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The Pirate
Substitute
A Reading A–Z Level J Leveled Book
Word Count: 429

LEVELED BOOK • J

The Pirate
Substitute

Connections
Writing
Write a fictional biography for
Pirate Chalk Beard. Include his
childhood, life as a pirate, and
life as a substitute teacher.
Social Studies
Make your own treasure map.
Share your map with a partner
and ask him or her to find your
buried treasure.

J•M
Written by Torran Anderson
Illustrated by Ingvard the Terrible

Visit www.readinga-z.com
for thousands of books and materials.

www.readinga-z.com

•P

The Pirate
Substitute

Words to Know
brim
heave
lug

substitute
thumped
treasure

Pirate Words to Know
ahoy—a sailor’s greeting to
a passing ship
booty—money or goods taken
illegally or from an enemy
in a time of war

Written by Torran Anderson
Illustrated by Ingvard the Terrible

scurvy dog—an insult. Scurvy is an
illness that sailors used to suffer,
caused by a lack of vitamin C

www.readinga-z.com

Focus Question
What lesson does Jack learn
from Pirate Chalk Beard?

The Pirate Substitute
Level J Leveled Book
© Learning A–Z
Written by Torran Anderson
Illustrated by Ingvard the Terrible
All rights reserved.
www.readinga-z.com

Correlation
LEVEL J
Fountas & Pinnell
Reading Recovery
DRA

J
17
18

The door burst open, and there
stood a pirate.
His peg leg thumped on the floor
as he walked to the board.

It was 8:05, and their teacher still
wasn’t there.
That meant a substitute was on
the way.
The Pirate Substitute • Level J

3

4

Pirate Chalk Beard taught them
many things, and he taught
them fast.
He held up a giant map
and pointed out the oceans.
He taught the students to yell
“ahoy” and “scurvy dog.”

“Me name is Pirate Chalk Beard,”
he said.
He pulled back his sleeve.
In place of his hand was a long
piece of chalk.
The students gasped.
Everyone stared except Jack.
He sat in the back, drawing
in his notebook.
The Pirate Substitute • Level J

5

6

Jack nodded.
At last, Pirate Chalk Beard thumped

Pirate Chalk Beard lifted

to the back of the room.

the notebook and stared

He looked at Jack and at Jack’s

at it for some time.

notebook.

It was a drawing of a pirate

“May I?” he asked.
The Pirate Substitute • Level J

fighting a group of skeletons.
7

8

“It’s time to dig up me booty,”
he said.
“Your what?” a boy asked.
“Me treasure—to the playground!”
Pirate Chalk Beard cried.

“Arrr, it’s a beauty!” the pirate cried.
He stomped back to the front
of the room.
The Pirate Substitute • Level J

9

10

The students followed their

They helped Chalk Beard lug out

substitute teacher outside and

an old wooden chest.

started digging near the swings.

Inside the treasure chest were

“Heave ho!” cried the pirate.

pirate costumes.

Finally, they hit something solid.

The class pulled them out in a rush.
By the time Jack reached inside,
there was nothing left.

The Pirate Substitute • Level J

11

12

Jack felt the brim of the large hat
Chalk Beard winked, took off his

and smiled.

hat, and set it on Jack’s head.

“Thank you, Captain,” he said.

“I was once a shy pirate myself,

“Arrr!” Chalk Beard cried.

you know,” he said.

He added, “Remember, matey, it’s

“You were?” Jack asked.

the size of your heart—not your

“Aye,” the pirate said.

voice—that matters.”

The Pirate Substitute • Level J

13

14

Jack grinned.

Glossary
brim (n.)

“I know why it takes pirates so long

the edge that extends
outward around the

to learn the alphabet,” Jack said.

bottom of a hat (p. 14)

“Oh? And why might that be?” Chalk
Beard asked.
“Because they spend years at C,”
Jack said.

heave (v.)

to lift (p. 11)

lug (v.)

to strain to drag or
carry something (p. 12)

“And ‘Arrr’,” Chalk Beard added.
substitute

someone or something

(n.)

that takes the place of
another for a period of
time (p. 3)

thumped (v.) knocked or pounded
noisily (p. 4)
treasure (n.) something that is very
special or valuable
(p. 10)

The Pirate Substitute • Level J

15

16


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