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This unit study includes lessons and printables based on the book Pirate Diary: The Journal of Jake Carpenter by Richard Platt.

Curious about life on a pirate ship? Climb aboard this account of adventure on the high seas as told by a feisty nine-year-old carpenter’s apprentice, circa 1716. Historically accurate illustrations of ship and crew, a map of Jake’s travels, and a detailed glossary and index vividly reveal the fascinating — and harsh — life of a pirate in the eighteenth century. Ships ahoy!

Thanks to Jimmie for writing the lessons for this Pirate Diary unit study.

Pirate Diary Unit Study Lessons

Here are some sample lessons from the Pirate Diary Unit Study.

Pirate Diary Lesson 1

Reading Selection
Pp, 7-11; Sept. 23, 1716 – Sept. Tues. 25th

Map of Jake’s Travels
Mark Holyoak, NC and Charleston, SC (on page 96, #1 is Charleston)

Language Arts Vocabulary
Note: definitions for vocabulary words are for the meaning of the word in context. Some words have multiple meanings. For example, yarn is used in the story to mean a tale. The meaning of woolen string is not included in the notes.

WordFound on PageDefinition
Yarn8a tale or story, especially an exaggerated one
Fie9for shame!
Finery9showy elaborate decoration, especially clothing or jewelry
Glum9gloomy, sullen
Mean10low quality, shabby, poor
Quay (quayside)10a wharf, usually of stone or concrete
Masthead10a flag or pennant

Language Arts Writing
Write a yarn or “When-I-was” tale that Uncle Will may have told. It could include sea monsters, mermaids, icebergs, whirlpools, hurricanes, pirates, etc. Your student could also write a yarn that someone older has told him in the past.

Language Arts Dictation or Copy Work with Grammar Study
p. 8 last sentence: I write this on the last day at home, for tomorrow I shall return with my Uncle Will to his ship, the Sally Anne.

Sally Anne is written in italics. Why? (Ship’s names are always written that way.) How can you write in italics when writing by hand? (You can underline to indicate italics. So Sally Anne can also be written as Sally Anne.)

The word for could be substituted with what other word? (Because. In this sentence, for means because. The word for is a coordinating conjunction, joining the two independent clauses.) Remove the for and say the two sentences which for joins. (I write this on the last day at home. Tomorrow I shall return with my Uncle Will to his ship, the Sally Anne.)

Why is Uncle Will capitalized? (It is the title and name of a specific person, a proper noun.) What about this sentence: Tomorrow I shall return with my uncle to his ship. Should uncle be capitalized? (No. This uncle is a common noun, not a name.)

The word shall could be replaced with what word? (Will. Shall is an old fashioned way of saying will.)

Why is there a comma after ship? The Sally Anne is an appositive; it renames ship.

Language Arts Idiom
On p. 11 Will says, “Beggars cannot be choosers.” What does this idiom mean? Tell another situation in which you could use this phrase.

History/Social Studies
Read the information in the back of Pirate Diary pp. 97 -100 (top)

Identify the thirteen colonies on a map: Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Virginia. What does it mean to be a colony? (a territory ruled by a distant state; no independence)

Locate England as well. What ocean is between the colonies and England? (Atlantic)

Math
Holyoak must be a fictional city since it is not on any NC maps. Instead of using it, we can use Raleigh. Calculate the distance between Raleigh, NC and Charleston, SC. In the story, it took Jake and his uncle all day to travel. How long would it take today, riding in a car traveling at 55 mph?

To access all of the lessons in this Pirate Diary Lapbook, subscribe to Homeschool Share’s email list using the form in this post.

Pirate Diary Printables

In addition to the unit study lessons, the file also contains printables for your student to create a Pirate Diary lapbook or notebook.

  • Life of a Sailor Layer Book
  • Map of Jake’s Travels
  • Greyhound’s Log
  • Smuggling: Two Viewpoints Flap Book
  • Pirates Simple Fold Book
  • Pirate Flags Tri-fold Book
  • Mermaids or Manatees Shutterfold Book
  • Act of Grace Shutter Flap Book
  • Multiplication Facts Activity Pages
  • Pirate Words Flap Book
  • Pieces of Eight Matchbook
  • Pirate Weapons Matchbook
  • And more!

How to Get Started with Your Pirate Diary Unit Study & Printables

Follow these simple instructions to get started with the Pirate Diary Unit Study:

  1. Buy a copy of the book, Pirate Diary: The Journal of Jake Carpenter by Richard Platt, or borrow one from your local library.
  2. Print the Pirate Diary unit study.
  3. Choose the lessons you want to use with your student (a highlighter works great for this).
  4. Choose and prepare the lapbook printables you want to use with your student.
  5. Enjoy learning about life as a pirate.

Get Your Free Pirate Diary Unit Study & Printables

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