My second graders have been learning to read maps recently, so I thought this would be the perfect time to create pirate maps. I showed my students many examples of pirate maps before beginning our project. We noticed that old maps are often very artistic. Often drawings of boats, flags, treasure, and other things can be found within the map. We began by tearing the edges of brown construction paper. Then students created a title for their map (The title could have their own name in it, or a fake pirate name). In the corner of the map, students drew a compass rose. Students then drew and named their islands. Finally, it was time for the fun stuff, the details. Students added treasure, ships, sea monsters, anchors, etc. Everything was then outlined with black marker. I had my students use oil pastels to color their map, but crayons would have worked too.
When students finished their maps, I had students crumple their maps to make it look old and crinkly. Students absolutely loved the crumpling part. I told them that this was the only time I would allow them to crumple their art.