Teach and GoNoodle Like a Pirate With Guest Blogger Dave Burgess!


It hit me like a ton of bricks on a recent cross-country flight. We booked our flight late and all of my precious aisle and window seats were taken. Doom. I had no choice but to cram my 6’5” pirate body into a…I almost can’t say it…MIDDLE SEAT for almost 6 hours.

I had a ton of work I needed to do on the flight and so I pulled out my computer to start hammering away when the ultimate disaster happened; the passenger on the aisle fell into a long and deep sleep. No!!! I was stuck.

It wasn’t more than 30 minutes into the flight when it hit me that I needed to get up and move. I didn’t need to use the restroom. I didn’t have a cramp.  I wasn’t in any type of pain. I was just simply desperate to MOVE. All hope of productivity vanished; I couldn’t concentrate, I couldn’t focus, and I became obsessed with thoughts of freedom.

It was in this state of airplane misery, that it hit me; for many of our students, this is exactly what they experience on a daily basis. For far too many kids, school is like being trapped in the middle seat of a cross-country flight with the aisle passenger asleep. If adults need to move, it is ten times worse for kids. Incorporating frequent and purposeful opportunities for movement into our lessons should be a daily goal. The benefits are numerous and include a heightened ability to focus, improved concentration, expanded mindfulness, and elevated energy. And of course, it is also just way more fun!

In Teach Like a PIRATE, there are three hooks that are specifically designed to build movement into lessons; the Kinesthetic Hook, the People Prop hook, and the Safari Hook. Here are  some of the brainstorming questions for these hooks:

Kinesthetic Hook

  • Can we throw, roll, or catch something inside or outside of class?
  • Can we get up and act something out?
  • Can we incorporate gestures and motions that students can do from their desks?
  • Can we turn the room into a giant opinion meter and have students move to one side or the other based on the statement?
  • What kind of simulation can we do that would allow them to reenact part of this lesson?
  • Can I change the structure of this lesson from a seated activity to a walk around activity?
  • Can I incorporate a game that uses movement and action to enhance this lesson?

Safari Hook

  • How can I get my students outside of my four walls for this lesson?
  • Where would be the perfect place on campus to deliver this lesson?
  • Can I plant key items outside for us to “discover?”

 People Prop Hook

  • Can we create a human graph, chart,  map, or equation?
  • Can students be assigned a specific step in a process or an event and then have to order themselves sequentially?

My desire to increase movement and mindfulness in the classroom is why I am such a huge fan of GoNoodle. With GoNoodle, teachers can tap into a wide array of ways to incorporate dance, cardio, stretching, yoga, and mindfulness routines into their school day. These are expertly designed activities that have intrinsic value in and of themselves and will quickly become loved by students and teachers, helping to build a culture of fun and fitness, and improve the effectiveness of everything students do before and after. Oh…and they are so easy to use-just press “play!”

And I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am that GoNoodle is launching, Pirate Life, a brand new pirate video filled with a pirate song, moves, and fun! I hope you will join GoNoodle and Teach Like a Pirate teachers from all over the globe in the pursuit of getting kids UP and MOVING every single day!! 

Dave Burgess
New York Times Best Selling author of Teach Like a PIRATE
President of Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc.
Twitter: @burgessdave
Instagram: @dbc_inc