To receive the newsletter
by e-mail, sign
of the Caribbean Mini Unit Study
Summer is the perfect time to learn about the dastardly pirates
of the Caribbean. Pirates have been around since the dawn of seafaring
and remain a problem for law-abiding sailors even today. However,
the pirate stories and legends we have all come to know and love
are from the golden era of pirates - the late 16th century to
early 18th century.
Chances are that most
of the famous pirates you know, such as Blackbeard, Henry Morgan
and Calico Jack, were active in the Caribbean (West Indies). The
section of the Caribbean Sea along the coastline of the Americas
used by Spanish ships was known as the Spanish Main and is were
most of the pirate raids occurred - on ships carrying bounty of
silver ore and other goods bound from the Caribbean to Europe.
Piracy reached its pinnacle in the 17th century as the states
of Europe warred with one another, the power and military might
of Spain declined significantly, and islands in the Caribbean
changed hands often - making them ripe havens for the buccaneers.
Countries even promoted a form of legal piracy against other nations
by hiring "privateers" to capture enemy merchant ships
and relieve them of their goods. By the early 1700's, the Caribbean
began to stabilize under increasing English influence, and the
golden era of pirates was coming to an end.
In this mini-unit study, you can: read about the history of piracy
and peruse biographies of famous pirates, hear about what it takes
to be a pirate in "So, You Want to be a Pirate?", see
a map of Blackbeard's exploits and read what happened in each
place he visited along the way, learn about the pirates of the
Bahamas, read the most famous book about pirates online - Treasure
Island, study sailor songs and shanties popular amongst pirates,
play the High Seas adventure game, go on a treasure hunt, dress
like a pirate, plan a pirate party and make a pirate ship out
of milk cartons.
Read about the history of piracy, pirate biographies and a wealth
of details about the lives of pirates.
Think you have what
it takes to have been a pirate? Read this account of what a pirate's
life entails first, before you decide:
You Want to be a Pirate?
An article on the pirates
of the Bahamas, including Blackbeard, Henry Morgan and a woman
pirate - Anne Bonney.
of the Bahamas
Read the classic pirate tale, Treasure Island, by Robert
Louis Stevenson in its entirety online (includes some illustrations):
All sailors, even pirates,
sung tunes called sea shanties while they worked to help them
coordinate their movements. See the lyrics to these songs:
(warning - not all songs have
appropriate lyrics for children, please check first)
song and shanty lyrics
Play the High Seas Adventure
game by National Geographic:
Seas Adventure game
Go on a treasure hunt and see if you
can find the pirates' bounty:
See a map and read details of Blackbeard's excursions along the
coastline of the Carolinas:
in the Carolinas
like a pirate
a pirate party
a pirate ship
The Book of
This wonderfully illustrated book provides the opportunity to
while away the summer hours reading a variety of pirate tales
and adventures. It contains eleven classic tales from the likes
of Robert Louis Stevenson, Gilbert and Sullivan, Washington Irving,
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and more. Great for bedtime storytelling
too, although some might be a bit scary for the younger kids.
Author: Michael Hague
Lists at: $21.99, Amazon Price: $15.39
more about the book on Amazon