Treasure Island

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Heady tale of a treasure map, a perilous sea journey across the Spanish Main, a mutiny led by the infamous Long John Silver, and a lethal scramble for buried treasure as seen through the eyes of cabin boy Jim Hawkins. An action-packed adventure story that will hypnotize young readers and entertain older ones. (From
Curriculet Details
91 Questions
110 Annotations
3 Quizzes

This free digital curriculum for middle school students contains interactive videos exploring foreshadowing, point of view, figurative language as well as annotations describing suspense, making predictions, and dramatic irony. Students will explore the themes of good vs. evil, adventure, and greed. The Common Core aligned questions, answers and quizzes in this free online unit will increase student engagement in the book while supporting reading comprehension.

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Part 1 Chapter 1

The narrator refers to the old seaman as having a "sabre cut across one cheek." Use the Define feature on the word "sabre" and then choose which of the following words refers to the "sabre cut." 
Did you know that you can look up any word in the text of the book or the text of the questions and answers? Just click (or press on mobile devices) the word you want to define and hold until the blue text selector pops up. When you release, a Define option will appear. Since it's so easy to look up words, make sure you use this feature frequently... Is there a word on this page you need to look up? 
Listen to the original version of this famous pirate tune. This song comes up several times in this novel.  (This annotation contains a video)
Can you tell this visitor is a pirate? List three words or details from this page that suggest he is or once was a pirate. 
This is a nautical phrase which refers to a regular seaman as compared to an officer.  
What can you infer from this sentence? 
This may be an example of foreshadowing. Foreshadowing is when a writer drops hints or clues about something that may happen or be important later in the story. Is this man with the one leg going to be important? Watch the video below about foreshadowing.  (This annotation contains a video)
The mood of this paragraph is dark and sinister. Which of the following groups of words help create that mood? 
The narrator is telling us that this pirate visitor was _________ for business at the Admiral Benbow Inn. 
The map below shows the cluster of islands off the coast of Florida which the narrator is referring to. (This annotation contains an image)
The story is told from the point of view of the main character. This is called "first person" point of view. It is important when you are reading fiction to be able to determine what kind of narrator is telling the story. Watch this video to further understand the different types of point of view.  (This annotation contains a video)
You should notice that Dr. Livesey is a level headed, intelligent man. He is not affected by the pirate and certainly not afraid of him even though the pirate threatened the doctor with a knife. Dr. Livesey is also a magistrate, so he's like a police officer or judge in a way. 

Part 1 Chapter 2

What is happening to the narrator's father? 
The captain, or the old brown seaman, may look something like this (without the monkey, though).  (This annotation contains an image)
Below is a picture of a classic pirate cutlass.  (This annotation contains an image)
This visitor, Black Dog, says he lost "them two talons." What does this mean? 
Here, swinging probably refers to being hanged. When a criminal was hanged, he would literally "swing" from the ropes.  
What do you think has happened to the captain? 
During the 1700's medical doctors were still practicing "blood letting." Blood letting was essentially cutting into a vein and letting the patient bleed for awhile. This was believed to cure illness as people still believed at this time that the body's fluids--or humors-- needed to be kept in balance. Of course, today, we know that bleeding will most often worsen a condition or injury, not help it.  (This annotation contains an image)
What medical order is Dr. Livesey giving to Captain Bill Bones? 

Part 1 Chapter 3

The narrator's name is Jim Hawkins. 
Yellow Jack is what people called Yellow Fever, a virus carried by mosquitoes that used to kill many people.  
When Bill Bones claims, "My ears is singing," it means his ears are ringing and he's probably getting dizzy. This is an example of personification. The writer uses a great deal of figurative language. Figurative language is found in all types of writing. It helps readers understand things, events, and people in unique ways. It's important to be able to recognize the different types of figurative language. Watch this video for a review and see how many you can recognize in the text. (This annotation contains a video)
Robert Louis Stevenson, the author of this novel, invented the "black spot" as a signal that death will be coming. If Bill Bones gets a black spot, then other pirates are on the hunt to kill him. The actual black spot is a cut out circle that has been blackened on one side. Below is a picture of the pirates making a black spot.  (This annotation contains an image)
Look at one illustration of the blind man gripping the narrator tight and scaring him to death.  (This annotation contains an image)
Already the writer has created a frightening character in this blind stranger. Watch the video below on character traits. Then try to come up with a few character traits of the narrator, Jim. Try to come up with a few for Bill Bones.  (This annotation contains a video)
Use the Define feature on the word apoplexy. Using the definition and the context of the sentence, explain what just happened to Bill Bones. 

