An old fiddler tells a pirate crew of an island bursting with hidden treasure. But once the motley men have set sail for the mysterious island, he also tells them it is guarded by the terrible Pirate-Cruncher! Eventually, their greed overcomes their fear…
Teaching Ideas and Resources:
- Create character profiles for each of the pirates. What do you know about each pirate from their words / actions in the story?
- Write a prequel to this story. How did the pirates meet? What other adventures have they had together?
- Look at the map on the inside front cover. Could you write a story based in one of the locations (e.g. Monster Hole or Groggy Head)? Make a list of similar place names that you could use as story settings in the future.
- Look at the letter on the first page of the book. What words, phrases and techniques does it use to appeal to the reader?
- Use the first line of this book as the starting point for your own story (‘It was unusually quiet in…’).
- Think of speech / thought bubbles to accompany the illustrations in the book.
- Retell the story from the point of view of the old fiddler, Captain Purplebeard or the parrot.
- Some of the words in the book are written in upper case. Can you explain why this is?
- At one point in the story, one of the members of the crew disappears. Write about what happened to him.
- Can you make a list of all of the pirate-themed words in the story?
- Can you write an alternative ending for this story?
- Write a sequel to the story. What happens to the old fiddler next?
- This video shows the author telling the story to a group of children. Could you retell the story to an audience? Can you think of some questions that you would like to ask the author?
- Imagine that you found a treasure chest worth £100,000. What would you buy? Find the cost of different items and calculate how much change you would get (and what else you could buy with that).
- Look at the illustration of the pirates on the front cover. Can you design a ship that carries a large weight without sinking? Can you investigate the best shapes / designs to hold the largest amount?
- Can you design a pirate-themed game in which a group of pirates have to find some treasure (or escape from a sea monster)?
- Create some models of monsters that the crew might encounter while at sea.
- Design and build a new pirate ship for Captain Purplebeard’s crew.
- Paint some portraits of Captain Purplebeard and his crew.
- In this video, the author / illustrator shows you how to draw a pirate. Can you use some of his techniques to create your own illustrations?
- Compose some melodies to accompany the songs of the old fiddler.
- Write the lyrics for a new song that the old fiddler might sing.
- Look at the treasure map on the inside front cover. Could you create a map of your local area in a similar style?
- Find out the history of pirates. Can you name any famous pirates? Can you find out more about their lives?