• Mandi-updated 9/5/2017

What's the Deal with Talk Like a Pirate Day? Ideas for Speech Therapy!

If you are in the SLP online world, you probably see a ton of posts, resources, and hype about International Talk Like a Pirate Day every September. If you are wondering about why it is such a big deal, you've come to the right place.

A little history on the holiday....

International Talk Like a Pirate Day ( September 19) is a parodic holiday created in 1995 by John Baur (Ol' Chumbucket) and Mark Summers (Cap'n Slappy), of Albany, Oregon, U.S., who proclaimed September 19 each year as the day when everyone in the world should talk like a pirate. For example, an observer of this holiday would greet friends not with "Hello," but with "Ahoy, matey!" (source: The Original Talk Like A Pirate Day Web site, by John Baur and Mark Summers). Here is a picture of the founders themselves! Read the story on exactly how this all started here!

As you can see, this holiday was created all in fun and that is why SLPs and teachers around the world embrace it. For SLPs, it also has a hidden agenda of promoting one of the most difficult sounds to remediate "ARRRRRRRRGH" (vocalic /ar/).

Many students on our caseloads struggle with the vocalic /r/ and this day is a great way to emphasize that sound (and to get extra practice in!).

Why join in on Talk Like a Pirate Day? MOTIVATION! This is such an easy way to change up your normal routine and motivate you students to learn. My students LOVE pirate week and look forward to all of the fun activities to work on their goals and objectives!

How you can participate as an SLP or a teacher?

Do a pirate theme the whole week! I create mini pirate-ships out of cardboard boxes, do pirate scavenger hunts, read pirate themed books, do pirate crafts, dress like a pirate, talk like a pirate, and more.

Here are some of my favorite pirate resources and ideas. Tip: Click on any picture or underlined text to get a link!


Colorful Treasure Basic Concepts Coloring book. A cute FREEBIE for working on basic concepts such as: numbers, positional vocabulary, and colors.

Pirate Speech and Language Drill Mat by Panda Speech. This can be used with ANY goal! Just practice and make a doubloon! I use play-doh, dot marker, or bingo chips with this

Talk Like a Pirate /ar/ practice.

Perfect for perfecting your students' "arrrrrghhh" Full version available with pre-vocalic /r/, /er/, /air/, /ear/, /or/, /ire/, & /rl/.

Popping Pirate Speech Mats for /m/

by Peachie Speechie. These mats pair with the popular game Pop the Pirate! She has a full version too !

Talk Like a Pirate Color & Say Worksheets

by Tech N' Talk SLPs. These are great to have on hand to compliment your pirate themed lesson. It comes with sheets for r, l, & s.

Pirate Categories Cards. 18 great cards to practice naming the category and naming items in a category. (Full version available too with 54 cards)

Pirate Treasure Challenge

by Peachie Speechie. Try to get 100 trials each session with these fun pages. They are ink friendly and no prep! You can use them with any speech or language goal.

You can also get some FREE pirate coloring pages from DTLK here

Busy Bee Kids also has FREE pirate print-ables (word searches, coloring pages, connect the dot etc...)

Pirate Games!!

My favorite games to use during pirate week are Pop the Pirate, Don't Rock the Boat, and

Pirate Talk (Super Duper). (disclosure: affiliate links below)