How I Became A Pirate Lesson Plan

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

This lesson plan may be used to help your students answer questions about the text, retell the story, learn unfamiliar terms, and create their own picture dictionaries while reading ''How I Became a Pirate'' by Melinda Long.

Learning Objective

Upon completion of this lesson on How I Became a Pirate by Melinda Long, students will be able to:

  • Answer questions about the text.
  • Retell the story.
  • Define unfamiliar words and phrases.
  • Use and create a picture dictionary.

Time Length

90 minutes

Common Core Curriculum Standards


Ask and answer questions about key details in a text.


Retell stories, including key details, and demonstrate understanding of their central message or lesson.


Explain major differences between books that tell stories and books that give information, drawing on a wide reading of a range of text types.

Lesson Instructions and Activities


Students will be able to define and use the following terms:

  • ahoy matey
  • batten down the hatches
  • blow the man down
  • chanteys
  • chest
  • crew
  • down the hatch
  • hearties
  • Jolly Roger
  • laddies
  • landlubber
  • scurvy dog
  • shiver me timbers
  • skull and crossbones
  • swabbing the decks


  • Copies of How I Became a Pirate by Melinda Long
  • Paper
  • Pencils
  • Crayons
  • Picture dictionary
  • Paper bags
  • Markers

Reading and Discussion

  • Preview vocabulary with students.
  • Read How I Became a Pirate by Melinda Long with students. Pause at appropriate times to discuss the following:
    • Who is the narrator of the story?
    • What is the setting of the story?
    • What does the boy think about pirates?
    • What do the boy's parents do when the pirates come?
    • What do the pirates think of Jeremy Jacob?
    • Turn and talk: What would your parents say if you wanted to spend the day with pirates?
    • What do the pirates show Jeremy Jacob?
    • What are the things the boy likes about pirate life?
    • What are the things he does not like about pirate life?
    • What happens during the night on the pirate ship?
    • How does Jeremy change over the course of the story?
    • How does Jeremy help the pirates?
    • What do the pirates give Jeremy before they leave?
    • What does Jeremy do at the end of the story?

Pirate Picture Dictionary

Materials needed: copies of How I Became a Pirate by Melinda Long, paper, pencils, picture dictionary

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