Dave Burgess shares a fantastic way to engage students while getting to know them in Teach Like A Pirate.  As soon as I read it I knew I wanted to try it.  I did have some hesitations: Will high school student’s buy in? What will be my expectations? How will I manage the classroom? I second guessed myself as the first days quickly approached and decided to jump in head first and I am so glad I did!

When students arrived and entered the classroom I greeted them at the door, asked them their names and had them place their cell phones in the charging station (our new campus policy) and asked them to find a seat.  (Read my “Flexible Seating” post here.)  As student’s entered you could see a look of confusion: why is there play-doh on the tables?  Can we play with it? This was the best! Once they knew it was okay to touch the play-doh they jumped right in!

Students were asked to answer the question: Who Are You?

Using play-doh, they created models which represented:

  • Hobbies
  • Personality, qualities
  • Family info

Anything that represents something about who they are.

As the students were building, I circled the room asking various questions such as:

  • What did you do this summer?
  • Did you work, travel, move?
  • Where did you work?
  • What did you do on your vacation?
  • Why did you move?

My goal was to learn about the students, begin putting faces with names and model conversationalism since it is such a valuable skill necessary in the real-world.  The students really responded and it was amazing to get to know the kids and the top layers of their stories.

I highly recommend this activity to everyone!



Paper plates from the Dollar Store

Students and Teachers Ready to Create Relationships!


One thought on ““Teach Like a Pirate’s” Play-Doh Activity

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s