Posted by: waldropcv | June 4, 2010

Reaction to Pirates in Historical Fiction & Nonfiction/Swashbuckling Adventures on the High Seas

The first article, Pirates in Historical Fiction and Nonfiction: A Twin-Text Unit of Study, is interesting in its use of two completely different books (both fiction and nonfiction) to look at pireates to get the same lesson across.  It’s kind of funny how I mentioned this same idea in my autobiography, but with Indiana Jones (waaaay cooler than pirates…).  I remember doing the KWL charts that the article mentions when I was in elementary school too, I think those can be really helpful for many younger students.  But at the grade level I plan on teaching (11th/12th) many of these methods would not be as useful.

Swashbuckling Adventures on the High Seas: Classroom Activities for a Unit on Pirates reminds me of the article by Vacca that we read for the last unit.  I believe that these authors use this lesson as a social studies lesson, however it incorporates many of the things Vacca mentioned in his article.  Activities like these are some of the most beneficial to students to further their literacy and reading skills.  It is also very helpful to have the handouts printed out for teachers so that the teachers reading this article can get an idea of how to present this material to their students.



  1. Chris,
    Why do you feel as if these methods are not as useful for high school juniors and seniors?
    -Samuel Kraus

    • After re-reading it, I suppose it could be just as useful. I think the fact that I, personally, used the KWL chart thing in elementary school, and never used it after that, just made me think that the entire lesson was more juvenile that it actually was.

  2. Chris, the population who will benefit the most from graphic organizers are your strugging readers who have difficulty developing an understanding from what they read. Please know you can add new columns to the K-W-L. For example, another column might be, “Where do I go to find out?” Investigate the website by Doug Buehl identified on the course index page. The address is Each month the author selected a strategy appropriate for 9-12 teachers to use in their instructional design with their classes. With the accelerated students you need other strategies to capitalize on their thinking skills. I have a couple of books of these types of strategies if you are interested in reviewing them. Just let me know and I’ll have them ready for you to pick up at a time convenient for you.

  3. I really like what Carol suggested above ^^ about adding new columns to the KWL chart. I never thought a KWL chart could be very beneficial to an older student either until I read that. Thanks for the suggestion!

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