Part 1 Chapter 4

Use the Define feature on this word. Then choose which of the following sentences uses the word in the same way it is used here. 
In this paragraph, Jim's mother is showing which character trait? 
This striking of the clock, just after Jim reads that the captain only has until ten, is a great example of the writer creating suspense. 
Bill's seaman's chest may look something like the picture below.  (This annotation contains an image)
Which of the following is the best way to restate what Jim's mother is saying? 
The "tap-tapping" is a terrifying sound because the blind man has already been characterized as wretched and evil. As a reader, you may feel as frightened as Jim. Here's another picture. (This annotation contains an image)

Part 1 Chapter 5

We know now that the blind man's name is Pew. 
Watch this video on making inferences then read the highlighted section again carefully. You should be able to make some inferences as to what Pew is referring to here.  (This annotation contains a video)
What happens to Pew? 
Where are the pirates who ran away and left Pew? 
Can you make a prediction of what Jim has in his breast pocket that he believes the pirates are after? 

Part 1 Chapter 6

The writer uses a simile here to describe what Mr. Dance did that the squire regards as "an act of virtue." Who does the "cockroach" in this simile represent? 
Pigeon pie is a meat pie made from pigeon meat.  (This annotation contains an image)
The squire is telling what he's heard of the notorious (well-known for evil) Captain Flint. He compares Blackbeard, another legendary, evil pirate, to Flint and claims that "Blackbeard was a child to Flint." That means that Flint was much more terrifying than even Blackbeard. Bill Bones, who was Flint's first mate, told Jim earlier in the novel that Flint was dead. 
Why do you think the writer has the squire repeat the word "money" so many times in this paragraph? 
The treasure map may look like this.  (This annotation contains an image)
Which of the following is the best word to describe Squire Trelawney's mood right now? 
Which type of figurative language is used here to illustrate how quiet the squire promises to be? 

Part 2 Chapter 1

You may not recall the first page of this novel, but keep this in mind: Jim Hawkins is telling all of this story AFTER it has happened. Here, he is saying that as wild as his daydreams about their island adventure were, they weren't as "strange and tragic" as they actually turned out to be. 
Does this name and description mean anything to you? Long John Silver will be one of the main characters in this book. You may only have heard of the seafood chain restaurant named after him, but the name originated in the classic novel Treasure Island. You should also remember that Bones once asked Jim to be especially on the lookout for a man with one leg.  (This annotation contains an image)
Squire Trelawney has had everything repaired from the damage the pirates did to the inn while looking for the treasure map. He even hired a boy to help Jim's mother while Jim is off on their adventure. 
Do you think Jim will return from his adventure the same young boy? This scene is symbolic, or representative, of Jim stepping into his adventure and out into the real world. 
A figurehead is a carved wooden decoration at the prow (very front) of a ship.  (This annotation contains an image)
Certainly one of the themes of this novel is the thrill of adventure. Squire Trelawney, Dr. Livesey, and, of course, young Jim are excited about setting off on their quest for treasure.  

