International Spell Like a Pirate Day

September 19, 2008 at 4:44 pm 3 comments

Today was International Talk Like a Pirate Day – the first one in half a decade I didn’t spend in full pirate costume. In fact, between those pre-tenure teaching jitters and accumulated exhaustion, I didn’t put any more effort into celebrating the day than wearing my miniature “Kiss me, I’m a pirate” button on my lapel. (I bought a $1 pirate stamp, too, to use on student papers today – but forgot it.)

Fridays are spelling tests, so I started off by greeting everyone and wishing them a happy Talk Like a Pirate day. This was followed by kids denying such a holiday existed, and me explaining how it all got started. The kids were mad at me for not dressing like a pirate. I told them it wouldn’t be fair, as they wouldn’t have been allowed to break dress code. They assured me that they wouldn’t have told on me. 🙂

Then I gave them the spelling test. Twenty words of Greek origin, including the giggle-worthy homophone and homograph and the imminently applicable phonograph. Two extra credit words, numbered X1 and X2. And then – much to their routine-happy dismay – three more words, numbered P1, P2, and P3.

Word P1 was pirate, and the kids laughed with relief and pointed out that I had “pirate” written up on the board. I pretended horror at my mistake.

Word P2 was avast, and I gave the context sentences in my best over-the-top pirate accent: Avast, ye scurvy landlubbers! What ye be doing  –  spelling or keelhauling? Ye’d best not be cheatin’ or ye’ll be walkin the plank! Then, in my most sweet, neutral schoolmarm voice: avast.

Word P3 was swashbuckling, and the kids just couldn’t take it anymore. Apparently swashbuckling is the funniest thing any of them have heard since I spelled the first half of homophone out loud on Monday. They wanted to know if it was a real word and, if so, what in the world it meant. I summoned up pirate voice to talk about how swashbuckling I would be in my new pirate hat.

Predictably, the next questions were:

Q. (From all the girls): Do the pirate words count against our grade?

A. No, but if you get all three right you get a prize.

Q. (From all the boys): What’s the prize?!?!?

A. You’ll find out.

Q. (From all the boys): When will we find out?

Q. (From all the boys): Mrs. Bees, what is the prize?

Q. (From all the boys): Will you tell us about the prize now?

Q. (From all the boys): Prize prize prizey prize prize prize PRIZE PRIZE PRIZE PRIZE.


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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Kit  |  September 20, 2008 at 6:38 pm

    Just like Mr. Bees: Prize prize prizey prize prize prize PRIZE PRIZE PRIZE. I can totally relat to your “Arrr.” This mad me laugh!

  • 2. Therese  |  September 19, 2009 at 8:19 am

    You are totally fun. Sister Francine would never have thought of this. Rewards were stars on your “stupid” star card. She must have been a closet pirate because she was more into walking the plank.

  • 3. Ervin  |  May 19, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    What is your favorite place in the world (as of right now)?


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The Bee’s Knees

This is the teaching journal of a student first-year second-year THIRD-YEAR (!!!) English teacher. I am writing this blog as a reflection for myself, a way to keep friends and family updated, and a sharing-ground between other educators online. I love comments!

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