Author Feature-Cassandra Rose Clarke

 


Spirit of Texas Reading Program

High School

Featured Author

Cassandra Rose Clarke

Cassandra Rose Clarke

The Assassin's Curse

Cassandra Rose Clarke is a speculative fiction writer for both teenagers and adults. She grew up in south Texas and currently lives in a suburb of Houston, where she writes and teaches composition at a local college. She holds an M.A. in creative writing from The University of Texas at Austin, and in 2010 she attended the Clarion West Writer's Workshop in Seattle. Her work has been nominated for the Philip K. Dick Award and YALSA's Best Fiction for Young Adults. Her latest novel is the YA adventure fantasy The Wizard's Promise, out in May 2014. 


 

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Academic Program
It's a Pirate's Life for Me 

Printable Copy

Introduction

This six section unit allows students to produce five smaller products before culminating in a 5-7 page essay. Students will define the term "pirate", research a historical pirate, create a Pirate Code of Conduct, analyze pop culture portrayals of pirates and, finally, write an essay comparing the portrayal of pirates in literature (such as The Assassin's Curse), film (such as Pirates of the Caribbean), and popular culture to actual historical pirates. Throughout this unit special effort should be made to include female pirates in students' research options. Students should also consider modern pirates and speculate on how present-day pirates will be portrayed in the future.

Activity #1 – Concept Definition Maps

Students will create two separate Concept Definition Maps to define "pirate" according to historical accuracy and according to pop culture. This exercise will help students organize their thoughts for their research essays.

Examples of Concept of Definition Maps

TEKS

  • English 1 – 1e, 12, 13b, 21b,
  • English 2 – 1e, 2a, 12c, 13b, 21b,
  • English 3 – 6, 8, 11b, 12a, 13b, 21b
  • English 4 – 6, 8, 12a, 13b

Activity #2 – Historical Pirate: Research Paper

Description of Activity #2

Students will select a historical pirate from the list provided and research her/his life using reputable sources such as books, databases, and websites ending in .org, .gov, and .edu. Students are encouraged to visit their local public library for sources and research assistance. After compiling research, students will write a 2-3 page essay on the life of their chosen pirate. These essays should include information about geographic location, historical period, acts attributed as well as birth and death information (where available).

Historical Pirates List

TEKS

  • English 1 – 6, 8, 9d, 13, 15a, 17a, 17c, 18a, 18b, 19, 21b, 21c, 22b, 23a, 23b
  • English 2 – 6, 8, 9d, 12a, 13, 15a, 17a, 17c, 18a, 18b, 20, 21, 22b, 23a, 23b
  • English 3 – 6, 8, 9d, 12a, 13, 15a, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 23,
  • English 4 – 6, 8, 9d, 10, 12a, 13, 15a, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 23

Activity #3 - Pirate Code of Conduct

Description of Activity #3

Students will read "The Pirate Code of Conduct - Bartholomew Roberts Shipboard Articles 1721" (http://www.elizabethan-era.org.uk/pirate-code-conduct.htm). Teens will then use their knowledge of the pirate they researched to write a similar code of conduct for that pirate's crew. Students should have the opportunity to share their "Pirate Codes" with their classmates.

TEKS

  • English 1 – 6, 8, 9c, 11a, 13, 15b, 17a, 17c, 18, 19, 25
  • English 2 – 6, 8, 9c, 13, 15b, 17, 18, 19, 25
  • English 3 – 6, 8, 9c, 13, 15b, 17, 18, 19, 25
  • English 4 – 6, 8, 9c, 13, 15b, 17, 18, 19, 25

Activity #4 - Modern Piracy Bibliography

Read at least three articles on modern-day piracy (Somali pirates, digital pirates, music/movie pirates, Wiki-leaks, etc). Create an annotated bibliography of the articles.

TEKS

  • English 1 – 8, 10a, 23e
  • English 2 – 8, 10a, 10b, 23e
  • English 3 – 8, 10a, 10b, 23d
  • English 4 – 8, 10a, 10b, 23d

Activity #5 – Pirates of the Silver Screen

Description of activity

As a class, students will view clips of pirates from several films, such as Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl [2003, PG-13], Captain Phillips [2013, PG-13], Captain Blood [1935, NR], The Adventures of Tintin [2011, PG]. Students will individually take notes on different ways in which pirates are portrayed in the different film. Divide students into small groups of 4-5 and assign them a film. Each group will create a 5-8 minute presentation on the portrayal of pirates in their assigned movie.

