Home School Years

Proverbs 22:6 – Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old, he will not depart from it.

Ahoy, Mateys! All About Pirates

Related Posts:

Math Magic with Mermaids

Cultural Study: Puerto Rico

Explorer’s Route Map

Mountains, Islands & Volcanoes

parrot-on-pirates-shoulderRecommended Books:

  • Pirate Boy by Eve Bunting
  • Pirates: Robbers of the High Seas by Gail Gibbons
  • The Gingerbread Pirates by Kristin Kladstrup
  • A Pirate’s Night Before Christmas by Philip Yates
  • A Pirate’s Twelve Days of Christmas by Philip Yates
  • Shiver Me Letters: A Pirate ABC by June Sobel
  • Pirate Treasure by Loretta Krupinski
  • Shiver Me Timbers!: Pirate Poems & Paintings by Douglas Florian
  • Pirates Past Noon (Magic Tree House series) by Mary Pope Osborne
  • Pirates (Fact Tracker) by Mary Pope Osborne
  • Edward and The Pirates by David McPhail
  • Shipwreck On The Pirate Islands by Geronimo Stilton
  • Where’s The Pirate? (Seek and Count Hidden Pirates) by Keith Moseley
  • A Year On A Pirate Ship (Time Goes By series) by Elizabeth Havercroft
  • A Pirate’s Life For Me: A Day Aboard a Pirate Ship by Julie Thompson
  • Treasure Island Books 1-6 (Easy Reader Classics) by Robert Louis Stevenson

Lesson Themes:

Word Association ~ Discuss words associated with pirates, such as eye patch, bandanna, treasure chest, spyglass, ship, map, skull and crossbones, buccaneer, cannons, cutlass, islands, sea, robber, plank, mutiny, shipwreck, parrot, etc.

Being A Pirate ~ Discuss what a pirate is (sea robber/raider/criminal) and what life was like for them, including long days at sea, ate little or rotten food, lack of fresh water for drinking or bathing, caught terrible diseases, fighting other pirates or living in fear of being caught and punished for their crimes. Pirates who attacked Spanish ships in the Caribbean were known as buccaneersA Pirate’s Life For Me: A Day Aboard A Pirate Ship by Julie Thompson is a great book for this theme because it offers brief tidbits of information on various aspects of a day in the life of a pirate. To expand the lesson, you can offer a comparison between a pirate and a privateer (a private sailor who worked for a government and was authorized to attack foreign ships as opposed to a pirate who worked for himself and attacked any ship it deemed worthy of having goods or treasure). Some privateers ended up becoming pirates, such as Captain Kidd.

Traveling By Sea ~ Discuss navigational related themes such as the compass, compass points, maps and charts, spyglass, cross-staff/quadrant, latitude and longitude, and navigating by the stars. You can also introduce the concept of a captain’s diary or journal used to keep track of their travels, and how islands were used as stopping points and common locations for burying treasure temporarily to keep it hidden from others.

Pirate Talk ~ Have fun discussing some common words and phrases used by pirates. You can even have the child(ren) come up with dialogues or stories using the following:

  • Ahoy! ~ hello
  • Ahoy, mateys! ~ hello shipmates!
  • All hands on deck! ~ everyone on board needs to come to the upper deck immediately
  • Anchors aweigh! ~ pull the anchor up to get the ship ready for sailing
  • Avast! ~ stop! or who goes there?
  • Aye! ~ why yes, I wholeheartedly agree!
  • Bucko ~ is short for buccaneer: what a pirate calls his best friend
  • Doubloon ~ a Spanish coin pirates love to steal
  • Jolly Roger ~ the pirate’s skull-n-crossbones flag: used to strike fear when raised on a ship
  • Landlubber ~ means land lover and refers to people who prefer to stay on land
  • Load the cannons; ready, aim, fire! ~ arm the cannons and get ready to shoot
  • Man overboard! ~ when someone falls into the ocean and needs rescue
  • Man the lookout! ~ someone needs to go up to the lookout point with a spyglass to scan the area
  • Marooned ~ when someone is left in an island without food, supplies or help to survive on their own
  • Matey ~ a pirate’s shipmate
  • Patch the sails! ~ fix/repair the sails
  • Plunder ~ what pirates do when they steal from other ships
  • Shiver Me Timbers! ~ oh wow!
  • Stay on course! ~ keep navigating the ship in the stated direction, especially through a storm
  • Thar ~ used for there or their
  • Walk the plank! ~ someone is forced to walk off the plank and jump into the ocean as punishment/retaliation
  • X marks the spot! ~ the letter X on a map to mark the spot where the treasure is buried

Pirate Rules ~ Captains had to maintain order on their ships so they generally created a set of rules everyone had to follow. If you were a captain of a pirate ship, discuss or write what rules you would create to keep order.

Famous Pirates ~ Most pirates were men but a few women became well-known pirates, such as Anne Bonny, Mary Read and Grace O’Malley. Discuss famous real-life pirates (Sir Francis Drake, Captain Kidd, Henry Morgan, Blackbeard and Calico Jack) or pirate-characters in stories, such as Captain Hook, Jack Sparrow or Long John Silver.

Music Video: Portside Pirates!

Related Resources:

Treasure Map activity

Collection of Pirate themed worksheets

All About Pirates! 15 printable worksheets set

Disney Junior’s Jake and the Never Land Pirates website


Pirate = pirata


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


This entry was posted on November 11, 2013 by in Geography, History, Language, Social Studies, Stories and tagged , , .
%d bloggers like this: