Play Pirate-Themed Learning Games on ‘Talk Like a Pirate Day’

Yo ho, Me Teaching Mateys!

Hi, I’m Linda from Primary Inspiration by Linda Nelson. Since Talk Like a Pirate Day is just over the horizon on September 19th, I’m delighted to be here to share some ideas for math using gold coins, a.k.a. Pirates’ Treasure!

Pirate's Gold - Educents Blog

Sure, pirates’ eye patches are fun for Pirate Day, but can you imagine the excitement in your classroom when you spill out a great big pile of gold coins? Think of the “ooooohs” and “aaaaahs” when you tell your students that this isn’t just any gold – it’s Pirate Gold!!

DIY Pirate Gold

Pirate 2

So, where can you get these lovely coins? Quite often you can find them in the party supplies section of dollar stores. If not, try spray painting small circles of cardboard or (better!) real pennies. If you’re looking for a simpler solution, SparkleBox has a set that you can download and print. Although most kids will probably prefer the chunkier feel of coins to the cardboard, there’s one big advantage to this printable version. They’re already labeled with numbers from one to 100!


With the numbered coins, you can …

  • Ask your to students order the coins from one to 100 in a big long line on the floor.
  • Build a giant Pirates’ Hundred Chart – down on the floor again!
  • Hold a Classroom Treasure Hunt as a math center activity. At the center, ask each of your students to find ten coins.
  • Then ask them to complete a blank hundred chart, filling in all of the numbers and coloring only the spaces of the numbers on the coins they found.

Pirate Math Game Idea

What else can you do with gold coins on Pirate Day?  Here’s a great idea for ten frames from Love, Laughter, and Learning in Prep.1

She gives each of the players a paper treasure chest (what a find!!) and a blank ten frame, plus a die, colored counters, gold coins, and a fancier golden treasure chest to share. To play, students take turns rolling the die and placing that number of “jewels” (counters) on a ten frame. When the ten frame is full, they trade the jewels in for a gold coin and put the coin in their own treasure chest. The player with the most gold coins at the end wins the game.

It’s easy to differentiate this game to work on teen numbers by using a double ten frame. Your students could use these in lots of different ways by using two dice: roll and add, roll and subtract, roll and subtract and add two, etc. You’ll notice that this time I switched out the gold coins for exotic gems, also often found in pirates’ treasure chests. 😉 Click here to download your free copy!

Discounted Pirate Math Games

Pirate Math is so motivating that your students will be begging for more! Stop by my Educents store to download this set of two free addition games. Each is just one page, with no cards to print and cut!
If you’re looking for more pirate-themed math to use throughout the school year, don’t miss out on this deal! This pirate pack includes three resources to support your math teaching in first grade and on into second – at a current savings of 37%!

Thanks for stopping by today!

Happy Teaching!