What’s better than celebrating the 100th or 120th Day of School? Celebrating it like a pirate of course!!!! A pirate theme is SO much fun! Who doesn’t like to look for treasure? Last year, we celebrated the 100th Day pirate style virtually. We are looking forward to being able to celebrate it in person this year! For some great ideas to turn your 100th Day celebration into a swashbuckling pirate adventure, check out our tips, photos, and FREEBIE in this post.
Pump Up the Excitement
Getting the kids excited before the day even starts makes the day even more special. One of our favorite ways to do this is by placing a clue in the room a day or two before the special event and sending out notes inviting the kids to solve a problem, complete a challenge, figure out a mystery, etc. (whatever matches the theme we are doing). Below are some fun ideas to get your students excited for a pirate day.
- Send a letter or note home to students a few days or the day before the 100th/120th day inviting them to have a pirate adventure by solving challenges and becoming part of the pirate crew, so they can help find a treasure.
- To add another layer of fun, print the note on fun pirate paper or a piece of paper created out of a piece of brown paper bag, dampened, crumpled up, then smoothed out, and dried. Place the note into a bottle and read it to the whole class rather than sending it home.
- Place a few gold coins or a treasure box in the room. When the students ask about it, just tell them that they “…will have to wait and see” or “I don’t know. I wonder what that is about. Do you have any ideas?”
Spice Up the Engagement
Costumes and room decorations are definitely not needed for students to be engaged with the activities, but they definitely raise the level of engagement. Who doesn’t love a good costume? You can keep it super simple by wearing a fun t-shirt with a saying and a pirate hat, or go all out with a full costume. The same with decorating the room. A simple pirate flag hung on the classroom door or a pirate ship in the middle of the classroom will both get kids engaged. Here are a few ideas to spice up the engagement of your 100th Day of School Pirate Day!
- Let students dress up as pirates on that day. Making a paper pirate hat, eye patch, or brown paper bag pirate vest can be one of the station activities, so that all students will have an opportunity to dress up.
- AND, of course, every pirate crew needs a pirate captain, so dress up as a pirate yourself!
- Decorate the classroom by spreading gold pieces and jewels (plastic beaded necklaces from a dollar store work well) around the room, hanging up a Jolly Roger flag, having a pirate chest or two, or fish netting is fun too. If you have the time, putting the tables and/or desks in a ship formation and wrapping the outside of them with wood-looking paper (Better Than Paper works really well) to create a pirate ship is fun! We added some blue bulletin board paper as well to make waves and added a ship’s wheel and anchor.
- Photo backdrops ordered online and plastic table cloths are another fun and easy way to add to the engagement and excitement to the classroom.
- Create a treasure map either on a whiteboard by gluing and/or drawing destinations with dashed lines and a big red X or creating it on a piece of brown bulletin board paper. See Create a Purpose below for ideas on how to incorporate the treasure map into the day.
- Adding dash lines and a big red X made out of duct tape or electrical tape outside of your classroom door will also get kids super excited.
Create a Purpose and a Connection
Providing a storyline for the day gives a purpose for kids to complete the activities and connects the activities together, so that they know why they are doing the different stations/centers.
- Set up the station/center activities as locations (islands, lagoons, coves, etc.). At each location, they need to complete a pirate challenge in order to proceed to the next location. Once they have completed all of the challenges and traveled to all of the locations, they will have arrived at “X marks the spot.” There they will find the pirate treasure.
- Have the station/center activity locations match the locations on the map you create (five centers, five locations to travel to). Use a paper pirate ship that can be moved from place to place on the map if you would like.
Provide Hands-On Learning Activities
Keeping the activities as hands on as possible will make the learning and practicing more fun. In fact, there is lots of research to support that engaging, hands-on learning will also increase retention of knowledge. Sometimes raising the “fun” factor is as simple as adding magic octopus ink! Here are a few fun and hands-on ideas that focus on the numbers to 100 (or 120) or “pirate” things.
- Have students write from one to one hundred with a white crayon and then have them paint over it with magic octopus ink (purple watercolor paint) to reveal the numbers. You can provide them with a grid, an one to 100 chart, or traceable numbers for students that need the support.
- Have students complete a 100-piece puzzle (pirate or ocean themed would be super fun) individually, in pairs, or as a team.
- Have students pull numbers out of a sensory bin (water beads, sand with gold coins in it, blue shredded paper would all be fun sensory bin fillers) and complete a one to 100 grid by filling in the numbers they pick from the sensory bin. The grid can be mostly completed, partially completed, or blank depending on students’ needs. Another possibility is to have students use a one to 100 grid and dob or color the number they pull out of the sensory bin.
- Have students put number cards in numerical order. Adjust the difficulty with the amount of numbers they have to put into order (one to 100 by ones, by twos, by fives, by tens). Click HERE to grab the Jellyfish Junction FREEBIE, an activity where students identify, write, and order number cards from one to one hundred by fives and tens.
- Have students complete an engineering challenge by designing, building, trying, and making improvements if needed to build a treasure chest to hold the pirates’ gold or a pirate ship that will float.
- Have students explore buoyancy or sinking and floating with different objects both in fresh water and water with salt added.
- Have students make a yummy pirate snack by counting out 100 items (fish crackers, cereal pieces, etc.) or ten different pieces of ten different items (cereal, candy, marshmallows, mini candy-coated candies, etc.).
Culminate the Day
What better way is there to finish the day than by finding the pirates’s treasure? The only thing better is getting a part of the treasure! If you have a treasure box (Amazon and Walmart.com have fun plastic ones), it is fun to put the treasure inside and lock It up. A plastic chain and key lock or even a paper lock that can be torn off is exciting. Below are some ideas for kid-friendly pirates’ treasure.
- Individual bags of Pirate’s Booty
- Ring Pops
- Chocolate gold coins
- Pirate brain break (Go Noodle, Jack Hartman, etc.)
- Extra Recess
- Pirate read aloud
- Pirate direct draw activity
Keep it Simple
Does this sound like an AMAZING day, but too much to create right now? No WORRIES, we have it ALL done for you! We have put together a 100th and 120th Day of School – Pirate themed with everything you need to create the fun day! Since we did this day virtually last year, we also have included tips on how to do the day virtually if that is what you need. Check out the pictures throughout this post and below of some of the fun activities. It includes everything from the letters to go home to “Walk the Plank” challenges. Click HERE or on the images below to see both of the resources and all of the fun activities included. We had so much fun creating this with our colleague Stefani Khan of Primary Khancepts with Stefani Khan. Check out her TPT store by clicking HERE or her Instagram account by clicking HERE.
Have a swashbuckling 100th day of school! We would love to have you share pictures with us if you do a Pirate 100th Day of School. Please comment below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.