6th Grade Students Look At Word Choice In Different Documents

Preamble by Mrs. BerryThis last week our sixth grade reading class was very busy with celebrating the 200th anniversary of the Star-Spangled Banner, the U.S. Constitution Day, and Talk Like a Pirate Day. We focused on word choice in those documents. We collaborated with the seventh and eighth grade band to be inspired by the song and look at the meaning in the words of the poem. The sixth grade students helped with the seventh and eighth grade students understand the definition of symbolism. The next day we looked at the U.S. Constitution, specifically the Preamble and Amendments 1-10. We analyzed the words with a partner and then took those words the next day and created a wax resist drawing with words. Students then created a wash over the words with watercolor paint. Finally, the day came to talk like a pirate day and we took children’s nursery rhymes and turned them into pirate rhymes. It was a hoot! Sixth grade students are brilliant when coming up with new ideas. I will do this lesson again! Please enjoy our video of our week. 

Here are links to my lesson plans on teachers pay teachers if you would like the details on the lesson.


Mrs. Berry

Talk Like A Pirate Day: Landlubber vs Pirate Nursery Rhymes

Hey_Diddle_DiddleI am taking on a new class this fall called Reading Essentials. I will be targeting 6th grade students with an emphasis on close reading skills (that’s another post for another day). One of the lessons that I have developed is one for talk like a pirate day on September 19th. Click here for other posts that I have written about the day: Reading and Writing Ideas for celebrating talking Like A Pirate Day, Ahoy Matey! and, Kaleidoscope Eyes Are Watching.

I have several lessons dedicated to having students look at word choice and the impact of words in stories and phrases. For this particular lesson students are taking a popular children’s nursery rhymes and adding pirate vocabulary. After that they then are to answer questions about the nursery rhymes and the impact of word choice.

Talk Like A Pirate Day: Landlubber vs Pirate Nursery Rhymes Steps

Step 1: change the nursery rhyme and add pirate words

Step 2: answer 3 questions about the changes

  1. What is the difference between the original rhyme and your new pirate rhyme (what did you add/take away)?
  2. How does the meaning of the children’s rhyme change when you made it into a pirate rhyme?
  3. Why is word choice important when determining the meaning of a rhyme?

Step 3: work with partners

Step 4: share with the class

If you would like the full lesson click on the title to be transported to my Teacher’s Pay Teachers lesson called: Talk Like A Pirate Day: Landlubber vs Pirate Nursery Rhymes. Here is a description of the lesson.

Avast! September 19th is Talk Like A Pirate Day and this one day lesson is to have determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of a specific word choice on meaning and tone. Students will take one of 11 popular children nursery rhymes and add their own pirate words to change the meaning. Afterwards, students analyze the impact of the changes. This lesson plan includes: objectives, common core standards, assessment, materials and resource list, lesson plan, 11 different student worksheets: landlubber rhymes vs pirate, and pirate vocabulary with definitions. Now you are ready to weigh anchor and hoist he mizzen!


Mrs. Berry

Ahoy Matey!

Modern day pirate who stole my heart.

Ahoy Matey!

It’s national Talk Like A Pirate Day on September 19th.  In the spirit of day, I came across these pirate jokes deep within a buried treasure.  Normally, I would cite where I found these jokes but that wouldn’t be very pirate like.  So, let’s just say they came from the back of a child’s menu. Cough, I mean it was under the treasure.

Q: How much does it cost for a pirate to get earrings?

A: A buccaneer!

Q: What is a pirate’s favorite cookie?

A: Ships Ahoy!

Q.  How much did the pirate pay for his peg leg and hook?

A: An Arm and a leg!

Q: Why did the pirate’s phone go “beep, beep, beep”?

A: Cause he left it off the hook!

Q: Why are pirates so mean?

A: I don’t know, they just aarrgghhh!

Q: What is a pirate’s favorite letter?


Q: Why does it take pirates so long to learn the alphabet?

A: Because they get stuck at “C”

Q: Why couldn’t’ the pirate play cards?

A: Because he was sitting on the deck!

Q: What hook can’t you hang your clothes on?

A: Captain Hook!

By telling puzzle jokes we are encourage our students to think and have fun playing with words.  These could be great places for students to now make up their own jokes.  Please refer to the following posts for ideas on how to incorporate reading and writing for Talk Like A Pirate Day:



Now that you have your ways to celebrate Talk Like A Pirate Day, weigh ye anchor and set sail.

-Mrs. Berry

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