Poetic Forms Poetic Forms    

Lesson 11: Limerick: There was a small boy of Quebec

by Rudyard Kipling

lesson image
Boy in Snow

There was a small boy of Quebec,

Who was buried in snow to his neck;

When they said. "Are you friz?"

He replied, "Yes, I is—

But we don't call this cold in Quebec."

    Poetic Forms Poetic Forms    

Lesson 11: Limerick: There was a small boy of Quebec

by Rudyard Kipling


Study the poem for one week.

Over the week:

  • Read the poem each day.
  • Review the synopsis.
  • Read about the poetic form.
  • Complete the enrichment activities.


Rudyard Kipling's limerick "There was a small boy of Quebec" describes a young boy buried in the snow. The boy is freezing, but unfazed, as he is from Quebec and used to cold weather.


Poems often adhere to specific poetic forms, defined as 'poems following distinct sets of rules.'

The nine poetic forms we'll study include the:

  1. Sijo: A lyrical Korean poetic form of three long lines.
  2. Haiku: A Japanese poem of three lines and a total of seventeen syllables.
  3. Limerick: A humorous poem of five lines and the rhyming scheme AABBA, typically having syllables of 9–9–6–6–9.
  4. Sonnet
  5. Epitaph
  6. Acrostic
  7. Visual
  8. Ode
  9. Blank Verse

Traditional limericks follow the listed rules:

  1. Consist of five (5) lines
  2. The first, second, and fifth lines rhyme, containing 7-10 syllables
  3. The third and fourth lines rhyme, containing 5-7 syllables
  4. Typically use humor or rudeness to evoke a reaction from the reader
  5. Follow the AABBA rhyme scheme.


Activity 1: Recite the Poem Title, Poet Name, and Poem

  • Each day this week, recite aloud the title of the poem, the name of the poet, and the poem.

Activity 2: Study the Poem Picture

Study the poem picture and describe how it relates to the poem.

Activity 3: Narrate the Poem

  • After reading the poem, narrate the poem events aloud using your own words.

Activity 4: Map the Poem

  • The limerick originated in early 18th century England.
  • Study the map, and find the name of the red starred capital of the United Kingdom.

Activity 5: Complete Book Activities   

  • Click the crayon above, and complete page 14 of 'Elementary Poetry 6: Poetic Forms.'


  1. 'Limerick.' Wikipedia. Wikipedia.org. n.p.