A limerick is a silly poem with five lines. They are often funny or nonsensical. All of the limericks on our site are family friendly (G-rated).
How to write a limerick:
The first, second and fifth lines rhyme with each other and have the same number of syllables (typically 8 or 9). The third and fourth lines rhyme with each other and have the same number of syllables (typically 5 or 6).
Limericks often start with the line "There once was a..." or "There was a..."
Example of an 8,8,5,5,8 syllable limerick:
There once was a clover named
Who sat on the edge of a plate,
The fancy folk dined,
On foods of all kind,
Then tossed her at quarter past eight.
History of the limerick:
Limericks were made famous by Edward Lear, a famous author who wrote the "Book of Nonsense" in the 1800's. This was an entire book of silly limericks.
Limericks aren't Irish (Edward Lear was English) -- but there is a Limerick county in Ireland and they are fun little poems for children to write -- so writing Saint Patrick's day limericks with the class is a fun and educational exercise for children to do. For young children, you can focus on the rhyming and ignore the syllable count.
You don't have to do a Saint Patrick's theme -- you can write limericks with any theme you like!
Examples of limericks:
I've included a couple of Saint Patrick's day limericks I've written and some of the original limericks written by Edward Lear.
I hope you enjoy and that you take the time to try writing one of your own!
Limericks by Leanne Guenther:
Limericks by Edward Lear: