Sixth grade English students in Jeannie Istre’s classroom at West Orange – Stark Middle School today found themselves under the leadership of a Pirate Captain who recruited them to become treasure hunters.

Their quests for riches varied. Some students hunted for Jean Lafitte’s gold which was reported to be buried under an old tree near LaPorte; while others searched for gold in an old mine shaft in Bell County.

            Istre used a 1965 Texas Prospectors and Historians Map which had once belonged to her grandfather to capture the attention of her students. The map included legends for ghost towns, forts, Indian camps, buried treasure, trails, rivers, and missions.

            After drawing one of the map’s treasure legends, students used their imagination to describe where that particular treasure might be buried with a series of prepositional phrases.

            Students were also required to draw their treasure map details; and once completed, they used a Texas map to calculate the distance one would have to travel between Orange and the “X” which marked their spot.

            “The students were at the edge of their seats the entire class.  They couldn’t wait to take part in discovering the location of their treasures. Once they created their own imaginary map, the students found that they would not have been able to discover their treasures without the use of prepositions,” Istre said.