06-18-2008, 08:51 PM
I had planned to do a pirate theme, but then decided to tone it down a bit, what with all the violence, etc associated with pirates (yes, I'm a chicken). So, I did a Welcome Aboard! theme. I had three little banners at the top of my three walls. The first one said:
We'll explore Ancient Histories
Math and Science Mysteries
And All the Possibilities
I also purchased some "welcome aboard" pencils from reallygoodstuff.com On the first day I gave each student one, along with a personal pencil sharpener and some other goodies in a little pirate treat bag.
As for classroom activities:
You could list your classroom rules as your "articles"
Tough Boris is a great book to use for expanding ideas when writing. The book is very simple. Ex: Tough Boris was tough. All pirates are tough. My students wrote Tough Boris is tough. By that I mean...For each of the adjectives used to describe Boris. The activity really stuck with them, and some were still using the "by that I mean" technique at the end of the year.
One summer I did a unit on pirates. I had students cover the front of a composition book with ripped up pieces of masking tape. Then, we brushed brown shoe polish over them. They looked like leather journals. These were their captain's logs. I also did a fun math activity with the gold covered chocolate coins. Something about a monkey stowing away, sneaking into the treasure, and mixing everything up. It was their job to count and tally all their coins to find out who had the Captain's treasure. We also did a map activity using velum.
Sorry, I don't have any pictures to share. I also had a bulletin board near my classroom library that said "seek treasure in a good book". The bulletin board had one of those cargo nets hanging from the bottom with shells in it.