Student motivation

How to HOOK Your Students: Be a Pirate in the Classroom

Posted on March 14, 2014. Filed under: Student motivation |

teach like a pirate book cover

When it comes to reading books about teaching I love reading books that provide practical, hands-on strategies that I can share with my student teachers. Teach Like A Pirate by Dave Burgess is a book that inspires, motivates, and challenges teachers to motivate their learners using a variety of HOOKS.

Dave begins by explaining why he selected Pirates,

Pirates are daring, adventurous, and willing to set forth into unchartered territories with no guarantee for success. They reject the status quo and refuse to conform to any society that stifles creativity and independence. They are entrepreneurs who take risks and are willing to travel to the ends of the earth for that which they value. Although fiercely independent, they travel with and embrace a diverse crew (p. xi-xii).

In the first half of the book, Dave Burgess explains what it means to “Teach like a PIRATE” with the following acronym:



These are the key ingredients for success. Burgess not only discusses these, but he also provides examples which makes it easy for you to imagine implementing them in your own classroom. Teachers often get bogged down in the negatives of our profession: tests, data, paperwork … These chapters will remind you why you wanted to become a teacher.

The second half of the book is focused on the “Hooks” teachers can use to draw the class’ attention to the lesson and keep them highly engaged. He gives specific suggestions from his own class to demonstrate how these can be implemented in a variety of ways. Some of his “HOOKS” include: The Storytelling Hook, The Swim with the Sharks Hook, The Chef Hook, The TV Reality Show Hook and much, much more. If you are interested in motivating your learners and bringing fun back to the classroom then check out Teach Like a Pirate. Your students will thank you!

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