International Talk Like A Pirate Day – A guest blog by Ian Goldsworthy

Ian Goldsworthy is here to help Learning Resources celebrate International Talk Like a Pirate Day! Ian is a Year 2 teacher at Manor Lodge School in Shenley, Hertfordshire and he also does teacher training in Science for Essex Teacher Training.

If you’re anything like me (late 30’s, balding, social life not as full as it once was) you’ll have had the 19th September circled in your diary for a long time – International Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Yes, it’s time to batten down the hatches, hoist the main sail, and fly the Jolly Roger once again as otherwise sane people pepper their vocabulary with a boat load of ahoy, aha and avast.

The salty seadogs at Learning Resources asked me to don my captain’s hat and take a look at three of their fantastic products to make sure they were ship shape ahead of this year’s talk like a pirate day and to think of a few ideas for how each product could be used to aid learning.

Jolly Roger’s Pirate Pieces

This is a great game for 2-4 players to begin to recognise fractions, specifically halves, quarters and thirds.  The pirate loot is gathered in the centre of the board and players take it in turns to use the spinner to determine which piece of treasure they will be able to take from the centre pile: ½ a gem stone, a 1/3 of a gold medallion, a ¼ of a treasure map or a whole golden chalice?

The winner is the first person to fill up their treasure chest, helpfully indicated by empty shapes split into halves, thirds and quarters.  But, crucially, there is not enough treasure for all four players; there will need to be some skulduggery in order for any pirate to complete their haul.  Once all the treasure has been collected from the middle you can then steal treasure from the other buccaneers, robbing them of their whole fractions whilst adding to your own.

Opportunities for learning

  • The strong, clear visuals of the game really help reinforce the differences in the fractions and how many parts make a respective whole. If a player has ¼ of their treasure map, ask them what fraction they have still left to find (3/4).
  • Collect more parts than can fit on your whole to demonstrate improper fractions i.e if you collect four parts of a medallion this would be 4/3
  • For more advanced players you could use decimal or percentage equivalents, encouraging children to recognise that ½ = 50% = 0.5

National Curriculum links

Year 1

  • recognise, find and name a half as one of two equal parts of an object, shape or quantity
  • recognise, find and name a quarter as one of four equal parts of an object, shape or quantity

Year 2

  • recognise, find, name and write fractions 1/3, ¼, 2/4 and 3/4 of a length, shape, set of objects or quantity.

Year 4

  • recognise and write decimal equivalents to ¼, ½ and ¾

 

Play Money

No pirate plunder is complete without some sterling, and this set of UK coins and notes has everything you would need to introduce working with money.  The coins are exact replicas of all current UK coins from 1p up to £2 – they’re even a little bit chunkier than the real thing to make handling a little more straightforward.  Also included are a set of notes from £5-£50.  Everything you might need to set up a role play area or to start working with money more in depth.

Opportunities for learning

  • Thanks to the fantastic accuracy of the coins and notes, this set makes a fantastic introduction to recognising the different shapes, sizes and values of the coins and notes.
  • Asking children to find all the different ways they could make a certain amount with the money they have is a great investigation and really gets them to start to see that there is more than one way to reach an answer.
  • Understanding the relationship between the notes and the coins can sometimes be tricky so working out how many of the different coins would be needed to make a £10 note can help children understand both money and place value (10 x £1.00 = £10, 100 x £0.10 = £10 etc)

National Curriculum links

Year 1

  • recognise and know the value of different denominations of coins and notes

Year 2

  • recognise and use symbols for pounds (£) and pence (p); combine amounts to make a particular value
  • find different combinations of coins that equal the same amounts of money

Year 4

  • use place value, known and derived facts to multiply and divide mentally

 

Playbrix Pirate Adventure

A pirate is not really a pirate unless they have a tall ship upon which to sail the seven seas and this fantastic resource allows them to build just that.  The set comprises of a number of different cardboard bricks: some shaped in squares and rectangles; some in triangles and pyramids.  This range of building materials allows any budding Blackbeards to create a ship, a fort or anything they want as part of their pirate universe.  Thanks to some clever reinforcement in the construction of the bricks they are all impressively durable as well.

Opportunities for learning

  • This set is a natural fit for any Early Years roleplay area and, though it comes with a number of decorations to help give it that pirate look, the bricks themselves could be reused for any number of different scenarios.
  • The variety in the types of bricks also makes this a great opportunity to introduce the properties of 3D shapes to the children by introducing them to cuboids, prisms and pyramids.
  • Don’t miss an opportunity to use this set with older children. The set comes flat packed with the shapes having to be assembled from nets.  Whilst the assembly would be too tricky for younger children, children in Years 5 or 6 should find a great challenge in predicting what shape will be made from each net before justifying their reasoning.

National Curriculum links

Year 1

Year 2

  • identify and describe the properties of 3-D shapes, including the number of edges, vertices and faces

Year 6

  • recognise, describe and build simple 3-D shapes, including making nets