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Treasure Island Unit Study: Part II

This is the first lesson in the unit study on Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson. Part Two is called "The Sea Cook".

Treasure Island 1950 Video

Treasure Island (Signet Classic)

For a free ebook version of Treasure Island check out http://www.gspp.com.au/treasure_island.htm.

You may also be interested in the Introduction to the Treasure Island unit study.

Suggested Vocabulary:

Define the meaning as the one used in the book.

figurehead (both for a ship and the modern definition)
Black Dog (18th Century slang)
"the trades"
pound (measure of money)
"gentlemen of fortune"

Summary of the Book:

From Biblomania.com: "Stevenson's most famous novel and an enduringly popular romance, Treasure Island was published in 1883, although it had appeared initially in Young Folks in serial form July 1881-June 1882 under the alternative title of "The Sea-Cook or Treasure Island". It is of course the author's success, but the novel's conception is interesting. It developed from an imaginary map that Stevenson and his stepson Lloyd Osbourne had devised on holiday and this goes some way towards explaining the book's appeal among children. Moreover, the famous antihero Long John Silver was the invention of Stevenson's friend, William Henley. Nonetheless, the tale is the archetypal nineteenth century 'ripping yarn'. Our narrator is Jim Hawkins, son of a guesthouse owner on the west coast of England sometime in the eighteenth century. To the inn come firstly an old buccaneer who has a map of Captain Flint's treasure, and secondly a group of pirates under the command of ominous blind man Pew. Jim Hawkins, our hero, in an act of bravery and cunning gets hold of the map before this rabid mob gets it. He delivers the map to Squire Trelawney, and together they set off for Treasure Island in the Squire's schooner. The rest of the crew, apart from Dr Livesey (a friend of the squire) are a company collected by Long John Silver. The latter and his men try to mutiny and get hold of the treasure themselves but Jim intervenes and through a series of enthralling adventures we find ourselves on Treasure Island with the marooned Ben Gunn and ever closer to the treasure itself."

Suggested Activities and Questions:

1. Get a map of England and locate the various cities that are mentioned in the story.

2. Why was it longer than they expected before they were ready to go to sea?

3. Tom Redruth's job was gamekeeper. What did he do as a gamekeeper? What is poaching?.

4. Describe "Long John Silver" as he appears in this part of the story. You may also wish to add him to your character sketches that you have kept for your journal.

5. Describe how young Hawkins felt as he left his home for the high-adventure. Do you think it strange that he felt the way he did, or natural?.

6. Draw a pictures of what Jim Hawkins saw along the docks when he first arrived in Bristol. Did his other senses come into use as well? Which ones and how?

7. A "black dog" is an 18th century slang term for counterfeit coin. Can you think of some modern equivalents to this term? (e.g., wooden nickel)

8. Keelhauling was a form of punishment at sea. Discipline at sea was stern. Seam were brutally punished for breaking rules. Why do you think this was? Was it appropriate? What were some of the other forms of punishment for breaking the rules at sea?

9. How did Long John Silver gain young Hawkins confidence?

10. Who was at the "Spy-Glass" that Jim knew to be a scoundrel?

11. What was the name of the ship that the adverturers were going to sail on?

12. Draw a picture of a ship and label its part (i.e., stern, bow, etc.).

13. What happened to Mr. Arrows?

14. What were the lines that were rigged across the deck to help Long John Silver in rough weather called?

15. Who was the cook and what was his nickname?

16. Long John had a parrot that he said was about 200 years old. Do you think this was true? Learn about the life cyle and habitats of parrots, how they mimic words, what they eat, how long they live, etc.

17. What was so important about Jim hiding in the apple barrel? What did he hear?

Online Lessons and Resources:




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