My son has begged to study pirates for years, so we finally did. There are some fun kids’ pirates books, plus we listened on CD to the classic “Treasure Island.” We downloaded the audio book for free (see here) and listened to it in the car on the way to some field trips. There are several readers; some are great, and some are pretty bad. But it’s free, and I could never seem to get it at the library when we wanted it. When the book was done, my oldest son said, “Aww. I wish that book had a million chapters. There are only 34!” Now, that’s the sign of a good book! One really neat thing we did was to go see the “Real Pirates” exhibit at the Field Museum (link here) in Chicago. There was a real pirate ship named the “Whydah” which sank off of Cape Cod. In the exhibit they displayed many artifacts which were brought up, including lots of “sunken treasure!” (This link has pictures and video, and here’s another.) They had a whole glass case of silver coins which were found. We decided to make some coins ourselves. We cut out irregular circles (the ones we saw in the exhibit were not perfectly round) and covered them with foil. Then the boys drew designs on them. I made a couple of money bags for them to hold their treasure. For art, they decorated some coloring pages of parrots with glitter.
Here are the books we read (and liked):
Treasure Island (free download from freeclassicaudiobooks.com)
How I Became a Pirate (Long)
Pirate Things to Make and Do (Gilpin)
Mice of Westing Wind, bks. 1 and 2 (Davis)
Pirates in the Park (Roberts)
The World of the Pirate (Garwood)
Do Pirates Take Baths? (Tucker)
On the Go With Pirate Pete and Pirate Joe (Cannon)
Sunken Treasure (Gibbons)
Pirates: Robbers of the High Seas (Gibbons)
Roger, the Jolly Pirate (Helquist)
Captain Scarfield (from Pyle’s Book of Pirates, read by Robert Green of You Need a Story)
The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything (Veggie Tales)
Muppet Treasure Island
I was also thinking about reading Peter Pan and watching the Pirates of Penzance (Gilbert and Sullivan operetta), so we might do that sometime, too.
(I wish I could figure out how to turn these. Sorry!)
My son’s pirate flag design.