Daily activity 27: Famous Pirates

April 28, 2020

This week’s theme:

Unsolved Mysteries – The Life of a Pirate

Fact of the day:

Blackbeard’s real name was Edward Teach and he lived from 1680 – 1718. He was  one of the most feared pirates from what has become known as ‘The Golden Age of Pirates’.

Resources list:

Paper or card, wood/curled paper/paint; paper and pens; scarf/bandana, ball/tin foil balls; storm sounds (see activity 4).

Activity 1:

Blackbeard’s beard was legendary. Legend has it that before capturing a ship he would weave hemp into his beard and light it on fire, an intimidation tactic that made him look scary. Yikes!

Make yourself a beard or a twiddly moustache! Cut out your own beard shape on paper (or download and print to use this template) and on to it you can either glue wool, colour in the hair, paint hair strokes, or curl paper (like this ) to stick onto it.

Activity 2:

Due to the crimes Blackbeard committed, the authorities wanted to capture him and bring him to justice. ‘Wanted’ posters could be found across the Caribbean and the eastern coast of North America. Make a pirate wanted poster of your own. Which pirate are you wanting to find? What do they look like? What were their crimes? Where were they last seen? What reward are you offering for their capture? Share your posters with us on our FacebookInstagram or Twitter or send it to melanie@purplepatcharts.org and we’ll put it online for you!

Activity 3:

Make yourself an eye patch to cover one eye (or use a scarf/bandana to cover one eye). Apparently one of the reasons pirates wore eye patches was to help keep one eye adjusted to night vision for seeing below deck. With one eye covered, see if you can hit some targets above deck! Place some baskets, boxes, plastic tubs, or bins in a line. Standing in one spot can you throw a ball (or tin foil balls) into each of them with your one eye closed? If you can do this, start moving the targets further and further away, or further to the sides to make it trickier! Do you think it was easy for pirates to do things accurately when wearing an eye patch?

Activity 4:

There were women pirates, too. Being a pirate wasn’t just for men. Famous female pirates include Mary Read, Anne Bonny, Grace O’Malley, and Ching Shih. The American pirate, Rachel Wall tricked other sailors to steal from them; whenever a storm passed through the region, she would dress her boat up to look like it had been ravaged by rough seas. Rachel would then stand on the deck and plead for aid from passing ships. When the unsuspecting rescuers came near, they were promptly boarded and robbed.

Try re-enacting a storm of your own; use liquid in a bottle to make the swishing noise of the waves, howl like the wind, put some rice in a Tupperware box and rattle it so sound like the rain dashing onto the boat, try wobbling cardboard to sound like thunder, crashing some pans together, and flicking a torch on and off for lightning.

Add on Activity:

Legend has it that the first English-language recipe for what could be considered “guacamole” was recorded by in 1679 by William Dampier, a pirate. William wrote down the first recorded recipes of guacamole and mango chutney! If you have the ingredients, try tasting, or making guacamole.