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The Whydah Teaching Guide

This teaching guide for The Whydah , a book about pirates and the wreck of the frigate Whydah, features discussion questions that focus on the world of pirates and what life was like aboard a pirate ship. Students will be challenged to think critically about history, the differences between eras, and other captivating issues surrounding one of the most famous shipwrecks in the world.
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Excerpted from

The Whydah: A Pirate Ship Feared, Wrecked, and Found
Author: Martin W. Sandler

The 1650s to the 1730s marked the golden age of piracy, when fearsome pirates like Blackbeard ruled the waves, seeking not only treasure but also large and fast ships to carry it. The Whydah was just such a ship, built to ply the Triangular Trade route, which it did until one of the greediest pirates of all, Black Sam Bellamy, commandeered it. Filling the ship to capacity with treasure, Bellamy hoped to retire with his bounty — but in 1717 the ship sank in a storm off Cape Cod. For more than two hundred years, the wreck of the Whydah (and the riches that went down with it) eluded treasure seekers, until the ship was finally found in 1984 by marine archaeologists. The artifacts brought up from the ocean floor are priceless, both in value and in the picture they reveal of life in that much-mythologized era, changing much of what we know about pirates.

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