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The Night Pirates

By Mark Warner
Age Range: 5 to 11

Peter Harris

Book Description:

One night, young Tom is awoken by noises outside his house. He peeps out of the window and what should he see but PIRATES. And stranger still they're GIRL PIRATES stealing the front of his house! Tom joins their pirate adventure across the high seas to an island where some rather lazy and silly grown-up pirates are guarding their treasure. But not very successfully. Tom and the girl-pirates make a surprise attack and are soon off on the seas once more with the treasure!

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Teaching Ideas and Resources:

Literacy Ideas

  • Read the first few pages... 'Quiet as mice' is a simile. Can you find more similes in this book or in other books? Can you make up your own similes?
  • Discuss what 'stealthy' means. Can you think of any animals that are stealthy?
  • Read the first four pages (up to 'Tom was a little boy about to have an adventure'). Before reading on, predict what the adventure might be.
  • The text on each page is arranged in an unusual way. Can you think of reasons why the author has done this?
  • Try to explain why the author has include so many repeated words / phrases on each page.
  • The moon watches Tom going on his adventure. Write from his point of view, explaining what he saw.
  • What might the 'really rough, tough grown-up' pirates dream about when they are asleep?
  • Think of words to describe the treasure in the chest that is stolen.
  • Look at the final illustrating showing the postman. What might he be thinking?
  • Write a sequel for the book, with Tom going on another adventure with the Night Pirates (or a different group of characters).
  • Create a 'Wanted' Poster for the Night Pirates... who might want to catch them? Why?
  • Think of speech / thought bubbles for each character in the illustrations.
  • Watch this reading of the story:

Design Technology Ideas

  • Design and make a new flag for the Night Pirates' ship.

Art Ideas

  • Tom thinks that the front of his house might be being stolen by monsters, trolls, ogres or gremlins. Draw one of these creatures and describe it using lots of interesting vocabulary.
  • Draw a new pirate outfit for Tom.
  • Design a new pirate ship for the Night Pirates.
  • The illustrations in the book use lots of different shades of similar colours. Try making different shades of the same colour using different art materials.
Geography Ideas
  • Look on a map and find a route across the seas for the Night Pirates to travel along.
  • Draw your own map showing the route of the Night Pirates.

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