how to write limericks for loved ones

Amy Mascott mascott
May 11, 2013
    Who knew that National Limerick Day was May 12? It’s true. National Limerick Day is celebrated on May 12 to honor Edward Lear, the creator of limericks. May 12 was Lear’s birthday. Who knew? And while I’m at it, who knew that limericks could be a really fun way to show loved ones you care–in a totally fun, completely silly way, of course!? It’s been a long, long week here with two of us flat out with the worst colds we’ve had in ages, but Owen and I put aside our tissues and cough drops one afternoon long enough to really get silly with limericks. We did a bit o’ rhyming, playing with syllables and sounds, and laughing. We blinged them out and made them fancy with our Melissa & Doug stamps. Then we popped them in the mail. And we realized that limericks certainly deserve a wee bit more air time, and they can put a fun spin on showing friends and family you care. Just in time for Mother’s Day, Cora, Owen, and I wrote some limericks for loved ones that will be put in the mail (hopefully!) in time for the big day. Here’s the skinny . . . Limericks for Loved Ones: Limericks are five-line poems that follow a specific rhyme pattern and syllable pattern. Sounds complicated but they’re not. Because our only trips out this week were to the doctor, our mailed Mother’s Day gifts to out-of-towners, had to be quick and creative. Though we made the beautiful Butterfly Pens, we planned to gift them when we saw them in person. Plus butterfly pens may be tough to send. So we played with limericks, catered to our loved ones for Mother’s Day. Once you pick up the rhythm and sound of the limerick, they’re rather easy to write. For example: There once was a lady called ‘Mom’, who you could say was quite the bomb. She gave us all hugs, and swept up the rugs. She kept the house nice and calm. The rhyme pattern is AABBA, with the syllables for each line being 8-8-5-5-8. Yes. I know. Mom, bomb, rhyme fine, but calm is a stretch–the classic ‘slant’ rhyme. I get it. I came up with it on the fly, okay?   Limericks for Loved Ones | silly poems full o’ love by teach mama   I came up with a quickie sheet because I knew that Owen worked better when he could see words on the page and hear them as they’re spoken. And I knew that limericks were pretty interesting mix of reading and math, so I was pretty sure my boy would dig ‘em. Which he did.   First, I read the examples of the limericks on the page and asked if Cora and Owen could hear any patterns or make out the ‘secret sauce’ of limericks. I reminded them to listen to the sounds, the rhythm, and the words. They were pretty on target but it helped for them to see the limericks on the page to see the red and blue words, the words that rhymed, and to see the lines on the page. We talked about syllables–the beats, or rhythm in a word or phrase–and we talked about rhyme patterns: ABA, ABBA, ABAB, etc.   the brainstorm cloud for Nana And then? We brainstormed. Hugely important step in all writing but the step that is often sadly forgotten. We first decided who our limerick would be about–my mom, their Nanny–and we wrote down everything we could think of about Nanny. Owen decided our first line would be, There once was a lady named Gayle, so we wrote down all of the words we knew that rhymed with ‘Gayle’.     We talked through the limerick, line by line, cooperatively writing the whole thing. I wanted to do this first one together so that Owen and Cora would be able to try the next on their own, but as it turned out, we wrote all of them together. Fine by me. The syllable piece along with the rhyme is pretty tough for little ones.   Cora copies the final draft of the limerick. . . . . . cuts it out. . .   . . . and mounts it on cardstock. From there, we were ready to do some serious limerick blinging. Using our trusty Melissa & Doug stamps, Owen and Cora stamped their little hearts out, beautifying the area around the limericks. They used our Animal Stamp Set to add some little friends, the Friendship Stamp Set to add some flowers and hearts, and the Alphabet Stamp Set and to personalize their piece.     When they were finished, we popped the special limericks into a few manilla folders and mailed them off to our loved ones. Here’s to hoping that these silly poems put a smile on the faces of the women we love so much–and will sure miss seeing!–this weekend on Mother’s Day. Turns out limerick-writing was a fun and unusual way of sending a few happy hugs through the mail. And along the way, Owen and Cora were doing some serious work because limericks really do push your listening and creative-thinking skills. They did a great job with them. Happy National Limerick Day!   This post was written as part of the Melissa & Doug Blog Ambassador program. As always, opinions and ideas are all my own, influenced only by my experience as a parent and educator and by my three little limerick-writers. Pin ItThe post how to write limericks for loved ones appeared first on teach mama.