Thursday, May 7, 2015

Pirate Storytime

Buried treasure! Shipwrecks! Piracy is a great summer theme. You can get in touch with your inner pirate and still learn a little history while you're at it. So put on your eye patches, hoist your hook, grab that parrot and get ready to look for some treasure.

Can pirates be considered heroes? Kind of a stretch, but when you consider that they were stealing from the Spanish who were stealing from the Incans and Aztecs.... But they do get to dress up, and that's key for any young hero.

Ahoy, me mates and buckos! Belay the chatter! Belay the chatter, and smartly now. (Snap your fingers to show you really mean it.) Do you savvy? If you savvy, then say Aye Aye, Capn!.
These are me mates. (Introduce you helpers now) They’re hear to help you lubbers become proper seadogs. There’s treasure to be had, but be warned! One of you sea dogs will be walking the plank later on!

First, let’s go over the rules. No spitting on the deck. No swearing. And if my parrot poops on your head, don’t make a big deal out of it. Remember, I’m the captain of this ship. Cross me, and it will be Davy Jones Locker for you. I’ll crush your barnacles for you. Got it?

Now you all look ridiculous right now, with your clean shiny faces and your nice new clothes. Line up for some proper pirate wear.

First, dress up your bucanneers!

When everyone's ill shaven and scruffy looking, they'll be ready for the next part -- murder and mayhem!

The * means the name can be used as a first or last name: No Toes the Horrible.

A pirate can’t be named Emma or Ethan! Rename your crew! Tell them to pick a new pirate name using the initials of their landlubbing moniker. My name is Travis Sherman, so my pirate name is Terrible Squidlips! This chart is a lot of fun, but I did end up with some kids just named The Ugly, or Megan the Merciless.

Brush Up on Your Pirate Lingo

Ahoy, lubbers! Be you a bilge rat or a sea dog?
Pirate Vocabulary List
Communication is everything.

Walk the Plank!

Make a cardboard plank, and as the music of Jaws plays in the background, make it smaller and smaller while your pirates try to get safely across it. Someone's going to end in the ocean!

The Pirate Life.... Or Death

Good or Bad: Win...or Die!

There are too many of you in this room! Let’s weigh anchor and see which one of you is heading to Davy Jones Locker! All pirates love a game of chance. Get ready to roll the dice and see whether you live or die! Odds, you get a death card. Even, you live. (Alternate suggestion: Bring in a nerf pistol and have them engage in a little target practice with a styrofoam wig stand suitably garbed as a victim.) I gave all the participants some beads for being such good sports.

I’d ordered some of the very cheap gold doubloons and didn’t quite know what to do with them. When I came to a lucky pirate who had succeeded in making lots of $$$ (Black Bart, for example) I let him throw them into the crowd, which was mucho fun.

(If there are too many participants, you can break them up into smaller groups so everyone gets a turn for a pirate life.)

Win: You’re kidnapped by pirates but your wealthy family raises the gold to pay your ransom.

Lose: You’re kidnapped by pirates and sold as a slave! Too bad. You’ll be spending the rest of your short life as a galley oarsmen – you and 1.25 million others from the 1300s to the 1700s. No bathroom breaks as an oarsman! Just hope that you don’t get the third row below, where it gets really stinky! At least you’ll die young.

Win: You are a cabin boy working on a Spanish Galleon in 1836, and when your ship is attacked by pirates in the New World, you join the crew as a galley slave. In a few years, like the Dread Pirate Roberts, you are captain of your own pirate ship, but you have a rep for being a good guy and letting your victims go. After 7 years of sailing, you hid your treasure off Madeira Beach, Florida. Too bad about the 1848 hurricane. You never found it, even though you spent the rest of your life looking.

Lose: You’re attacked by a pirate ship flying a red flag. Is that good? Nope! Red is for blood – these pirates will give no mercy!

Lose: Your ship is lost to the pirates, and your head is hanging from the mast! Too bad! Birds are pecking at your skull now!

Win: Your pirate ship docked in Port Royal so your crew could have some time off. You had a great time and spent 3,000 pieces of eight or $67,000 DOLLARS in one night! Hope you had a good time!

Win: Your parents are remodeling their house in New Hampshire and find some of Blackbeard’s long lost stash! Congratulations! Guess you may be getting that raise in allowance after all!

Win: You kidnap a rich Roman named Julius Caesar and his family pays you beaucoup bucks to ransom him. Oh, whoopsie! Julius Caesar comes back with his Roman army and crucifies you alive. Guess this wasn’t such good luck for you after all.

Lose: You’re an ancient Greek pirate. You kidnap a nice looking, well born boy & think you’ll get a good ransom for him, or at least sell him for a very good price. (This sounds pretty good.That well born boy turns out to be the god Bacchus. He turns your oars and sails into ropes and all of the crew into dolphins.

Win: Your parents want you to marry a Danish prince. It’s the year 600, and as a beautiful princess you don’t have a lot of career options. But instead you decide to set sail with an all-woman crew and terrorized the north seas. Way to go, Alvida!

Win: Rumor has it that you’, Eustace the Monk, have made a deal with the devil to make your ship invisible. True or not? Who knows? You’re so awful you get beheaded by your own crew anyway! Too bad! You’re head is swinging from the mast!

Win: The French king is coming to borrow money from you to pay for a war, and you’re so incredibly wealthy you have it! You have more money than the French treasury!

Win: The English king has given you a letter of marquee. This gives you the right to legally rob ships of any enemy country!!! And when you get home with your stolen gold, you won’t be considered a thief but a hero!

Win: Your fast pirate ship stops a Spanish galleon at sea. It’s full of gold and silver they stole from the Indians and you steal it from them.

Win: You are Sir Francis Drake. You’re incredibly rich! Scared seamen call you Drake the Dragon when they see you coming. You are the first Englishman to sail around the entire world, robbing as you go. You’ve filled your ship with so much loot you have to live the silver behind to make room for the gold!

Lose: You’re bad at math and never figured out how to use a compass and navigate with the stars. You’re stranded at sea! Hope you don’t starve to death! There’s no pizza delivery on the high seas!

Win: Whoops! Your ship went into battle and you didn’t have your cutlass with you. (You’d sold it for grog at the lost port.) Bad choice! Pirates are responsible for ALWAYS having their cutlasses sharp and ready. At least you won’t be flogged! (Flogging is beating someone with a whip until you remove all the skin from their backs.) Instead, you’ll either be keel-hauled, dragged by a rope under the bottom of the ship, or marooned on a desert island.

Lose: It’s dinner time! Enjoy the weevils in the stale and extremely gross ship’s bread and the worms in your rice. Oh, and the guy sitting next to you is eating with his hands and letting the food run down his face and into his beard. Oh, but so are you!

Lose: You’ve been hung. Your body has had hot tar poured over it and now you’re hanging in the wind as a warning to others. But you don’t care – you’re dead now!

Win: You’ve been accused of stealing the crown jewels of Spain, so you change your name from Jose Gaspar to Jose Gasparilla and take to the seas for a life of piracy! You were a great pirate for a long time, and no one has yet found your treasure!

Photo: Courtesy John’s Pass at Facebook

Why does the pirate put his wooden leg in the freezer?

He wants to shiver his timber...

Pirate Lore

History of John's Pass Village
True story of this Florida landmark named after the famous pirate, John LeVeque.
Talk Like a Pirate Translator
Make up your own script and translate it into pirate!

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