A Very Questionable History: Plundering Pirates

Angelina McCurry-Hopkins, ESL, Piedmont Open IB Middle School

(Abstract PDF)

(Unit PDF)         


At the root of all curriculum modules is the desire on the part of the designer to instill in their students an insatiable quest for more knowledge on the subject being presented. What if that module created an adventure, an adventure filled with the most hedonistic and gluttonous of characters ever known in the history of man that integrated all modalities, subject matter and, dare I say it, human ingenuity? An intellectual odyssey, if you will, with a socio-linguistic approach that uses dead reckoning in problem solving? In this unit, the dead reckoninglife piloting skills of students from collectivist cultures are the foundation of an integrative unit that builds language abilities in their second language, i.e., English, and supports a transition in learning approaches from traditional cultures to a more Western approach to problem solving. Basic math and science are used to build and extend vocabulary and language knowledge that can be used in everyday life for ESL students from collectivist cultures. It can also be used with academically gifted students to reverse engineer the Western thinking to a more “holistic” thinking pattern to create the same adventure geared to another thinking dimension. Drink up, me hearties, yo ho!