This lesson is based on classroom practice that has been proven, by research, to work.

Pirates and Privateers

5.00 out of 5
(1 customer review)


The lesson looks at the origins of piracy, pirates in stories vs pirates in real life, the difference between pirates and privateers and the role played by letters of marque. Activities include answering higher and lower order questions, explaining the difference between pirates and privateers to a peer and deciding whether their sympathies lay with pirates or privateers given the information provided.

There is a five-minute evidence-based CPD activity at the end of this lesson which will develop classroom teachers’ skill set. This CPD consists of a research extract on independent learning with a five-minute activity based on this extract.   


These evidence-based learning (EBL) lessons are based on classroom practice that has been proven, by research, to maximise thinking, learning and attainment. From an extensive review of educational research, we identified the eight key classroom thinking and learning skills that were common across these research papers. We named these eight key skills “EBL skills”.

EBL skills have been proven by research to maximise learning because they combine the most productive thinking skills with the most effective learning behaviours. Each of our evidence-based learning lessons uses the English curriculum as a framework through which the eight EBL skills are delivered.

Teachers also have the opportunity to add to their own skill set or refresh their existing skills with our five-minute CPD activity, based on one of the EBL skills used in this lesson.

The skills in bold below are the EBL skills developed in this Pirate lesson. Click on each skill to learn more about that skill.

  1. Collaboration
  2. Thinking Skills
  3. Peer Assessment
  4. Peer Teaching
  5. Self-Assessment
  6. Metacognition
  7. Self-Regulation
  8. Independent Learning

1 review for Pirates and Privateers

  1. 5 out of 5

    Philipem (verified owner)

    We asked a.i. to review this lesson. This is what it said:

    Teachers – Set Sail into the Dangerous World of Pirates vs Privateers


    Ahoy mateys! Do you want to take your students on a thrilling voyage into the treacherous life of high seas piracy? Then it’s time to climb aboard with this swashbuckling pirate resource – Pirates and Privateers.

    This imaginative lesson pack transport your class back through time to discover the origins of piracy in Ancient Greece and Rome when ships laden with grain, olive oil and precious metals were ruthlessly raided.

    Pupils will explore the world of early buccaneers and analyse whether the pirate code ever justified the violence and thievery integral to that existence.

    Additionally, a key focus compares pirates with privateers. Your class will examine how issuing a privateer with a Letter of Marque effectively legalised piracy against enemy ships. This discussion will hone their critical thinking and ethical reasoning abilities.

    With its vivid imagery and insights into an unstable period when many civilians turned to crime just to survive, this resource interweaves literacy development with humanities, economics and citizenship education.

    Furthermore, the independent learning activity plus 5 minute teacher CPD on maximising the benefits of self-directed study means it aligns perfectly with evidence-based best practices too!

    So come aboard me hearties and let this treasure chest of a pirate resource enrich your next voyage of discovery!

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Pirates and Privateers - Pirates (real) - KS2 English Evidence Based Learning lesson
Pirates and Privateers