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Powerpoint Slide: Introduction
Have this up on the whiteboard as the students enter the classroom so they can be thinking about the unit before it begins.
Introductory Worksheet: How Accurate is 'Pirates of the Caribbean'? to the historian of the 'Golden Age of Piracy'?
This worksheet gets students familiar with the key areas to be investigated. They organise themselves into 'crews', elect a 'captain' in preparation for the strategy game at the heart of the unit, and name their pirate ship. They also use the following two videos, along with a written account, to develop some basic knowledge. A quick factual test will then be given to each team to decide how many 'gold coins' they will start off with in the game.
Research instructions | 'Wanted Poster' Template
The first thing we investigate is how far “Jack Sparrow” is based on actual pirates.
The class conducts a discussion about the sorts of things we know about “Jack Sparrow” from “Pirates of the Caribbean”.
Students are then allocated different pirates to research. They record their findings in the 'Wanted Poster' Template (which can be printed off as a display piece in class).
Feedback Phase - How far is Jack Sparrow based on genuine pirates?
Each 'crew' pool their findings to complete this worksheet, which encourages them to test key points about Jack Sparrow to determine if they match what we know about one or more of the pirates that they have now researched. This is followed by a quiz round which enables each 'ship' and its crew to win gold coins in preparation for the strategy game that will follow. A completed teacher version is available.
Useful Video Clips:
William Kidd (9 mins)
Henry Jennings (9 mins)
Henry Morgan (20 mins)
Jack Rackham (10 mins)
Ann Bonney / Mary Read (7 mins)
Bart Roberts (15 mins)
Blackbeard  (13 mins)
Blackbeard  (13 mins)
In the game - which is played at various points throughout the remainder of the unit - groups of students (each representing a ‘crew’) move their ships around a board representing the Caribbean. They aim to build up their store of gold by successfully attacking settlements in the region and by attacking each other’s ships. A successful attack is only possible by answering factual questions correctly.
The game gives students a fantastic incentive to build up their factual knowledge throughout the unit - because progress in the game is determined by how successfully the team is able to answer questions based on what they have learned about the Golden Age of Piracy.
The game is played across various lessons (the positions of each ship / the amount of gold held by each team should roll over to each subsequent ‘round).
The first ‘round’ of the game can be played after have completed their initial research about pirates (which forms the basis of one batch of the available questions).
Thereafter, it should be alternated with the other worksheets (e.g. on the Pirates Code) which broaden the amount of test questions available: a format of 30m on worksheets and 30m on the activity is a good idea.
At the end of the main unit, and just before students start on their individual write-up, the ‘gold’ held by each team can be traded in for chocolates. Let students know this outcome before they start the game - it really fires them up!
Weaponry in the films: Evidence of Accuracy | Video Clip
The Pirates of the Caribbean films do a good job in using historically accurate weaponry. This worksheet and this accompanying video clip helps students understand how and why.
Pirate Code - Introduction Video Clip (1 minute)
The Pirate Code: Overview
In this activity students will get an overview of some of the central rules of Pirates and consider why they existed. A teacher version is available.
Pirate Codes: Comparisons and Contrasts with the film
This exercise gets students to compare and contrast the different pirate codes side by side to help decide which pirate had the most reasonable terms of service. A teacher version is available.
Table: Comparisons and Contrasts between different pirates
and / or
Venn: Comparisons and Contrasts between different pirates
This could be used as an extension activity if time is pressing, but otherwise should be used as a standard part of the unit.
The Flying Dutchman, Davy Jones, the Kraken and Calypso | Primary Sources on the Flying Dutchman
Students are presented with information about the ways in which various sea myths are depicted in the film. Firstly, we use some primary sources which show the evolution of the Flying Dutchman myth to test the accuracy of the film. Then students conduct their own research on the remaining aspects of the film to reach a conclusion. There are teacher notes available.
End of Unit Project: Instructions / Markscheme
To round the unit off, students produce an individual research project bringing their findings together using this helpsheet. The mark scheme is based closely on those used for the ActiveHistory Mysteries so that students can build upon their previous progress.
Events (50 years ago today): 1967 - After refusing induction into the United States Army the previous day, Muhammad Ali is stripped of his boxing title.
Births (350 years ago today): 1667 - John Arbuthnot, Scottish-English physician and polymath (d. 1735)
Births (100 years ago today): 1917 - Maya Deren, Ukrainian-American director, poet, and photographer (d. 1961)
Births (50 years ago today): 1967 - Marcel Albers, Dutch race car driver (d. 1992)
Deaths (600 years ago today): 1417 - Louis II of Naples (b. 1377)
Deaths (50 years ago today): 1967 - J. B. Lenoir, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (b. 1929)
Commemorations:Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare
RSS Feed | Full week | Get Widget
The Treaty of Sevres : The Middle East
SIMULATION The Treaties of Sevres and Lausanne: How successfully did Lloyd George handle Turkey?
How important was the role of women in the Civil Rights movement? source work
IGCSE History Revision 2017
Rights and Protest Sourcework Sample: The Rivonia Trial
Model Essay: Analyse the successes and failures of Nixons domestic policies
Nixons Domestic Policy: Student research task
IB Sourcework: Rights and Protest sample source work papers and model answers
Model Essay: Assess the successes and failures of Nixons foreign policy
Nixons foreign policy: the second administration
Nixons foreign policy: The 1972 Presidential Election
Sourcework Exercise: To what extent was Martin Luther King responsible for the success of the Montgomery Bus Boycott?
Nixons foreign policy: the first administration (1969-72)
Nixons Foreign Policy: New study unit
Was life good or bad in Victorian Britain? A study through paintings