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Fact vs. Fiction: Comparing Pirates

Students will conduct research to learn about real pirates and how pirates are portrayed in pop culture. They will create a display comparing and contrasting the results.

PROCESS:

  1. Have students brainstorm a list of things they know about pirates. Analyze the list. Which items are fact and which are fiction? Do they know for sure?
  2. Instruct students to conduct research to learn about pirates. Encourage them to record a list of facts they consider to be the most important or interesting.
  3. Have students examine how pirates have been presented in pop culture. Instruct students to compare those findings with the facts they recorded about real pirates.
  4. Give students time to create a display comparing and contrasting real-life and fictional pirates.

ASSESSMENT:

Invite students to share their displays with the class. Encourage students to identify any facts about real pirates that they thought were fictional and any facts about fictional pirates that they thought were fact.

CUSTOMIZE THE LESSON:

Grades 3-4:
As a class, conduct research to learn about real-life pirates. Then invite students to identify and describe fictional pirates they know. Divide the class into small groups. Instruct each group to pick one real pirate and one pirate from a book, movie or other work of fiction. Give each group a piece of poster board. Have groups draw pictures and write facts to compare and contrast their real and fictional pirates.
Grades 5-6:
Divide the class into small groups. Instruct groups to conduct research to learn about real-life pirates and those that are works of fiction. Give each group a piece of poster board. Have groups create a Venn diagram with pictures and facts that compare and contrast real and fictional pirates.
Grades 7-8:
Divide the class into pairs. Instruct partners to conduct research to learn about real and fictional pirates. Challenge them to create a digital display comparing and contrasting fact vs. fiction.
Grades 9-10:
Divide the class into pairs. Instruct partners to conduct research to learn about real and fictional pirates. Then have them create a digital display comparing and contrasting fact vs. fiction. As part of their displays, challenge students to disprove at least one myth about pirates that most people consider to be true.