It's Pirate Day!

play by Bill Condon , illustrated by Peter Sheehan

Learning intention: 

I am learning to work collaboratively in groups so I can cooperate with others and share creative ideas.  

Success criteria: 

  • I can reflect on why a slogan might not be appropriate for the purpose it is trying to achieve 
  • I can identify positive features of being a pirate 
  • I can work with my group to compose a number of slogans 
  • I can select the best one and share it with my peers 


Essential knowledge:  

Ensure students know that a slogan is a catchy title often used in advertisements and the goal is to create a slogan than remains in viewers’ memories. Discuss slogans from advertisements that students are familiar with.  

Learning resource:  

Conduct a read-through of the play, allocating parts to a number of students. Once students are familiar with the play, discuss the goal the pirates are trying to achieve, ensuring students identify that the pirates are trying to encourage others to become pirates and to join them.  

Identify the original slogan in the play: Be a pirate-or else! Discuss reasons why that slogan may not be effective in recruiting pirates. Sample response include, it alienates the audience by threatening them, it doesn’t make being a pirate sound fun or attractive, it doesn’t explain anything a pirate does or provide any insight into the life of a pirate.  

Inform students that when creative teams come up with slogans for advertisements, they will spend a long time discussing ideas before deciding on one. Inform students that they will be imagining they are advertising creatives, working on ideas for a slogan to recruit pirates.  

Discuss ideas surrounding the positive elements of being a pirate. Sample responses include:  

  • Pirates get to travel 
  • Being a pirate is fun and exciting  
  • There is lots of treasure to collect 

Collaboratively select one of these ideas, for example that pirates get to travel, and discuss reasons why this might be attractive to others. Sample responses include:  

  • You visit unknown places 
  • You’re never bored as you are always going somewhere new 
  • You get to try new food and to make new friends  

Use these ideas to experiment with collaboratively composing a number of slogans. Remind students that slogans should be catchy and brief and that the aim is to create a memorable slogan. For example:  

  • See the world 
  • Go anywhere 
  • Ultimate freedom 

Once a number of slogans have been suggested, collaboratively select the best one, for example: see the world.  

Place students in small groups. Instruct the students to discuss which positive element of being a pirate they would like to emphasise in the slogan they create. Tell students once they have decided on an element, to discuss sample slogans. Remind students that they shouldn’t just go with their first idea and that they should experiment with a number of slogans, at least three or four, before deciding on the best one.  

Discuss rules to follow when participating in group work, for example:  

  • Everyone gets a chance to speak 
  • No idea is a bad idea 
  • Listen respectfully to the ideas of others 
  • Even if it is not your personal preference, give equal consideration to each suggestion  

Once students have composed their slogans, discuss how they found the group work process. Discuss the following questions:  

  • Did you feel everyone in your group had equal opportunities to share their ideas? 
  • Were all ideas listened to? 
  • How did you ensure all members of the group had a chance to share their ideas?