Presque Isle Middle School sixth-graders set sail on pirate adventure

17 years ago

    PRESQUE ISLE, Maine – Shiver my timbers!
Sixth-graders at Presque Isle Middle School set sail on a pirate adventure May 4 as a way to cap off a unit about pirates and the Caribbean.
According to teacher Peg Kelley, Pirate Day was tied to much of the curriculum.

“We read the book, ‘The Cay’ by Theodore Taylor as a class, which takes place in Curacao,” she said. “The sixth-grade social studies curriculum includes the Caribbean, so the book blends well with our required curriculum. There is a hurricane experience in ‘The Cay,’ which connects with our science curriculum in terms of weather.
“We also integrated computers, technology, research and library skills,” said Kelley. “The students have done pirate poetry, pirate posters, and Caribbean travel brochures. Today is the grand finale … the closure to our interdisciplinary unit. We want to leave a lasting impression on our sixth-grade students connecting their learning experience with a hands-on experience that they will always remember.”
Students were given a total of nine tasks they had to master in order to receive their share of the pirate treasure. Tasks included Pirate Jargon, Jolly Rogers, Captain’s Orders, ARRRRigami Hats, Treasure Hunt, Knotty Knots, Pirate Ale, Learn the Ropes, and Pirate P-ingo.
At the end of the day, which also included a feast in the cafeteria, the sixth-graders who completed all tasks were able to select prizes from a treasure chest which ranged from pens and pencils, silly putty, super balls and candy bars.
Samantha Simones said during the recent unit she learned how pirates made knots and what they drank.
“I learned that Blackbeard mixed his rum with black gunpowder, and when it caught on fire, he’d chug it down,” said Simones. “That would catch the enemies by surprise because people don’t normally drink fire.
“I liked making pirate ale,” she said of the drink that consisted of papaya, crushed ice, lemon juice, water, sugar and pineapple. “It’s delicious.”
Hayden Dow enjoyed all the pirate activities, and made a pirate card … similar to a baseball card.
“I learned about a fairly odd pirate named Bartholomew Roberts,” he said. “He didn’t like any sort of liquor and preferred to drink tea, and would kill any man who tried to sneak a woman on the ship.
“I’m excited because we’re learning all sorts of new things about pirates,” said Dow. “It’s been a lot of fun.”
Kyle Goupille said it was fun being able to walk around from room to room playing games.
“The first one was a jump rope activity and we all had to get across,” he said. “We almost got across … we were really, really close. Everybody tried … that’s the main thing.
“It’s been a lot of fun,” Goupille said. “It’s kind of cool because a lot of teachers dressed up, too. It was a little strange, but neat at the same time. I never imagined any of my teachers dressing like that.”
Kolby Knight had fun learning the different words and phrases the pirates used.
“Words like ahoy and scurvy dog,” he said. “We had to make a sentence, and I learned how to talk like a pirate. Scurvy dog can either be used as an insult or it can mean an experienced shipman or a navigator.”
Knight also made a poster on a female pirate, Anne Bonny.
“I learned that she was sent to prison because she joined her husband’s crew,” said Knight, “but couldn’t be killed because she was pregnant. It’s been interesting and a lot of fun.”
Kelley said she was pleased with the popularity of Pirate Day.
“It takes much planning and many people to make such an activity be successful,” she said. “By the looks on everyone’s faces, we have succeeded our goal.
“The enthusiasm displayed is evidence that something great was achieved here today,” said Kelley.