Part 2 Chapter 2

A spyglass is a hand-held telescope, often seen carried by pirates.  (This annotation contains an image)
The author does a good job describing his characters. Not only does he describe Silver as "intelligent and smiling," but he's "whistling," giving "merry word" or slapping shoulders, and in "cheerful spirits." Below is one illustration of Stevenson's most famous character, Long John Silver.  (This annotation contains an image)
What does Long John Silver mean when he says that Black Dog hadn't "paid his score"? 
Why did Black Dog get up and leave so quickly? Do you believe Long John Silver when he tells Jim that he doesn't know him? Silver claims he may have seen him before with a blind beggar. Do you know who that may have been? If you are thinking and making predictions as you read, then you are actively reading. Watch this video about the many ways you can make predictions with reading.  (This annotation contains a video)
Keel-hauling was a horrific type of punishment sometimes done on ships. The victim would be tied to a rope that was looped underneath the ship. The man would be thrown overboard and dragged back and forth beneath the keel (or bottom) of the ship. Since the ships would always be covered in barnacles, the punishment would be brutal and bloody and usually result in death or drowning.  (This annotation contains an image)
This is important. Even Jim is suspicious of Long John Silver. 
What is Silver worried about? 

Part 2 Chapter 3

The Hispaniola may look something like this.  (This annotation contains an image)
Dr. Livesey always seems  
List three things that Captain Smollett is upset about. 

Part 2 Chapter 4

Who else have we seen singing this song? 
What other name do the men call Silver? 
Pieces of eight are silver Spanish dollars. Why might Silver's parrot always say this word?  (This annotation contains an image)
Parrots really can live more than one hundred years old. Captain England was a famous pirate.  (This annotation contains an image)
Silver is explaining to Jim that his parrot, Capt'n Flint, curses because of all the evil he's encountered in his long life. He tells Jim that the bird doesn't know any better and would curse just the same in front of a priest. 
Use the Define feature on the word "duff."Explain why the squire might allow the men to have duff if he heard it was someone's birthday. 
This is a great point of suspense. Jim is in the apple barrel and Long John Silver is unaware but leaning against it and he begins to talk. Have you ever accidentally eavesdropped and heard something you shouldn't have? Do you have any predictions before you read on?  (This annotation contains an image)

Part 2 Chapter 5

Why does what Silver just said bother JIm? 
By calling Dick "square," Silver and Israel Hands mean that Dick is alright and can be trusted. 
What does Israel Hands tell Silver that he wants to do? 
Silver has just explained what he eventually will do to Jim, the captain, Dr. Livesey, and Squire Trelawney. What does he plan to do? 

Part 2 Chapter 6

Because Jim now knows that Silver is really a ruthless pirate, but the doctor, captain, and squire do not know this, the writer has created dramatic irony. Dramatic irony is when the reader knows something the characters don't know. It can be very effective in creating tension and suspense. Watch the video below for more information on dramatic irony.  (This annotation contains a video)
What do we know that Captain Smollett doesn't know as Silver talks about the island? 
Use the Define feature on the word "duplicity." Use the definition and your understanding of the context to choose which of the following words means the same as "duplicity." 
In the 1700's men wore powdered wigs.  (This annotation contains an image)
If a crew member on a ship was caught committing mutiny, he may be hanged from a yard-arm which is the bar that holds the sail. This line shows that the captain is convinced that Silver is a criminal and a pirate. 
Who was right in his judgement of Silver and most of the crew? 
Quiz #1 

Part 3 Chapter 1

The island is not what Jim had hoped for. Because of Jim's discovery that Silver and the others plan to murder them once the treasure is found, the island represents danger instead of adventure. This is a symbol for evil in the novel. A symbol is something real that may also represent a concept or idea. Watch this video on symbols in literature.  (This annotation contains a video)
This is probably not what you expected. Jim has been dreaming about Treasure Island for weeks and weeks. List two details that the writer includes that reveal the island as a symbol of evil. 
Dr. Livesey is worried about yellow fever which is transmitted by mosquitoes. If the island is swampy and damp, then there will be lots of mosquitoes. 
According to this sentence, the threat of mutiny hangs thickly in the air. What type of figurative language does the writer use in the highlighted sentence? 
Explain why you think Jim runs away as soon as he gets on the island. 

Part 3 Chapter 2

What does Jim plan to do while he's on the island with the pirates? 
What do you think has just happened to one of the honest crew hands? 
Have you noticed that the writer likes to end his chapters with suspense? This is called a cliffhanger, and writers use them in hopes that you will immediately want ti turn the page instead of putting the book down. 

