Lipogram: Rewrite “Mary Had A Little Lamb”

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Students will re-write a nursery rhyme using increasingly difficult letter restrictions.

A Lipogram is a great example of constrained writing - adding unexpected restrictions to force writers to really think about what they're doing. Students will be cracking open their thesaurus, restructuring sentences, and coming up with ways to get around common, but forbidden, words.

Start with the Twinkle, Twinkle version.

Your students might find this Lipogram App helpful for checking their work.


  1. First, students rewrite "Mary Had A Little Lamb" without the letter O.
  2. Next, they try without the letter A. Yep, that means four of the five words in the title are gone!
  3. Now, students rewrite the poem without the letters T or S.
  4. And finally, for an extreme challenge, students can try without half of the alphabet: B F G J K O Q U V W X Y Z.


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