TEKS

  • English 1 – 12a, 12b, 12d, 15d, 17, 18, 19, 23b, 23c, 24, 25, 26
  • English 2 – 12a, 12b, 12d, 15d, 17, 18, 19, 23b, 23c, 24, 25, 26
  • English 3 – 12a, 12d, 15d, 17, 18, 19, 24, 25, 26
  • English 4 – 12a, 12d, 15d, 17, 18, 19, 24, 25, 26

Activity #6- Essay

Description of activity

Using knowledge gained from the previous four components of this program, students should now be ready to write a 5-7 page essay comparing the portrayal of pirates in literature (such as The Assassin's Curse), film (such as Pirates of the Carribean), and popular culture to actual historical pirates. Special effort should be made to include female pirates in students' research options. Students should also considering modern pirates and speculate on how present-day pirates will be portrayed in the future.

TEKS

  • English 1 – 12, 13, 15c, 17, 18, 19, 21, 22, 23
  • English 2 – 12, 13, 15c, 17, 18, 19, 21, 22, 23
  • English 3 – 12a, 12b, 13, 15c, 17, 18, 19, 21, 22, 23
  • English 4 – 12a, 12b, 13, 15c, 17, 18, 19, 21, 22, 23 


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Active Program

The Great LibrAAAARRRRRy Treasure Hunt

Printable Copy

Introduction

Teens will follow a series of clues through the library on a treasure hunt. Each location that a clue leads to has a piece of a puzzle or treasure map that shows where the treasure is located. Before starting the treasure hunt there is the option of making eye patches and swords.

Books to Display or Book Talk

  • Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary "Jacky" Faber, Ship's Boy by L.A. Meyer
  • Daring Pirate Women by Anne Wallace Sharp
  • Destiny's Hand series by Nunzio DeFilippis, Christina Weir and Mel Calingo
  • The Dust of 100 Dogs by A.S. King
  • The Floating Island: The Lost Journals of Ven Polypheme by Elizabeth Haydon
  • Hostage: A Year at Gunpoint with Somali Pirates by Paul Chandler
  • The Pirates Laffite: The Treacherous World of the Corsairs of the Gulf by William C. Davis
  • Pirates and Privateers by Tom Bowling
  • Pirates and Smugglers by Moria Butterfield
  • Pirates! by Celia Rees
  • Railsea by China Miéville
  • Steel by Carrie Vaughn
  • Terror on the Seas: True Tales of Modern-Day Pirates by Daniel Sekulich

Activity #1- Costuming – Creating the Pirate

List of Supplies

  • Printer Paper
  • Pen/Pencil
  • Black Craft Foam
  • Thin Elastic String (can be found at craft stores)
  • Scissors
  • Newspaper
  • Cardboard
  • Tape
  • Markers
  • Hole Punch

Description of Activity #1

Before beginning this program, print out several copies of the 'Eye patch Template' available in the resources for this activity. Participants should trace the template on a piece of black craft foam then cut out the eye patch from the larger square. Punch two holes on the edge of the eye patch where indicated on the template then tie a piece of elastic through each hole. The elastic should be cut to a length that allows for comfortable eye patch wear.

Every pirate needs a trusty sword, but naked blades are usually frowned upon in libraries. Not to worry! These instructions lead to a fun paper "sword" your teens will love. Start by unfolding and fully opening two sheets of newspaper. Layering two open sheets of newspaper, then fold over one of the corners. Begin rolling the newspaper tightly along the diagonal. Once it is rolled all the way tape the roll closed. Tape the bottom back onto itself to make a handle. Next, cut out an oval from a piece of cardboard. Then, cut a hole in the middle of the oval large enough to slide the roll of paper through. Then color the cardboard piece to your liking and slip it over the tip of your sword. For detailed, instructions accompanied by photos visit, http://alphamom.com/family-fun/holidays/talk-like-a-pirate-day-crafts/.

