Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Teaching Like a Pirate!

I know for a fact I am not the only teacher out there obsessed with Dave Burgess' book, "Teach Like a Pirate". It captivated me this summer and I encouraged several of my coworkers to read it as well. We are constantly swapping pirate-like ideas and love speaking out Burgess' book like he is an old friend. If for some reason you haven't jumped on the Pirate bandwagon - now is your chance! 

Hop to it!

Fresh Out of the Amazon Package!
In the book, Burgess walks teachers through his first three days of school. One of the activities he does with his new students is with play-doh. He gives each of his (high school!!) students play-doh and asks them to create something that describes them. While students are making play-doh creations, he walks around the room getting to know the students on a personal level. 

As soon as I read this idea, I knew I had to try it with my class - plus, who doesn't love play-doh? One afternoon, I passed out play-doh and gave the students the challenge of creating something with the 'doh about themselves. As I moved around the room, I witnessed a variety of objects being created. I had softballs, flowers, bow and arrows, high heels, horseshoes, and so on. It also gave me time to ask students why they were creating what they were. What that bow and arrow or softball meant to them - it was an excellent time to really get to know my kids. 

A Horseshoe for the Horse Lover

How do you get to know your students at the beginning of school? Do share!


  1. I love the smell of a fresh can of Play Doh, don't you? How fun. My favorite part of his book was the question: Do you have lessons that you could sell tickets to?

    Oh, and how I wish we could come to that Aggie game in your corner of the world.


    1. I LOVED that question, too! It's such a great way to think about engaging students with our lessons and the day. I'm hoping that my kids will "buy" admission to the science activity I have planned for Friday!


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