Pirate activities?

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by Rockguykev, May 26, 2008.

  1. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    May 26, 2008

    I'm looking to close my 7th grade year off with a mini unit on the history of pirates. I'm trying to put together a lab consisting of 4-5 short activities that are hands on. Any ideas?

    So far I'm thinking I'll have them design their own flag and translate something written in "pirate".
     
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  3. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    May 26, 2008

    You can incorporate some math and do a treasure map for a treasure hunt.

    You can do some writing: Have them create wanted posters for new pirates to join the crew. "Must like parrots. Not afraid of high tides etc.."

    Some sort of Trivia/jeopardy game. What was Blackbeard's real name? Okay whatever, you get my point
     
  4. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    May 26, 2008

    Research the various kinds of treasure that has been discovered and is still being discovered today. Research the locations of existing forts. Contact St. Augustine, FL, chamber of commerce for info.

    Have a treasure hunt of your own. Hide gold foil covered chocolate candies. There are fish tank 'jewels' that you could use, too.
     
  5. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    Some type of simulation would be a blast.
     
  6. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    May 26, 2008

    I think it would be super fun for your "pirate ship" (class) to storm another "ship"... They could have the prisoners "walk the plank" or get a share of some pirate booty or something.
     
  7. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    May 27, 2008

    Pirates didn't actually do the plank thing just fyi :)

    I love the idea of storming another class though. I'll see if my buddy teacher is up for it. I thought about doing a school-wide treasure hunt but I'm guessing some people might get annoyed having my kids wandering the halls all day!

    I really hope to do something to show them how ugly pirate life really was as opposed to the romantic life we see in the movies and in books but I may just give that up and go for all out end of the year fun.

    Thanks for the ideas so far, keep 'em coming!
     
  8. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    May 27, 2008

    Maybe you could read an excert(sp?) from a book depicting real pirate lives and what we see in the movies and then have the students compare/contrast the two.
     
  9. wig

    wig Devotee

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    May 27, 2008

    I'm just wondering why you chose pirates. I am sure that the pirate thing sounds fun to kids, but technically, they were clearly outlaws. I think sometimes we have a tendency to glorify their activities as we did the outlaws of the west. Are we doing our kids a favor when we do that, or perpetuating a myth. I assume you are a SS teacher so you know the history of pirates, so I am not telling you something you don't already know.

    I love lessons that are fun, but I guess not at the expense of accuracy. Just a thought that came to mind when you said you were just going to do the fun "stuff".

    Anyway, here is a site with a lot of activities.

    http://www.nwrel.org/ecc/middle_2000/middleton_2.html
     
  10. MrL

    MrL Companion

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    May 27, 2008

    A really great book for background knowledge is "Under the Black Flag."

    Social Studies-wise, have the kids separate into groups and make a charter. In real-life, pirates were very democratic, with votes on actions instead of Captain Barbosa shouting stuff.

    A proper charter must include
    -Fate of deserters
    -Responsibilities on ship
    -How the captain is chosen
    -How the crew deposes the Captain
    -How the next voyage is decided
    -How the treasure is decided. Everyone gets one share. Captain gets more shares, and other things earn you more shares. Many pirate charters had really weird rules, such as the ship musician getting double or even triple shares! Also, what share money is used for equipment and repairs?

    Great. Now you've got "The Curse of Captain Morgan" by Alestorm looping in my head again.
     
  11. redskins0756

    redskins0756 Rookie

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    May 27, 2008

    Come on now this is pirates! You at least have to shoot off a cannon or walk the plank :lol:
     
  12. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    May 27, 2008

    Technically, the American Revoloution was on of the biggest crimes in World History and to Britain we were considered outlaws. Go for it and the plank thing you are completely correct. I would definately talk about the fact that the Barbary pirates were so powerful, the British attempted to pay them off multiple times.
     
  13. wig

    wig Devotee

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    May 28, 2008

    Sigh! I am, of course, aware of that. But we generally do not teach the Revolutionary war as only a fun thing. My point was that since pirates are generally portrayed in the movies inaccurately, that having a pirate thing with only fun activities may perpetuate the myth. My response was based on this comment

    not the concept of teaching about pirates. But that is just my opinion. Guess I am just an old fuddy duddy. :D
     
  14. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    May 28, 2008

    Sorry, Wig I couldn't resist.
     
  15. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    I understand what you are saying, I thought you meant not to teach about them becuase they broke the law.
     
  16. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    My labs are always the fun side of things. When i taught the Aztecs I didn't do a lab on massive human sacrifice. When i taught the Crusades I didn't do a lab on discrimination against jews, no seppuku rituals in Japan, etc. I would never trivialize important issues with a lab. Instead I use them to set up the real history.

    I love the idea of doing a charter. I was tossing around in my head how to do that (pirate ships were arguably the most democratic "state" in existence in the 1700s) by electing leaders for each table group but a charter would be much better. Thanks!
     
  17. wig

    wig Devotee

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    May 29, 2008

    That's OK. Just didn't want you to think I was lazy. :lol:

    (Brendan and I are "picking" at each other for the fun of it for those who are wondering about our comments)
     
  18. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    May 29, 2008

    One thing I would suggest to emphasize is the role that pirates played in History, I would talk about the Barbary Pirates in particular.
     

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