The adventures of a fourth grade teacher in East Central Illinois.


I won’t always use themed posts for my blog like some teachers do, but I like to give credit where credit is due, and that means I need to acknowledge that today’s post is inspired by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater over at The Poem Farm.

The City of Urbana is holding a special writing contest for school-age children as part of its 180th birthday celebration. Students are invited to write limericks about Urbana and submit them for judging. There will be awards for different age categories. I wanted to make sure my students had an opportunity to participate, but this meant I needed to make sure they knew what a limerick was!


Enter my father-in-law, Dr. Reger, who has been a visitor to my classroom a couple of times in the past. I asked him how he felt about his limerick-writing skills and he informed me that he is a licensed limericist. (I actually looked it up to make sure that such a thing really existed. It does. At least, the limericist part does. Not so sure about the licensure.)

I did some pre-teaching on poetry and limericks today as a warm-up, and then Dr. Reger came in and spent about 35 minutes with my class, teaching them the rhythm and order of limericks, sharing the history, and then giving students the opportunity to try their hands at writing their own. A few brave souls wanted to read their limericks aloud and I made a video so that we could better share them with our adoring fans.

Not too shabby for less than an hour of prep work! We are going to look more at poetry in the coming weeks, including reading Sharon Creech’s wonderful novel-in-verse, Love That Dog, and poems by authors like Roald Dahl and Shel Silverstein. My hope is that at least some of my students will identify this particular form of expression as something they find aesthetically pleasing and interesting to both consume and produce.

Happy Poetry Friday!


3 responses

  1. Well done, Alex. I love limericks too! If you’re interested, you can check out the “Limerick Alley” posts on my blog, Today’s Little Ditty ( I would love to hear one of your father-in-law’s too. I’ve never met a licensed limericist before!

    September 27, 2013 at 8:38 pm

  2. amyludwigvanderwater

    Dear Students, Wow! I now have the beat of a limerick in my head. I am wondering if you found yourselves THINKING in limerick rhythm all weekend. Thank you for sharing these with us for Poetry Friday. I hope you have fun wriitng your limericks about Urbana. (That’s a tough one to rhyme with. 🙂 ) Sometimes I make lists of rhyming words to help me – you might want to try making a list of neat things and places and facts and feelings about Urbana and then work together to find as many rhymes for these as you can. I am not sure how The Poem Farm inspired you to write these, but I’m honored that it did and I welcome to to share at my place sometime too if you wish. Please just drop me a line if you’d ever like to share your poems at The Poem Farm. Happy Poetry Sunday!

    September 29, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    • Amy, thank you for visiting and offering your kind comments! My students are not particularly aware of the teacher blog memes like Poetry Friday, but I read several blogs that use it. The inspiration for the limericks is a poetry contest our community is doing for its 180th birthday celebration.

      September 29, 2013 at 6:56 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s