Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

The Best Websites For Learning About Modern & Historical Pirates


With all the recent pirate activity off the coast of Somalia, I thought it might be useful to compile a “The Best…” list that would share resources about these modern-day pirates and their historical ancestors.

I’ve divided the list into those two sections — first, on today’s pirates and, second, on those in the past. The section on those in the past begin with activities that are not necessarily historically accurate, but provide good introductory concepts and vocabulary to ELL’s.

Here are my picks for The Best Websites For Learning About Modern & Historical Pirates:


The Pirates Of Somalia is a slideshow from The New York Times.

The Brazen Pirates of Somalia is a slideshow from TIME Magazine.

The Boston Globe’s Big Picture has a series of photos of recent acts of piracy.

Breaking News English has a lesson that provides audio support for the text titled Indian navy sinks Somali pirate ship.

Here’s a video from the Wall Street Journal about the recent pirate attack on a U.S. ship.

Dramatic Pirate Hostage Rescues is a slideshow from TIME Magazine highlighting U.S. and French rescues of people captured by Somali pirates.

CNN has a number of videos related to modern pirates.

“Anti-Piracy Weapons” is an infographic showing how ships are preparing to prevent pirate attacks.


Here’s a pirate quiz from the CBBC Newsround.

Do the Pirate Song activity by Renee Maufroid.

And go to the Field Museum to learn more about pirates and a pirate ship where treasure hunters are diving.

National Geographic has a site where it tells about members of the crew on that same ship.

Mr. Nussbaum has a number online pirate activities.

Mapping History’s Pirates is from The Wall Street Journal.

The British Council has interactives for ELLs.

Even though piracy is a serious matter — especially today — there are some lighthearted online learning activities that use a pirate atmosphere.

Design a pirate, write a message, and have him deliver it in pirate talk at this site.

National Geographic has a pirate adventure.

Shelly Terrell has lots of other educational pirate ideas!

As always, feedback is welcome.

If you found this post useful, you might want to look at all the previous over 200 “The Best…” lists and also consider subscribing to this blog for free.

Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.

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