Friday, May 27, 2011

Arrrrrgh matey.

One of this week's May Day themes was pirates!  I hope you arrrrrrrrgh ready for some fun!  ;) is rocking my world on the Smart Board.  They have a selection of coloring pages that you can color online {ie, now in EXTRA LARGE size} but my favorite part about it is that you can click "New Page" and a big, beautiful, blank canvas pops up.  I bookmarked it blank and have used it pretty much every day since my discovery.  In this picture, I drew the outline of the ship and we made a cooperative drawing.  One child drew the flag, the next made some windows, the next added water, etc until we had one pirate picture with everyone's contributions.

For the second go-round I made a starting point {the star} and we came up with a very tricky treasure map that included all kinds of traps!  {For management purposes, students went up and did this one at a time while they were all working on different activities.  I'm not sure it would've gone over as well if they'd sat and waited for their turn, but since they were already otherwise occupied, it was perfect.}

Another thing I've discovered is Discovery Education.  I'm not a fan of showing movies for the sake of showing movies but there are great educational clips on there.  {Magic School bus, Reading Rainbow, children's books being read aloud, etc}  I found a Between the Lions episode all about pirates and the short i sound so we created ships to carry our short i words.  Instead of gluing the pictures down, I helped my kids glue the boat to pop out and they stuck their i things in like a pocket!

For some free exploration time {still no specials or breaks with lots of testing going on!} we stretched our creativity to make pirate ships from various materials like dominoes, wood blocks and pop cubes.  I love how different all of the ships are, especially with the blocks, and they all had very definitive sections like a plank, a slide or an on-deck pool.  :)

Of course, to really BE a pirate, you have to dress the part.  I cut these hats from black construction paper {just a pattern I made} and we glued shred glitter around the outside.  It's not regular glitter or flakes, but large chunks of different metallic papers.  I wouldn't put it past our amazing art teacher to actually make it herself.  The kids loved it because they thought it looked like jewels.  Then they each got to choose one large jewel to add to the middle.  Staple to a sentence strip {which I can not live without} and add a Dollar Tree eye patch and voila!  Captains of their ship.
Missing 4 of our pirate friends who took long Memorial Day vacations!

We painted empty kleenex boxes then used construction paper and glue to add decorations.  I thought that they would just do the outsides but upon closer inspection I saw that they added diamonds, pearls, golds and other gems inside, too!  {glued down for extra security}

Then we colored a treasure box coloring page and added a flap for writing.  On the outside it says "In my treasure box, I keep..." and they drew and wrote about their special treasures on the inside.  {Another example of changing worksheets to make them better!}  Most of them understood to write things that have real meaning to them like favorite stuffed animals, baby blankets or their superheroes.
I'm currently working on a full pirate unit to put on TpT in the near future but until then, here's a freebie that I hope you can use!  Graphics by Jessica Weible, my fave.  {link to the right}  Seriously, how adorable are these?!  You could use this as a poster in a writing center or cut them apart and have students randomly draw a card to write with.  You could staple a bunch of half sheets together or {for a little more zazziness} create a ship book where the hull lifts up and the pages are underneath.  Add one sentence to each page to demonstrate vocab understanding.

{click the pic to download}


  1. What wonderful ideas. I will have to add them to my pirate activities next year. :)

    Ms. M
    Ms.M's Blog
    A Teacher's Plan

  2. Anonymous9:02 PM

    Such cute pirate activities! Thanks for sharing!

    My school uses Discovery Education as well. Have you used "Peep" videos? Kinders really respond to it while it teaches science concepts (day/night, sink/float, animal habitats and coverings, etc.)! Each video is about 8 minutes of cartoon and 2 minutes of real kids doing science experiments! Just thought I'd share!

  3. i am having trouble on the crayola website finding the coloring online business... HELP!

  4. Mrs. Johnson, I have not tried peep videos yet...but we've only had our Smart Boards for about 2 weeks, so there's a lot I haven't tried! Until tomorrow that is. ;)

    Molli, go here: Then click new page at the bottom. Let me know if it doesn't work and I'll email you better directions!


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