• 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)

The image on the left is my Pirate Drill Sheet and the image on the right is Peachie Speechie's Popping Pirate Speech Mats

My Favorite Pirate Books

(disclosure: affiliate links below)

I love using book companions with these books (makes therapy planning super easy!)

How I Became I Pirate companion by Speech is Sweet, Pirates Don't Change Diapers Companion by The Speech Attic, and Pirates Go to School Companion by Sparklle SLP .

Check out the No PREP ANY pirate book companion by Ms. Gardenia's Speech Room. This pack comes with vocabulary worksheets, pronoun worksheets, "build-ables" (see picture), articulation reinforcer pages, story retell, and more! This makes planning super easy!

Need and interactive and adaptive book to use with young students? Try my lift-a-flap Where's the Treasure book! This book is highly engaging and has multiple interactive elements.

Parrot Positions Positional Vocabulary Mini-Unit. Get two books (expressive and receptive language) to target positional vocabulary with a fun pirate theme! Also comes with a following directions game, flash cards, and visual support boards.

A good friend introduced me to this book and I am "hooked" (pun intended). The students choose what happens in the story with moveable pictures (right up an SLP's alley!) Get it from Discovery Toys here!

TPT Quick or No-Prep Resources

No-Prep Pirate Language Pack. This packet targets associations, categories, following directions, positional vocabulary, compare/contrast, antonyms/synonyms, subject-verb agreement, & more! This also comes in a BUNDLE with No-Prep articulation pages!

Pirate WH Questions by Peachie Speechie. These are great no-prep worksheets to target a variety of wh questions.

Get your little pirates up and moving with this fun following directions pack! I love that it has 1, 2, & 3 step directions! Pirate Says by Sparklle SLP

Pirate Treasure Maps by Peachie Speechie! I am so excited about these! Work on articulation skills and then roll them up and send them as homework! My students are going to be so proud carrying their treasure maps home!

Inferencing & Vocabulary This is a fun and motivating game for older students working on these skills. The SLP Runner has many great products for older students!

Over the past year (2016-2017) I have put out a line of color by symbol worksheet products to target articulation and language skills for elementary aged students. I recently added to the series with a pirate version for articulation. Pirate Color by Symbol Articulation

Feed the Pirate Activity by Ms. Gardenia's Speech Room. This adorable activity is great to pair with sensory bins! She has a freebie on her blog, you can find it by clicking HERE

Pirate Crafts

Check out this new no prep craft by Panda Speech. Buried Treasure Articulation is a simple cut & paste craft to work on articulation (the articulation words are on the gold coins).