Part 3 Chapter 3

This is the position Ben Gunn takes when he steps close to Jim to show that he means no harm and is at Jim's mercy. (This annotation contains an image)
Haven't we heard this name before? This is a picture of Ben Gun from one of the many movie adaptations of Treasure Island.  (This annotation contains an image)
What does this sentence reveal about Ben Gunn? 
A clove hitch is a type of knot used for rope, but here it means that they are in a bad situation, a tough spot. 
According to Ben Gunn, after Flint and the six other pirates bury the treasure, Flint kills the other six men and rows back to his ship, the Walrus, alone. 
Ben Gunn explains to Jim that later he was aboard another ship and they came upon this island. Ben thought he could find the treasure, but after twelve days the men he was with became fed up. They left him behind to fend for himself. 
Why do you think Ben talks a lot and never expects an answer? 
The Union Jack is the British flag.  (This annotation contains an image)

Part 4 Chapter 1

It is important to notice that the first person narration has changed from Jim Hawkins to Dr. Livesey. This way, we are able to know what happens back on the Hispaniola while Jim is on the island. 
Captain Smollett is giving the crew members, especially Abraham Gray, an opportunity to join the "good" side. He knows that Gray is a decent man. 
What do the doctor, squire, and captain do with the Hispaniola? 

Part 4 Chapter 2

This is a long nine. This must have been what Jim heard before he saw the Union Jack flag. (This annotation contains an image)
What is the captain asking Squire Trelawney to do here? 
Why do the doctor and the other men jump off the boat? 

Part 4 Chapter 3

This is an idiomatic expression that means someone is worth his pay or worthy of his responsibilities. 
This means he hung up the flag. This is the Union Jack flag that Jim saw flapping in the wind.  (This annotation contains an image)
Unless they manage to board the Hispaniola and leave the island, no one will come looking for them for several months. 
What has happened that makes the situation for the doctor, squire, captain, and Jim even worse? 

Part 4 Chapter 4

The Jolly Roger is a pirate flag. There are various kinds, but the most popular Jolly Roger looks like this.  (This annotation contains an image)
What does Ben Gunn want to propose to Captain Smollett and Squire Trelawney? 
Have you noticed that Jim Hawkins is again the first person narrator? Can you think of another novel you've read where the first person narration switches from character to character? 
List three things Jim describes that make the stockade uncomfortable. 
Why are rum and the climate considered allies to Jim and the men in the stockade? 
Truce is like a "time out" when fighting. Evidently, Silver wants to talk to the captain, squire, and doctor. Do you think he can be trusted? 

Part 4 Chapter 5

Once again the island is described as bleak and eerie, making it a symbol of evil and danger. What words from this paragraph help create that image? 
What does Captain Smollett mean when he says, "Cap'n Silver! Don't know him"? 
Here's another picture of Long john Silver.  (This annotation contains an image)
This is a picture from one of the many illustrations from printings of Treasure Island.  (This annotation contains an image)
Silver must be explaining how one of the pirates was killed the night before while all of them were drunk and sleeping. Jim thinks maybe it was Ben Gunn who snuck in and did the killing. 
Silver is referring to an "affidavit" which is a written oath signed before an official. In other words, Silver is promising the captain, "on his word" to do what he says he will do. Should the captain believe him? 
The captain is referring to the nautical idiom of "Davy Jones' locker" which means the bottom of the sea. The expression is used to express drowning or a shipwreck when sailors and all of their belonging are at bottom of the sea. 
What are three things that Silver and the pirates have against them according to Captain Smollett? 
Do you think it was wise for Captain Smollett to make Silver so angry? 

