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By James Smithformer headteacher

Discover a swashbuckling Key Stage 2 literacy resource that will immerse children in a story of pirates and treasure

Captain Cutlass

Role play in the classroom

Children adore role play – just take a look at all the roles being acted out on the playground at breaktimes, as children play characters from their favourite TV programmes or comic books. As they ‘become’ characters from Hannah Montana, Merlin and Harry Potter they engage in adventure and excitement, often with sound effects and oodles of action and interaction. The skills being used are almost too many to list, but range from physical exercise to skills of a moral nature, from decision making to positive listening, from solving problems to developing complex rules. Both boys and girls are readily engaged in this type of active play.

‘The Cursed Treasure Map’ is an ‘active story’ available exclusively for Child Education PLUS subscribers. Instead of sitting still, listeners are up and about, while also listening to the story. The children play the pirate crew of The Last Mermaid, helping their leader, the infamous Captain Cutlass, to follow a treasure map he has in his possession. As the story unfolds, the children act out parts of the plot: they are playing out the story from the inside rather than being bystanders.

The resources to bring this story alive in your classroom are all available here. There is a Slideshow featuring a treasure map and pirate ‘oath’ to set the scene, a letter from Captain Cutlass, a pirate log and instructions for creating a character, and a five-page script outline that includes the narrator’s speech and role-play guidelines. See below for advice on using the resources and running the actual role-play session.

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