Book of the Month

Shared Book: Pirate Polly

Pirate Polly sailed over
the sea.

And she sang…

“I’m sailing over the
sea, sea, sea,
To see what I can
see, see, see!
Sailing over the
sea, sea, sea,
Nothing worries
me, me, me!” 

Shared reading is a fun and collaborative whole-class experience that allows all students to participate in reading grade-level texts with fluency and confidence. 

This unique approach engages even the most reluctant readers in lively, fast-paced lessons that build the reservoir of language and skills that are essential for reading and writing success.

Pirate Polly features musical, rhythmical text that sustains engagement and builds reading fluency over repeated readings. 

It also offers authentic, embedded support for social-emotional learning with a storyline that helps children learn to manage anxiety by focusing on problem-solving.

A five-day lesson plan and teaching panels built into every book help teachers take advantage of every opportunity to support comprehension, vocabulary, fluency, phonemic awareness, phonics skills, and social-emotional learning by focusing on a different literacy strand each day.


Read the text aloud and use authentic, text-based discussion to support comprehension, oral language, and social-emotional learning.

Sample prompts: 

  • Who were the characters? What can you tell me about them?
  • Where did the story take place? (setting)
  • What was a problem? Was the problem solved? How?
  • Pirate Polly didn’t worry about anything. When there was a problem, she just solved it. Do you know someone like Pirate Polly? What do you do when you have a problem?


Reread the text and work with engaging and challenging vocabulary from the text.

Sample prompts: 

  • Focus on the word worry. Talk about what it means.
  • Focus on the words fierce, snapping, scamper, and scurry. Select students to demonstrate the meanings with actions. Write the words on the WOW WORDS chart.

Other focus words and phrases in the book include rat-a-tat-tee (onomatopoeia), vanished, creep, creeping, humongous, sighing, crying, plugged.


Reread the text aloud with students, pointing out clues that can help them read with fluency.

Sample prompts:

  • Make a circle around the quotation marks. Ask the students: What are these? What do they tell you to do? (Change your voice because someone is talking.) Who is talking?
  • Make a circle around the exclamation point. Ask the students: What is this? What does it tell you to do? (Read with excitement.) 
  • Say to the students: Read the page and use the clues to help you read with expression.


Reread the story together and reinforce phonemic awareness and phonics skills in the context of reading.

Sample prompts:

  • Make a circle around the digraph sh in she. Ask the students: What sound does this digraph make? What other words do you know that start with this sound? Repeat this activity with the digraph wh in what.
  • Make a circle around the word ending ed in sailed. Ask the students: What is the word ending? What is the base word? What is the whole word? Repeat this activity with sailing.
  • Circle the words sea and see. Explain that these words are called homonyms. Homonyms are words that are pronounced the same, but have different meanings and may have different spellings. Circle the word to and ask students to identify its homonyms. (too, two) Circle the word I and ask students to identify its homonym. (eye)
  • Write the contraction I’m. Ask the students: What two words does the contraction I’m stand for? Why does the contraction have an apostrophe?


Reread the story together and give every student an opportunity to practice oral, written, and visual language by responding to the text.

Sample prompts:

  • Put the students into groups. Ask them to retell the story using either drama or Creative Clusters. (The last page of every Shared Book includes visuals from the book to help students retell the important events from the story in sequence.) 
  • Ask the students to draw and write about a problem that Pirate Polly or Pirate Pat had. Tell students to include a solution. Publish the students’ work by collating the pages into another book for shared reading, or make a wall display. (A sample student response is included on the inside front cover of every book.)

Pirate Polly is part of the Grade 1 Whole-Class Resources kit but can be enjoyed by children and teachers of all ages!

Sign up or log in to read the book and to download the Teacher Notes from the Related Resources section below.

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