NORTH OGDEN — Eye patches, bandannas and unusually large hats — accompanied by words like “Ahoy” and “Avast” — are not common for second-graders at North Ogden Elementary School.
But Tuesday was not like any other day. It was “Talk Like a Pirate Day,” and the students, along with their teachers, lived like pirates to the full extent all day.
Teacher Deb Hull sported a curly mustache, a pirate hat, a bandanna and other pirate wear as she talked about the origins of the day at the school. It started about seven years ago, when one of the teachers heard about national “Talk Like a Pirate Day” and thought it would be fun to do the normal school day things pirate-style.
The students loved it that first year, so every year since, the teachers have gone above and beyond to make the day a special one.
“It’s just a fun way to do the same stuff,” Hull said.
Sept. 19 was national “Talk Like a Pirate Day,” but one of the second-grade teachers was off on maternity leave until this week, so they postponed it until Wednesday so she could participate.
Seven-year-old Savannah Cosby, or “Me Heartie Savannah” as she was named for the day, was excited to come to school dressed in her pirate garb. She proudly showed off the big, flamboyant pirate hat she borrowed from her grandma and carefully colored her pirate hook before she covered the claw with aluminum foil.
“I like to do the fun activities,” she said, admitting that the art projects, such as making a hook hand and a pirate hat, were her favorites.
She and her friends also enjoyed reading the pirate books, where she learned that pirates can be mean.
Student Nic Taylor walked around with his hook and said “Aarrg” to anyone who would listen.
“We get to do a lot of fun stuff and make a lot of fun stuff,” he said.
Hull and the other teachers sent letters home to parents last week, explaining what would be happening Wednesday and told the children they could dress up if they wanted to, but that they would make dress-up items at school as well.
Teachers also sent home a vocabulary list of “pirate words” so the students could be ready to speak pirate for the day.
“How often do you get to hear ‘avast’ all day?” Hull said, grinning.
Teacher Angie Taylor traced pirate hats for students to carefully cut out. She said there are so many pirate-themed activities available on the Internet, it has been fun to keep adding things over the years and really go all-out.
“We just adapt everything we normally do and put a pirate spin on it,” Taylor said.
The students played pirate Uno and played with dice that had skulls and crossbones on them. The students have been learning how to count into their teens and it has been getting a little boring for them.
But not Wednesday, Hull said.
“It was something new and they were excited.”