In the six years I’ve been teaching, I’ve realized that I really enjoy working with, coaching, and teaching teachers. I don’t pretend to know it all or be a master teacher, but I love observing, asking questions, listening, researching, and helping other teachers get better at what they do.
We have a really cool opportunity at our school that we teachers create some of our monthly professional development. So at our next PD day, my teammate Tiffany and I are teaching a workshop about the book Teach Like a Pirate by Dave Burgess. We have been obsessed with this book and are excitedly trying to implement these piracy strategies in our third grade classrooms. You can read more about TLAP here.
We are going to start by having some tlap quotes and pages from the picture book P is for Pirate scrolling on the screen:
We are going to use a lesson that we used to teach to demonstrate how we can take a boring-ish lesson and jazz it up. The old lesson was semi inquiry based, sort of. We showed the students this picture from Discovery Education of some fossils and then ask the students to write about what they see and what they think happened.
After our Pirate transformation here is what the same lesson looks like:
The kids walk in to school first thing in the morning and see caution tape everywhere and signs up saying things like T-Rex Crossing and Watch for Low Flying Archaeopteryx. The fourth graders and second graders that were walking by were all in awe wondering what was going on.
We were dressed up in our paleontologist outfits and we introduce our new student scientists to the dig site. We talked about what observations are and how they are different than what we think might have happened.
After our discussion we read our recent issue of Scholastic News about excavating dinosaur fossils. And we finished our lesson off with the music video I am a Paleontologist by They Might Be Giants.
This lesson contains a whole bunch of hooks. Hooks are little things to do in a lesson that get students engaged. Here are all the hooks in this lesson:
The Mozart Hook- I am a Paleontologist
The Kinesthetic Hook- Having the kids up and moving around examining the dig site
The Opportunistic Hook- Using current events in the Scholastic News
The Interior Design Hook- Changing our classrooms to be a dig site
The Board Message- Having signs up outside and in the hall to pique student interest
The Costume Hook- Teachers dressing up like scientists
The Props Hook- Having fake bones and magnifying glasses to examine them with
The Teaser Hook- We told the kids “Just wait till you see what we’re doing on Friday!”
The Backwards Hook- SHowing kids the end of the story and having them figure out the beginning and middle
Obviously this is an extreme example and most of our lessons will not be this interactive or contain this many hooks, but it sure was a fun lesson to teach 🙂 I’m excited to share this lesson with other teachers at my school and help them brainstorm ways they can bring teaching like a pirate into their own classrooms!