I’ve just kicked off a creative writing camp for children based on the theme of pirates in Yangpyeong, Korea. There’s SO much creative fuel to be fished from the world of pirates—treasure maps, sea monsters, sailor lore, villains, heroes, and sea shanties. We’re even planning a class on pirate fashion!
We decided to kick off camp with a fun activity: a treasure hunt. I mapped out the grounds of the residence where we’re staying and then “pirate-ized” it:
What this means is that I basically imagined what all the current, modern ,spots would be in a classical pirate world. All the locations on the above map correspond to a real place on the grounds!
We took the map, made copies, then cut it into fours. Each team was given the first quadrant and had to locate the first X, where they would discover the next part of the map . . . which led them to the next part, and so on, until they finally arrived at the treasure—a stash of gold coins and rubies.
This was such a successful activity because it helped the students get to know each other as they worked together in teams to decipher the map pieces. Also, they experienced all the things that real treasure hunters go through—ups and downs, trials and frustrations, and—for one team—joy when they discovered the booty. The students will all be writing pirate stories involving treasure maps, and now have the first-hand emotional experience to draw upon.
Here are some of the spots that were featured on the map I drew . . .
The Devil’s Fang:
The torture racks:
The six-headed fountain:
The iron rings:
The Lost Lagoon:
The Marooner’s Maze:
The Mermaid Falls:
The Pirate’s Trail:
Place where ye rest:
The Skipping Stone Bridge:
The Slippery Slope:
The Stone Witch with Three Children (you can only see two of the children in the photo):
Of course, the other benefit of this activity, is that it got our writing students out and running about!
Here’s the winning team, holding their loot!