank some herbal tea  (B - 6)

and was better by three.   (B - 6)

That wonderful boy named Virtue.  (A - 8)


Here is a Brainpop video on Poetry (with a few examples of limerick poems).


The following YouTube video is a festive ode to a limerick!  This lesson is really fun to teach around St. Patrick's Day


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