The school year is drawing near and your classroom is once again an incubation centre for young minds. Your head overflows with decoration ideas, something creative and fun that will stimulate and encourage learning and creativity in your students. You settle on turning your classroom into a pirate ship. As Captain Jack Sparrow says, it's time to commandeer yourself a ship. Using the resources around you, your classroom will turn into a well-oiled ship capable of setting the sails of your students' minds on the seven seas.
Craft the deck. This may be the most time-consuming portion of your project. Get brown construction paper and crumple it to make it look worn and weathered. Staple it on the walls, leaving room for the paper to crinkle and bulge slightly off the wall. Do this on all four walls of your classroom along the lower third of the wall. To add some spice, use black paint to add chinks in the wood and lines between planks.
Create the sails. Using the lights built into your classroom's ceiling, loosely staple sheer white sheets draped from the four corners at various lights around the room. This will give a semblance of sails. You may choose to use sheer blue paper or material of some sort to drape from some lights resembling the sky. Be sure the light still shines clearly through your hangings so students do not strain their eyes. Hang ropes loosely from the ceiling to resemble the ropes hanging from the masts of a ship.
Make a class flag. If yours is an elementary classroom, it is best not to fly a flag with a skull and crossbones or anything else pointing to death or violence. However, make this a class project for your students during the first few days of school. If they are allowed to help in the design and creation of a class flag, it will help them have ownership of the classroom. Consider covering the side of the door to your room that faces the class with blank construction paper and over the course of a few days when students finish their work, allow them the freedom to draw and decorate the door.
Create a treasure chest for your classroom. A cardboard box covered with construction paper suits the purpose. Decorate the box to make it look intriguing and appealing. Within the treasure chest, place chocolates covered in gold and silver wrappers resembling gold bricks. Fill the box with chocolate covered coins, decorative candies that resemble jewels and other treats. You could also include beaded necklaces and bracelets and a few eye patches. Use the chest as a reward system for those who are good helpers for the week or demonstrate good character. No pirate ship is complete without contraband.
Accessorise your ship. On the front of your desk, hang a ship's wheel identifying you as the captain of the ship. If you are allowed to have animals, consider a hermit crab tank filled with sand and fake pearls, or a cockatoo bird in a cage. Assign different students to help take care of these pets each week. If you talk about different types of soil and sand during the course of the school year, allow students to decorate the classroom with bottles filled will layered soil and sand models.
Add educational tools. Make a treasure map of the school with an "x" marking your classroom and label the fine arts classrooms and the gym for your students. Hang this near the door. On the walls, hang swords, eye patches and bandannas. Each desk should have the child's name and a creative pirate tag, such as Swashbuckling Sarah or Blackbeard Bobby. Hang maps and pictures of popular beaches on the walls for your students to identify. Hang world maps and identify the oceans and sea ports. Consider hanging pictures of animals such as crabs, lobster, whales and dolphins to use as instructional tools.