Pirates are thieves of the sea. Traveling on sailing vessels in groups these seamen would attack, seize, and even destroy ships that were in harbors or very near to shore. Historical pirates were also key figures in the slave trade and were well known for smuggling contraband for parts few dare enter. They did not fight for a country or rebellion group they were most on their own. Piracy became such a threat to society that almost all countries viewed the offense to be punishable by death. The earliest known pirates were from what today is the country of Turkey in 1300 BC they were known as Lukkans. Though we wish piracy was a distance memory in the twenty-first century we have seen piracy take place in the failed state of Somalia where people, cargo, and full ships were taken hostage. The best way to explain to kids what Pirates are and were is to call them the Bank Robbers of the seas. In the early eighteenth century, the condition of the seas was ripe for the picking and many young men pivoted to piracy as a way of life. This was the time that Blackbeard and Calico Jack became famous. Because of the dangers of their chosen profession most pirates were only active for a few years until they met their end.
We begin by introducing the concept and we slowly advance on well known radical seamen that were robber barons. We look at how modern times have been affected by the history of these scoundrels. We also look at how popular culture has immortalized these characters in the form of literature and film. The worksheets below are super diverse. We look at historical pirates in the Jolly Roger, Ching Shih, Blackbeard, Sir Francis Drake. Who does not want to learn to speak like a Pirate? We all do.