speech and language teaching concepts for how I became a pirate in speech therapy
Frequent Speech Sounds:

/air/ medial
/ear/ medial
/j/ initial (Jeremy, Jacobs)



Book Details:
Diverse Characters: N/A
Age Recommendation: Early Childhood, Elementary

How I Became A Pirate

By Melinda Long

When a pirate ship sails by, young Jeremy learns how to say “scurvy dog,” sing sea chanteys, and throw food . . . but he also learns that there are no books or good night kisses on board: “Pirates don’t tuck.” A swashbuckling adventure with fantastically silly illustrations. In this New York Times bestseller illustrated by Caldecott Honor-winning illustrator David Shannon, a boy sets off on a pirate adventure—with surprising results!

This clever pirate-themed book can be used in speech therapy for identifying figurative language. It is also great for discussing pirate syntax, understanding text features, and /r/ sounds! Discover more of the speech and language teaching concepts for using How I Became A Pirate in speech therapy below:

Key Teaching Concepts

Narrative Structure:

complete episode

Narrative Concepts:

figurative language
character analysis
text features
“pirate talk” syntax
verbs (regular past tense)
verbs (linguistic)
verbs (mental)


order of what Jeremy learned about being a pirate


slathering, on board, cabin, off-key, setting, mind, digger, swabbed, commanded, manners, map, tuck, decks, gulp

Character Analysis:

Jeremy thought it would be fun to be a pirate and that nobody would miss him but soon realized he missed the comforts of home.

Figurative Language:

idioms (Shiver me timbers, A good one to boot, high time we’re off, down the hatch, swab the decks, tuck me in, batten down the hatches)


“pirate talk” syntax
verbs (regular past tense)
verbs (irregular past tense)
verbs (linguistic)
verbs (mental)

Text Features:

bold text
large text
exclamation points
change in font


Why did Jeremy think his parents wouldn’t mind him going with the pirates?
Why did the pirates whisper “after it?” when Braid Beard commanded they get the soccer ball?
Why do pirates sleep with one eye open, just in case?
Why did Jeremy choose his own backyard to bury the pirate’s treasure?


Do you think Jeremy would go on a pirate ship again?
What do you think he will do with the treasure in his backyard?
Do you think the pirates will come back for the treasure?

If you are interested in using How I Became a Pirate and other pirate-themed books in speech therapy, then check out these print-&-go cheat sheets. Perfect for when you don’t need a full book companion. 

If you are interested in seeing other pirate-themed books to use in therapy, then check out the Themed Narrative Key Teaching Points Book List for a printable copy.