Shelly Lyon
Apple    This is Shelly ’Klingensmith’ Glennon. Shelly teaches fourth grade at Tularcitos Elementary School in Carmel Valley, California. Leslie volunteered in Shelly's first grade classroom
All of this exposure to the first-grade classroom has had a lasting effect on Leslie’s books, not just providing a setting but also making the books very curriculum friendly. Albert’s Field Trip was a direct result of a class field trip. Ms. Klingensmith (Shelly) can be seen (in her Pleasant Valley/rabbit persona) working with the first-graders in Albert’s Birthday, which was introduced in Fall, 1999. Shelly created these materials and used them in her classroom with great success.

Weather Limericks

By Shelly Lyon

March is a month or tricky little leprechauns, jokes and laughter as well as extreme weather. There are lots of topics to fuel a limerick writing session or two. Here's how I got started with my fourth grade class.

First we read lots of limericks. I checked out books from the library like If Pigs Could Fly by Bruce Lansky and we even went to his website <>

My class created our own list or requirements for writing a limerick. They included:

It has five lines.

The last words on the 1st, 2nd and 5th lines rhyme.

The last words on the 3rd and 4th lines rhyme.

The number of syllables needs to be similar on lines 1,2, and 5 .

The number of syllables on lines 3 and 4 need to be similar and less than lines 1,2, and 5.

They are funny!

Bruce Lansky has some good guidelines for writing a limerick on his website, too. But, I find that children tend to internalize poetry patterns if they set up the guidelines themselves. However, Bruce gave me some good teacher guidelines to keep in mind as I helped the children notice patterns.

Then we set to work making lists of rhyming words and writing our own limericks as a class. After some group examples were created, then the children were ready to write their own. Here is a weather limerick we created together for Leslie when she didn't come to teach us writing one Tuesday (incidentally, that RARELY happens). This particular week Leslie just happened to be in Germany, but the class thought it was funnier and rhymed better to have her doing her second favorite thing, cooking.):

There once was a class from the Valley
               Who watched the thick fog from an alley.

When Tuesday came around, Leslie couldn't be found.
               "If not writing, she'd be in the galley."

Enjoy a month of limericks! Try displaying your class collection in a prominent spot at your school to spread the smiles around.