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Pirate Fun Facts

Captain Blackheart

A Pirate’s Life for Me – Pirate Fun Facts

  • Blackbeard (AKA Edward Teach) was the most feared pirate of all. Before capturing a ship, he wove hemp into his beard and set it on fire to intimidate and scare people. It worked!
  • The skull and crossbones flag at the top of a pirate ship is called a Jolly Roger. Pirates around the world adopted a form of the Jolly Roger to identify their ships as pirate ships.
  • Women, not just men, were pirates too. Famous female Buccaneers include Mary Read, Anne Bonny, Grace O’Malley, and Ching Shih.
  • Pirates actually wore eye patches. It is theorized that one of the reasons pirates wore eye patches was to help keep one eye adjusted to night vision for seeing below deck.
  • Although it is common in books and movies, pirates did not really make people walk the plank. They did, however, punish prisoners by marooning them on a deserted island or a remote sandbar.
  • Buried treasure has long been a part of pirate lore. But not all Pirates buried their treasure. Many of them spent their treasure. Treasure didn’t always include gold or silver. Many times, it was food, cloth, animal hide, and wood.
  • Pirates seem to be known for fighting. However, one of the most common rules was that they could not fight aboard the ship. If two pirates had a disagreement, they had to duke it out on land. Each pirate ship had its own set of rules that all the pirates had to agree to, including how the loot and the chores were divided.

Deadeye Jolly Roger


  • Have the students create a pirate’s hat out of newspaper. http://m.wikihow.com/Make-a-Pirate-Hat
  • Have the students create a matching eye patch using black construction paper and string.
  • Divide the students into teams. Have each “crew” design their own Jolly Roger. For example, a team that likes to write could design a Jolly Roger with a skull and two pencils as the cross bones. Encourage them to be creative and not use weapons in their drawings.