13th May 2013
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|There once was an English teacher,
With one distinguishing feature.
Whether young or old,
All her students were told,
They were good, and all did believe her!
The unofficial Limerick Day,
the birthday of Edward Lear, is on May
are a couple of well known limericks by Edward Lear:
an Old Man with a beard,
Who said, 'It is just as I feared!
Two Owls and a Hen,
Four Larks and a Wren,
Have all built their nests in my beard!'
a Young Lady whose chin,
Resembled the point of a pin;
So she had it made sharp,
And purchased a harp,
And played several tunes with her chin.
First of all, the structure behind the
limerick - It is a five line poem that consists of a triplet
& a couplet. The 1st, 2nd & 5th lines rhyme, with
3 beats per line, while the 3rd & 4th lines rhyme, with
two beats per line. The last line is usually the punch line.
Here are a few ways of using
For reception, limericks are good for helping students
to become aware of rhythm. As you read out the limerick get
them to beat the stress by knocking on their desks or clapping
their hands. They can then go on to read limericks out loud
to each other. See the links at the end for sources of limericks.
If you have cuisenaire rods,
give out a couple of colours to each pair & ask them to
represent the rhythm with the rods. To
see this done on the site with nursery rhymes
Asking students to produce limericks
can be fun but challenging. You might want to start off by
giving some limericks with gaps the missing vocab jumbled
up. The students have to choose the most appropriate word
to fit the limerick. For example:
was a man from ______
Who interrupted two girls at their ______
Said he with a ______
"That park bench, ______
Just painted it right where you're ______
And another one:
a young woman named ______
Whose speed was much faster than ______
She set out one ______
In a relative, ______
And returned on the previous ______
Then go on to giving out the
first lines of 3 limericks & also the other lines all
mixed up. Through the content & the rhythm, the students
unjumble them all.
Then to the first line of a
limerick to all of the students:
'There was an
old man from Ham'
Brainstorm all the words they
can think of that rhyme with 'Ham' - am, clam, cram, dam,
damn, dram, gram, jam, lamb, ma'am, ram, Saddam, scam, slam,
spam, swam, tram, wham. Then give out your list & go through
them. The students then invent their own limerick. You could
get them to rotate their limericks after each line, with a
new pair adding the next line to each limerick. Treat it as a bit of fun & that their limericks can be as well, as wacky as they want.
Here's another teaching-related limerick:
And commitment to the relation.
If people would come
With their homework all done,
There wouldn't be so much frustration.
Other Tips about using poetry:
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The Weekly Teaching Tip is written by Alistair Dickinson at Developing Teachers.com.
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