A Pirate's Guide t' th' Grammar Of Story

I just knew when asked if we'd like to review this product that my boys were going to love it.  This is not a paid advertisement but our honest review of a wonderful new writing program that we have been lucky enough to try out: A Pirate's Guide t' th' Grammar of Story

I knew within moments of reading about this writing curriculum that it sounded so fun and just like something my boys would LOVE!

And boy was I right!

What is not to love about being taught story making from a band of  talking monkey pirates and their trusty leader (while hunting for magical jelly beans)?

Before we even opened up our book the boys were laughing that we were going to be taught the grammar of story by a bunch of pirates that couldn't even talk "right."

The book starts out with the beginning of a story that lands the reader right in the middle of the story; literally landing right on a pirate ship.  

Next up is a letter written by Captain Yogger LeFossa explaining what is expected of young deckhands and how hard they'll have to work.  It's all written in pirate speak and I read this out loud to the boys as well in my best pirate impression.  

They were held captive from the beginning! 

When my boys see this out on our table in the morning they ask to do writing first!

Yep, they actually ASK me!!

They love sharing their ideas with each other and even though my boys are at an age when they could work on this independently we are having so much working on it together.  The curriculum is designed for children ages 8 and up and I am finding that it works so well with all three of my boys ( aged 9, 11, & 13).

I was afraid at first that my oldest might think it was babyish but he is finding it to be so much fun and cracks himself up with all the fun details he's making up.  It's wonderful to see my boys having so much fun letting their imaginations guide them while writing.

The lesson start out simple enough with a few fill in the blank areas then progress to a brainstorming exercise (With lots of examples and ideas to get them started).  

The book takes children through all the basic elements of story-- mindstorming, being specific, developing the setting, using symbolism, the importance of a backstory, having a villain, etc. 

Throughout the book there are pages where they are encouraged to raise the anchor and set sail; meaning they have a free write without any prompting. They were a bit put off the day they had to write their own story but they did push through and looked forward to the next day's lesson that focused on adding details and being specific. I suspect these free writes will get easier as we learn more elements and continue our way through the book.

They eagerly share what they have written with each other and sometimes go back to edit their sentences to make them even more comical.  They are giggling and smiling; which is something I have never experienced with them when it comes to writing!

This fun creative writing curriculum was written and designed by Christopher Hansen and J. R. Fehr.  Hansen is a story designer with over a decade's worth of experience training professional filmmakers and storytellers in creativity.  He's a published author and started a company called Wondertale that encourages people of all ages to find and tell their own stories. J. R. Fehr is a published author as well with three young adult fantasy novels under his belt.

For more information check out:



  1. Replies
    1. It has been a lot of fun! We can't wait to keep it going through the summer.


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