Welcome to pirate week! This set of five lessons is part of a larger, six week unit my district has implemented, called "Inspired by the Sea". My students have loved reading about all things ocean, informational and fiction. This week, they're excited to join the ranks of cap'n Prejna, and read fictional stories about pirates. We'll be focusing on reading closely for understanding, text structure and illustrations, and story elements. Many of my lessons integrate multiple standards within one lesson.
At the beginning of the week, we focus on our close reading skills using Melinda Long's How I Became a Pirate, but then we dig into other pirate stories of different reading levels. Knowing I was going to need a lot of different fictional pirate stories this week, I enlisted the help of my school librarian, and visited two of my local libraries. I'm thankful to have lots of help in collecting stories in various levels to meet the needs of all of my readers!
Please watch this short video to see some of the highlights of my lesson. Thank you, and godspeed (goodbye and good luck in pirate speak!)!
Review: The students are eager to dig back into their pirate stories. To set my crew up for success, I go back over our example, which compares and contrasts Henry & the Buccaneer Bunnies and How I Became a Pirate. (Pirate Compare and Contrast Teacher Sample)
Questions?: I ask the students if they have any questions about reading, rereading, or completing the compare and contrast activity. When I ask my students I ask by saying "What questions can I answer?", hoping to bring out even the shyest of question askers! We revisit our standards often, so I've included our Common Core posters for the standards covered within the Venn diagram activity. (See Resource Files: RL3.1; RL3.5; RL3.7; RL3.9 Posters)
Set Purpose: I remind students to read closely, reread, and go back in the text to confirm their comparisons and contrasts, especially if they get stuck!
Read, Compare, and Contrast: The students continue to read their pirate stories chosen yesterday. They work on comparing and contrasting their story to How I Became a Pirate, our shared reading selection for the week. As students are working I walk around the room, assisting as needed, as well as checking to make sure all of my crew are on the right track and on their way to completing the Venn diagram, and beginning their paragraphs. (See Resource File: Pirate Compare and Contrast with How I Became a Pirate)
Early Finishers?: I have some students who are close to finishing and will be beginning their second pirate story! It's most important to me that students take their time and do a careful, close comparison of the two texts. If I've checked over their work and see that they've done a great job, then I invite them to choose another pirate story to enjoy.
Review: I let the students lead the review, by asking them to share some of their favorite compare and contrasts with the class. I compliment them when they use great literacy words, like character, setting, genre, etc.
Here are some additional resources you may find helpful to use with your lads and lassies during a pirate, or ocean week. I try to integrate materials to support the standards within our literacy centers, language arts time, and at home practice .
Journal Writing: To practice routine writing, have your students complete pirate-themed journal entries each day (W3.4, W3.10). Display this pirate journal document each day and let your students choose their entry. If your students have individual devices, such as Chromebooks (we're not there yet :), have them type their journal responses onto a collaborative document to make a class book of journal entries for later reading. My students have composition books where we complete our journaling activities. Ask your crew to have their pirate speak bookmarks out while writing their journal entries for authentic pirate talk! (See Resource Files: Pirate Themed Writing Prompts)
Pirate Themed Organizers: I've included some pirate-themed graphic organizers that focus on asking and answer relevant questions for comprehension (RL3.1 and L3.2), character (RL3.3), and comparing and contrasting texts (RL3.2, RL3.9, W3.4). If you are working on different standards than I have highlighted in my lessons, or are looking for additional practice, some of these may be helpful. I like to use organizers like this to differentiate. Not all of my readers read at the same level, so it's nice to offer practice that can be used with different texts. You'll notice how there is a "Title of text" line on all of the graphic organizers here. (See Resource Files: Character Map; Pirate Question Stem Ask and Answer Practice; Pirate Compare and Contrast)