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: I complete a quick review of this week's skills, so students can finish up any work on their paragraphs before we present today. I go through each part of the Venn diagram and the paragraph directions to make sure students didn't forget any important parts. I also let the students know we'll be reading our paragraphs at the end of our working session today if they want to practice reading them to themselves. Included are our posters for this week's standards. (See Resource Files: RL3.1; RL3.5; RL3.7; RL3.9 posters)
Read, Compare, and Contrast: The students finish up any reading, Venn diagram, or paragraph tasks they have left to complete. I check in with the students first who haven't finished yet, to make sure they'll finish by the end of our working time today. (See Resource File: Pirate Compare and Contrast with How I Became a Pirate)
Many of my students have completed their activity and are now enjoying their second pirate story.
Share: We have a lot to celebrate! Today, I've asked students to share the paragraphs they created highlighting some of the comparisons and contrasts of their pirate stories. Although I'm not formally assessing any speaking and listening skills today, it's a good opportunity to offer students practice. I remind students of my expectations for group presentations. My crew reads their paragraphs one at a time right at their desk. We hold all applause until the end. (See Resource File: Engage in Discussion Poster CCSS SL3.1)
Weigh Anchor: The last thing our class does is "weigh anchor" for one last time. I let me mateys know that all of the great pirate stories will be left out for next week, and I encourage them to read them during our literacy block, or any other free time they may have.
I've created a short assessment for my crew to complete. This assessment models the PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) assessment samples. Practicing assessments will help my students answer questions with two parts (Part A and B questions), as well as questions with multiple answers. You'll notice I've included some standards from this week, as well as some that are review. (See Resource File: Fiction Pirate Journal PARCC Sample)
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)