Pirate Permutations

Use with p. 17
Pirate Permutations
in luxury with his wife and four children.
The year is 1720. After living on a Caribbean
island for most of your life, you're sailing to
Spain. There are rumors that the English
may soon take over the island, and even
Tired of domestic life, he abandoned his
family and joined forces with Blackbeard.
Bonnet is believed to be the only pirate who
actually forced his prisoners to walk the
though you're 14, your parents sent you
plank. When his ship grounded on a sandbar
during an attack, he quickly surrendered,
thinking his high-placed connections would
get him off. Instead he was hanged holding a
away because they want you to be safe. The
large galleon on which you're traveling is
loaded down with valuable furniture, emer
ald jewelry, silver bars, and gold coins. Just
as the galleon rounds Haiti you notice an odd
looking ship turning toward you. It doesn't
appear to have a flag, but then you notice
one being hoisted. This could only mean one
thing—pirates! You watch closely to see what
the flag looks like. With relief, you notice
farewell bouquet of flowers.
Blackbeard more closely fits the pirate ste
reotype; his appearance alone was enough to
make anyone surrender. He had a huge nose,
bloodshot eyes, and an immense black beard.
Before a fight, he armed himself with six
that it is black and has a skull with two
guns and one or two knives. He was known
to shoot crew members just to scare them.
swords. Relief? Yes, the ship is obviously
manned by pirates, but the black flag has a
special meaning. It sends the message that if
the captain and passengers of your galleon
cooperate, the pirates will be easy on you.
Maybe after taking your valuables, they'll let
you continue on your way. If the flag were
red, your heart would sink. Red means no
quarter (mercy) will be given. After robbing
everyone blind, they would probably take
over the galleon with little concern for hu
man life. If you were lucky, they might drop
you off on land and try to sell your ship. But
if you were a boy, they might force you to
become a pirate on their ship!
Captain Kidd is a name that most equate
with piracy. He was a respected New York
merchant with a family. Like many pirates,
he began as a privateer with the mission of
attacking rival countries' ships. Pressured
into the job by high-powered British backers
in the late 1600s, he was supposed to raid
and plunder only French ships. But his
mutinous crew forced him to attack Moorish
and English ships as well. Upon his return
to England, the displeased British wasted no
time in hanging him as a scapegoat for the
acts of the many true pirates that eluded
Pirates and their methods varied widely
from later movie depictions. Although pi
rates did rob and plunder, not all were blood
thirsty cutthroats. Captain Tew, for instance,
was known for his kind treatment of prison
ers. As a result, many ships surrendered to
him without a fight. Another pirate, mildmannered Captain Misson of France, joined
forces with an Italian priest. After engaging
in piracy, the two set up a retirement com
munity for old and disabled pirates called
So what is happening on the Spanish gal
leon? You can tell from the design of the flag
that the ship belongs to "Calico Jack"
Rackham. As Calico Jack and crew board
your galleon, you notice something unusual.
Two of the pirates look like women. They
must be "The Bloody Sisters" you have heard
about, Anne Bonney and Mary Read. These
two pirates, who are inseparable friends, are
known for being tough in battle. You never
know what to expect from pirates these days.
You hope your captain has the good sense to
Then there was Stede Bonnet, who really
was cruel. Before becoming a pirate, he lived
© Instructional Fair, Inc.
IF8715 Reading Comprehension
Use with p. 16
Pirate Permutations
Name ___
Predicting Outcomes
1. What did yourmade-up parents think would happento the Caribbean island?
2. What did your made-up parents think would happen to you in Spain?
3. What did you, as the main character, think would happen when you saw the black flag?
4. What did Stede Bonnet predict would happen to him when he quickly surrendered?
5. What do you predict will happen now that "Calico Jack" and his crew have boarded the
Match the items in Column A with the correct information in Column B by placing the letteifs)
in the blank. Some in Column A may have more than one match.
Column A
Column B
black flag
A. AnneBonney
red flag
B. forced prisoners to walk the plank
Captain Tew
C. shot crew members to scare them
Captain Misson
D. no quarter given
Stede Bonnet
E. began career as a privateer
F. kind treatment of prisoners
Captain Kidd
G. boarded the galleon with his crew
"Calico Jack" Rackham
H. Mary Read
"Bloody Sisters"
I. armed himself with six guns
J. cooperation ensures pirates will be
easy on the crew and passengers
K. "mild-mannered": set up retirement home
/s. \
k- hanged holding bouquet
Today, piracy takes other forms. Write a story about a new type of piracy.
© Instructional Fair, Inc.
IF8715 Reading Comprehension