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Tuesday, September 2, 2014


Aarr! Yep! There’s actually a “Talk Like a Pirate” day and it is officially September 19. I wrote this blog last year, but it's one of my favorites and I bet you'll find a few things to add to your lesson plans matey!

Why? According to the founders of Talk Like a Pirate Day, “Silliness is the holiday’s best selling point. And it’s fun!” There are many troubles and a great deal of seriousness in the adult world, but the classroom needs a little fun as well. Although a week from Thursday is the official day, I wanted to share a few ideas with you early so you could include them in your lesson plans. (You’ll even notice that I integrated some Common Core Standards!)

Pirate Read – Reread poems and big books by talking out of the side of your mouth like a pirate.

Pirate Song – Tune: “Yankee Doodle”
                        I’m a pirate. That I be!
                        I sail my ship upon the sea.
                        I stay up late – til half past three.
                        And have a peg below my knee.
                        Yo ho ho ho
                        Let’s sail away
                        Aarrr! Matey! Is what I say.
                        A treasure I will hide today
                        And walk the plank another day.
Note! I adapted this song from one posted on

Creative Writing – What would you do if you were a pirate? Where would sail on a pirate ship? What would you like to find in a treasure chest?

Pirate Cheer – Put one hand over your eye to make a patch. Talk out of the side of your mouth as you say, “Aarr! Way to go, matey!”

Parrot Cheer – Put your hands in your armpits to make wings and then flap them as you squawk, “You did a good job! You did a good job!”

Pirate Maps – Cut the bottom off lunch bags and then cut down one side and you’ll have a big rectangle. Children can draw a treasure map with markers or crayons. Squash up the paper and roll it around in your hands to give it a vintage look.

*Older children could write stories about their treasure hunt on the back of the map. Younger children could dictate a story.
*Add a compass map and introduce North, South, East, and West.
*Have children make maps of the playground.

Mustache – Cut mustaches out of construction paper and tape them under your nose. (This would just be optional, but what little kid wouldn’t want a mustache?)

Eye Patch – Cut an oblong shape out of construction paper, fold it in half, and glue it over a 30 piece of string.  
Hook – Cut hooks out of cardboard and let children cover them with aluminum foil. Insert the end of the hook in a cup you can insert over your hand.

Hunting for Coins – Write letters of the alphabet on poker chips with a permanent marker. (You can buy poker chips at most dollar stores.) Hide these on the playground or in the classroom. When children find the coins they can name the letter or think of a word that starts with that sound.
(You could also write numerals, math facts, or words on the poker chips.)

Vocabulary – Introduce pirate vocabulary that you can actually use in the classroom on September 19th.
                        Ahoy = hello
                        Avast = stop and pay attention
                        Matey = friend
                        Disembark = leave
                        Embark = enter, get started
                        Foul = something turned bad
                        Grog = drink
                        Weigh anchor = prepare to leave
                        Aye = yes
                        Nay = no

Parts of a Ship – Relate these to places in the classroom with labels.
                        Starboard = right
                        Port = left
                        Stern = back
                        Bow = front

Pirate Flags – Let children design their own pirate flags. These can be done with crayons on paper, or, better yet, cut an old sheet into rectangles children can draw on with markers.

Sharing the Booty - Cut pirate chests out of construction paper and write numerals on them. Let children use the poker chips to make appropriate sets or do addition and subtraction problems.
Walk the Plank – Children can practice balancing by walking forwards and backwards on the plank. (To make a plank put a piece of masking tape on the floor or draw a plank outside on the sidewalk with chalk.)

Pirate Snack – How about some fish crackers in an ice cream cone? After they eat the crackers they can eat the cone.
*You could also serve oyster crackers, Pirate Booty, or grog (juice).

Board Game – Let children create their own board game with a treasure at the end. There are many free game images like this one on the internet.

                             Do I love my job or what? Arrgghh, matey!