My class was studying the ocean, and just for fun, we made Pirate books!

I usually began our Pirate study with a yes/no graph – Were pirates good guys or bad guys?  Then we had a discussion, and decided that even though pirates were bad guys it was fun to pretend about them.

The eye patch on this cover lifted up – it was glued at the top, and underneath we glued a large colored jewel (from a craft store).  I made up a story about how this pirate was fighting and got his eye poked out, so he hid the jewel that he had stolen in the empty eye hole where no one would find it.  The kids loved it, and totally knew we were pretending.  We used a hole punch – one of my favorite activities to strengthen hands – to punch a hole in one ear and used a sparkly pipe cleaner for the earring.  Some years when we didn’t have time to make this book we used this face and made pirate masks.

We glued on a popsicle stick for the mast and used a brad fastener to make the plank swing out.  I had a step by step chart for drawing the skull and crossbones on the flag, and glued it on with a toothpick flagpole.  Of course I reminded the children to add details.

We added details with paint on this page, and the wing moved with a brad fastener.  We read Mem Fox’s book – Tough Boris.

The children drew and labeled their maps (which tied into a social studies objective) and then we wadded them up so they would look wrinkled and tore off all the straight sides.  We read Grandma and the Pirates!

I also loved reading the Little Critter book – Pirate Soup.  This was a fun book to make with the children!

We also had a special pirate night – I called these Parent/child evenings and invited my class to bring an adult to school for dinner and fun activities.  Here are a few links to our invitation and some of the activities.


I tried to give at least a month’s notice, and lots of reminders about a special activity like this.

check off

Each family received a check off list of all the activities and they could do them in any order.  I really thought these special days were a great time to educate parents about our curriculum, how children learn through play and give them ideas about things they could do at home.  I made sure to include math, language arts and science activities.

some activities

At each activity I made a 3 sided sign with the directions on all sides.  These are a few we did.

Walk the plank

I brought in a children’s wading pool and my husband built a plank to walk over it.  Inside the pool I put a large crocodile, shells and rubber ocean animals.

I loved using Jack Hartmann’s Pirate song.  This was another simple song we learned:

Little pirate song


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