Because planning a program doesn't just take 5 minutes

Pirate Diary

Program Plan:

pirate-diarySnack on Pirate Booty, goldfish, and orange slice ships while discussing the book.  If we get stuck, use the discussion questions.  Then make two crafts: pirate treasure maps out of cloth, paint, and fine point Sharpies, and pirate jewelry out of leather string, bandannas and beads.

What Happened:

pirate-ship-orangesThere were 9 adult-child pairs; 6 moms, 1 dad, and 2 grandmas. We ended up with some sort of horrible blue juice drink, Pirate Booty, goldfish, sea creature gummies, and orange slice pirate ships (thank you, every single pirate party on Pinterest!)  They were all popular choices, although it took the kids a while to realize the oranges were supposed to be pirate ships.

pirate-book-displayFor the discussion, I stole a fun trick from our Mother-Daughter Book Club librarian.  After going around the room and letting everyone say what they thought about the book, I handed each table an envelope of questions and had them discuss just with their table.  This kept the conversation going more smoothly and gave the parents something to do, while I set up crafts and wandered around eavesdropping.

pirate-map-2Both crafts – the pirate jewelry and the treasure maps – were quite popular, and the boys got very involved.  We could have done with just one, actually.  The 45-minute program took 60-75 minutes, depending on the boy.  The maps turned out super messy.  (The custodians had a lot of clean up to do, and the boys took home soaking wet maps on sheets of card stock).

pirate-braceletThe jewelry was surprisingly engaging.  We did corded jewelry with leather and twine cording and (very manly) beads, and bandanna jewelry with different colored bandannas and pony beads.  Some of the boys – and a dad! – didn’t know how to braid, so they learned something new, and there was a ton of good, cooperative work figuring out what to make and how.  I put out a lot of books about knot tying, figuring that anyone who didn’t want to make jewelry could just practice tying knots, but everyone made lots of cool bracelets and necklaces and headbands.

Possible questions for discussion:

  1. Did anything about pirate life sound particularly appealing?  Unappealing?  Was there anything about pirate life you found surprising?
  2. Jack didn’t set out to be a pirate.  What would you do if your ship was taken over by pirates?  Leave the ship, or become a pirate?  Why?
  3. There were many different jobs on the ship.  Which job would you choose?  Why?
  4. On a merchant ship, the captain is always in charge.  On a pirate ship, the crew can vote in a new captain.  Which way do you think is better?  Why?
  5. This book was also published in a smaller, chapter book format without the colored pictures.  Which format would you rather read?  Why?  Why do you think they printed it both ways?
  6. Take a look at the pirate laws on page 33.  Which ones do you like?  Are there any you don’t like?  Are there any rules that you would add?

Other resources:

Fizzing treasure chests:  http://fun-a-day.com/pirate-science-fun-exploding-treasure-chests/

Knot tying: http://www.animatedknots.com/indexscouting.php

Make a boat (paper or foil; sailboat or raft; goal to move the fastest or to hold the most weight)

Leather cord bracelet (requires knot tying, even!) :

 

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