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.

“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.

Mr. Nussbaum has a number online pirate activities.

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.

Shelly Terrell has lots of other educational pirate ideas!

As always, feedback is welcome.

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