Activity #2- Treasure Hunt

List of Supplies

  • Printer Paper
  • Floor plan of your library
  • Digital camera
  • Envelopes or Ziploc bags
  • Cardstock (if making cipher clues)
  • Brads (if making cipher clues)

Description of Activity #2

Teens will solve a series of clues and ciphers to discover the hidden treasure!

Creating the Treasure Map

This step needs to be done well in advance of the program. Creating a treasure map it is easiest if you have a floor plan of your library. The floor plan doesn't need to be formal, but knowing the layout of walls, stacks, doors and rooms is integral to creating a readable Treasure Map. The sample treasure map shows only the portion of the library where the treasure hunt will take place. For example: My library already has a set of floor plans that was created in Microsoft Publisher. I added a parchment paper background and marked where the treasure would be hidden with an "X." I also added some dashed paths too look like a path to the treasure. Creating the trail and clue markings on the Treasure Map can be done on a computer or by hand drawing. Make enough copies you for each participant or team, then cut the maps into large pieces so they can be re-assembled like a puzzle.

Crafting the Clues

You will need to create a series of clues to lead teens from one location to the next along the marked "Treasure Trail". There are a variety of ways to make clues and it is recommended that you use a couple different methods to create diverse clues. A simple method is to make a series of math equations that, once solved, provides a call number. Photo puzzles are also a quick way to use a location that a written clue can be hidden under. To make a photo puzzle take a photo of the space you want to hide a clue/piece of the map, then print it and cut the photo into random shapes and store in an envelope or Ziploc bag. It is a little harder if you take an extreme close-up of the item so the whole puzzle needs to be assembled to figure out what is in the photo. Creating a word search that reveals a location using the leftover letters takes some time to create, but is an effective and fun clue to solve. Riddles can also be used for clues. TreasureHuntRiddles.org has a page of riddles that you may be able to use in your library. A cipher wheel can also be used for clues. A printable cipher wheel and instructions can be found on the Kids Make Stuff website. For examples of clues see "Clue Example" attachment.

Setting Up the Treasure Hunt

A starter clue will be needed to get the teens to their first puzzle/map piece. This clue should not be hidden and will need to be handed to teens at the start of the treasure hunt. When placing your clues and map pieces try to keep them out of view so the clues are found in their intended order. When a book is the location for a clue, I normally tuck in all of the pieces inside the cover. Teens can work as individuals or teams just be sure that you have enough puzzle pieces and clues in each location to accommodate the number of teens at your event. I have found in the past that there is normally one clue that the teens get stuck on; I will give them a hint if it is slowing down the pace of the hunt too much. If you cannot hide your treasure out-of-sight in the location marked on the map make a paper place holder so the treasure isn't discovered prematurely.

Incentives

Resources for Teens

Websites

Professional Resources for Librarians and Teachers

Websites

Flyers/Templates/Etc.


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Passive Program
Create Your Own Jolly Roger 

Printable Copy

Introduction

Teens will create their own Jolly Roger pirate flag to display in the library.

Books to Display or Book Talk

  • Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary "Jacky" Faber, Ship's Boy by L.A. Meyer
  • The Dust of 100 Dogs by A.S. King
  • Ed Emberley's Big Purple Drawing Book by Ed Emberley
  • How to be a Pirate by John Malam
  • Learn to Draw Pirates by Laura Pratt
  • The Pirate's Handbook by Margarette Lincoln
  • Pirate by Richard Platt
  • Pirates and Privateers of the High Seas by Laura Lee Wren
  • Pirates by Philip Steele
  • Sea Queens: Women Pirates Around the World by Jane Yolen

Activity #1- Create Your Own Jolly Roger

List of Supplies

  • Black Construction Paper
  • White Crayons and Colored Pencils
  • Pencils and Erasers

Description of Activity

Display the Jolly Roger poster and images to inspire teens and give them some background information about pirate flags. Set out a stack of paper and markers and let teens create. Pick a place to display completed Jolly Rogers, let teens hang them, or designate a place to turn them in to be hung.

Resources for Teens

Databases

  • World Book Online Reference Center: Pirate

Professional Resources for Librarian and Teacher

Databases

  • World Book Online Reference Center: Pirate

Program Flyers, Poster, Advertisements, Bulletin Board Ideas, Templates, Rubrics, Pictures etc.

 

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Created on Mar 31, 2014 | Last updated July 15, 2015