Introducing the Handbag Hook


We all know I love Teach Like a Pirate by Dave Burgress, Dave’s teachings and his book have really reawakened my inspiration since the summer. I was explaining how Teach Like a Pirate works to my in-laws and my mother-in-law made a joke how she found her Christmas Hand Bag Hook while setting up the tree this year. I laughed saying that’s not what it means by “hook” but she replied: “Too bad you can’t think of a new way to use it as one.” Then of course like the cover to Don Wettrick’s book Pure Genius I started typing up ideas on my iPhone. I started typing how a handbag works and the original design for it. Pretty simply its a bag to carry supplies in, always has been for men and women. My wife threw out the idea of using it as a Mystery Bag but I told her that already existed. Then she talked about just filling it with supplies for whatever the need arises and that’s where the Hook finally started taking form. So, sit back fellow Pirates you are either going to love or hate this idea.

IMG_95191. Have a neighboring classroom fill the Pirate Handbag with 5 items, they can be anything and must be appropriate. An example would be the 2nd grade class puts a small ziplock bag of elbow macaroni, an extra large can of play-dough, a bluetooth, a hall pass and an App Dice.

2. The Pirate Handbag is given to 1st grade and keeping in spirit with the Mystery Box Hook, the students don’t know whats in it but the teacher or student leader then opens up the bag and takes out the five items for everyone to see.

3. Now, this is where the fun comes in. Whatever the lesson that day or that hour, the class has to choose one of those five items to use in the lesson. It can be any of the five items but only one. An example would be if they were using the Mime Hook and the class chooses the bluetooth to use with it. Now, in some way that bluetooth has to be used for the lesson. Once its has been successfully used it is taken away from the bag. Now, there are only four items remaining. So, for the next day say its time for the Story Telling Hook or related lesson. The class chooses the elbow macaroni, now the students have to use the macaroni to tell their story in a a combination of the Chef Hook and the Story Telling Hook.

4. This continues until the end of the week, then the class who finishes using the Pirate Handbag must now fill it with five items and pass it either back to the grade it came from or to another classroom. This continues weekly.

IMG_95495. To really turn it on its head creativity wise, place only one item in the bag and then have the class pull it out and no matter what they have to find a way to be used. In my case I made some words out of play-dough with my son. That is what is pulled out of the Pirate Handbag and it must be used during the week in the lessons. If you choose to use the Safari Hook you could say you are going to return the worms to their natural habitat. Of course, where do you go? How do you find it? What do worms enjoy? ect. Another would be using the Taboo Hook. What shouldn’t be talked about when it comes to worms? Food poisoning? Disease? How college departments are using them in organic gardening? Its really up to you.

There you go, I’m not saying this will work for you but it was really fun idea that was inspired by an everyday item and if you want to give it a try, please do and send me the pictures or links to your classroom using it. See you later, fellow Pirates! Ahoy!


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