O Pets

poem by Suzy Levinson , illustrated by Cheryl Orsini

Learning intention:  

I am learning to identify various elements of a poem so that I can follow its structure and style to compose my own. 

Success criteria: 

  • I can identify aspects of a limerick poem in a text 
  • I can produce an idea that links to the mentor text 
  • I can create a limerick based on my idea 

Essential knowledge: 

More information about recognizing and applying stylistic devices can be found in the English Textual Concepts video Style. 

Ask students if they are familiar with limericks and discuss the style with them. Remind students that limericks: 

  • Have five lines 
  • Have an AABBA rhyme scheme 
  • Follow a syllable pattern 
  • Are about something silly or nonsensical 

Read the poem O Pets as a class and ask students to identify the syllable pattern of the stanzas (8, 8, 5, 6, 8) and the silliness of the topic (pets doing nonsensical things like bowling, playing clarinet, water skiing and kung fu). 

Students should then choose a pet or other animal to write a limerick about, following the structure of the stanzas in the poem. Model one on the board for the students, such as: 

O Zebra you’re truly a treat 

Your paintings are so very neat 

You catch people’s eye 

When you roller skate by 

Your drumming has such a smooth beat