A Pirate Writing Adventure, Step 1


The first step for writing really is having something to say.

Begin with an outline and a rubric. You can download our Pirate Adventure writing sheet as a starting point. You can also download our KWL sheet, also focused on pirates.

Visit our Pirate Theme page for links and activities to start your research, and print out our Pirate Fact Sheet.

Once you’ve gotten some ideas going, have students work in pairs to make pirate mind maps.

We like to encourage students to come up with there own ideas for their papers; we figure this is a necessary skill. If your students aren’t ready for that, or you like more direction, consider one of these writing prompts:

  • A lot of our ideas about pirates come from books and movies. What’s your favorite pirate book or movie, and how realistic do you think it is? Give specific examples from the book or movie and from history to prove your claim.
  • There are still pirates. Find news storiea about pirates from the 21st century. Compare and contrast them with the pirates from the long past.
  • Write about common ideas of pirates, and then find out about an unusual pirate. For example, there were female pirates. Stede Bonnet was a wealthy planter who bought his pirate ship and took up piracy as a second career. How does learning about the unusual pirate change your ideas about pirates?

More pirate writing prompts:

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  1. Hi Rebecca,

    Thanks for your ideas on using a mindmap to outline their your knowledge on pirates.

    What I often do is let my students just write all their thoughts and keywords on a piece of paper. When this is done (usually in 5 to 10 minutes), you start to connect the different pieces.

    The result looks like a mind map and is something that starts to tell the story automatically :).

    Again, many thanks!

    Best regards,


    (by the way, in the pirate mind map example, you can probably remove the word pirate in the first level of the map since the map is all about pirates. this saves space and makes the map easier to read).

    • Great suggestions!

      Josepha likes to use Post-It Notes the same way you have students write down their thoughts, since they’re easy to move around in order to organize the ideas.

      I feel that trying out different methods and finding the one that works best for you is probably the very best approach. Mind maps are one of my personal favorites.

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