Basic craft : Limericker

Everyone knows of the limerick, and can probably recite several. The jingly sound is instantly recognisable - the worksheet helps to keep the rhythm and rhyme correct so that the finished verse sounds right.

A simple way of starting is to decide on who the limerick is to be about (this will take 3 or 4 beats or syllables - a fat cat, a thin monkey, an old man) and write this into the beat-boxes after the There was. In the next free box write the word from or of.

You should now have either one or two boxes empty at the end of the first line. Now choose a place - remembering that it will need to fill either one or two beats (for example - York, Ayr, Cardiff, Dundee) and will also set the rhyme for all three long lines.

When you have decided on and written down the place name, make a list of words that will rhyme with it. This will help you think about possible ways to begin the story in line 2 or how the limerick could finish in line 5. It is usually easiest to give the character something to do in line 2 and then work out a suitable result of the action for line 5. The two short middle lines will link these two ideas together.

The stories in most limericks are strange and silly so you can be as crazy as you like, but keeping to the rhythm is essential.

You may know some examples of limericks that use 9 and 6 beats in the long and short lines, but whichever length you use it is better to start from the tightest form (as on the worksheet) and add the extra beats as necessary. Be careful not to make the first line longer than the second or the third longer than the fourth.
Remember that most of the beats are in groups (called feet) of three beats, so that some combinations of words will sound odd even if they have the right number of beats. Beware of getting into a TUM-tum rhythm - the sound is tum-TUM-tum.

Some words, 'a' in particular, are so short that they often don't need a beat of their own if they are not stressed. You will find out whether they need one by reading the limerick aloud, keeping to the correct rhythm.

For further information on this sort of game click on games listed under BASIC CRAFT in the INDEX side bar.

See also the downloadableworkshop games pc only [1163 Kb] on the Games page

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Windows Workshops Dave Calder, The Windows Project ,1997,1998,1999,2009