Part 4 Chapter 6

This expression is an idiom that means to angrily send someone away. Idioms are often used in writing. They are expressions that have a specific, cultural meaning and are not meant to be taken literally. Watch the video below and see how many idioms you can think of.  (This annotation contains a video)
The doldrums is a part of the ocean that is flat and where there is no wind; therefore, a ship just floats. This sentence is also a sound device where two or more words begin with the same consonant sound. What do you call this literary device? 
Here's a picture to help you visualize the action here. (This annotation contains an image)
Quiz #2 

Part 5 Chapter 1

What does the captain mean when he says the pirates "got their rations for that day"? 
List two details that cause Jim to want to head out of the stockade house. 
What kind of bird is Captain Flint? 
A coracle is a very small boat. Do you believe Ben Gunn's boat will be helpful to Jim and the men at the stockade? (This annotation contains an image)
Use the Define feature to look up the word "carousing." Which of the following words or phrases has the same meaning of "carousing" as it is used in the sentence? 
Do you have a prediction for what Jim plans to do? 

Part 5 Chapter 2

Where is Jim headed with the coracle? 
What is Jim worried will happen if he cuts the rope to the anchor on the Hispaniola? 
Why don't the pirates on board the Hispaniola notice at first that the anchor had been cut? 
What does Jim think is going to happen? 

Part 5 Chapter 3

This is a picture of a sea lion. Jim sees many of these on the rocks.  (This annotation contains an image)
What action is this sentence describing? 
Jim is thinking of boarding the Hispaniola and returning her near the shore. In the past few chapters, he has taken several risks: he leaves the stockade alone in search of Ben Gunn's boat, he cuts the rope to the anchor of the Hispaniola, setting her to sail, and he peeks into the Hispaniola to see Israel Hands and another pirate fighting. Now he plans to try to board the Hispaniola to perhaps return her to Captain Smollett. Jim is the protagonist of this novel. Do you think he is a hero or is he acting recklessly and irresponsibly? 
Here the writer uses two different types of figurative language. What are they? 
In your own words, explain what Jim does in this highlighted section. 

Part 5 Chapter 4

You'll notice that many nautical terms are used in this novel, especially in a section like this. Don't worry if you don't know what all of the terms mean or if you can't visualize each part. Just be sure you understand the action. In case you are confused, Jim has successfully boarded the Hispaniola. He doesn't see anyone and the ship is dirty with an empty bottle rolling around on deck. 
This diagram may help you.  (This annotation contains an image)
Now we know why the pirates abandoned the Hispaniola. Israel Hands and the pirate with the red cap have gravely injured one another in a fight. 
What is the black flag that Jim throws overboard called? 
Here's a diagram of Treasure Island so you can see where Jim wants to shore the Hispaniola. (This annotation contains an image)
What is Jim's "new command" on the Hispaniola? 
Jim notices that Hands is smiling, but a bit mischievously. Should he trust Hands? What words has the writer included here that show Hands is someone to watch out for? 

Part 5 Chapter 5

In your own words, explain what Hands is trying to do here. 
Remember, Long Tom is the cannon on board the Hispaniola. 
What does Hands do when Jim goes below deck? 
Which of the following is the best interpretation of what Hands is saying here? 
The writer does a good job here with description. What are some details that the writer mentions that this picture does not have? (This annotation contains an image)
Why is Jim not worried for his immediate safety? 
The boy in this picture has his hand on a tiller. This is what struck Hands in the chest.  (This annotation contains an image)
This sentence contains a metaphor. What is Jim and what is Hands in this metaphor? 
To help you visualize, here is a picture of Jim up in the cross-trees.  (This annotation contains an image)
Here is another illustration that may help you visualize this confrontation between Jim and Hands. (This annotation contains an image)
Hands claims he would have killed Jim had it not been for what? 

Part 5 Chapter 6

Notice how the writer describes Hands' dead body through Jim's narration. Because he gives us a visual image, it is eerie but satisfying since Hands was a villain and certainly intended to kill Jim. 
Use the Define feature on the word "peril." What could be some peril" for Jim on Treasure Island? 
List three heroic acts that Jim has done thus far in the novel. 
What detail about the stockade seems strange and makes Jim wonder? 
Uh-oh! Who is in the stockade house? 

Part 6 Chapter 1

What is the best interpretation of what Silver is saying about Jim here? 
What do you think Silver means when he says  that Jim will have to "jine with Cap'n Silver"? 
What is it that the pirates--due to drinking and sleeping--did not see happening? 
According to Silver, how does Dr. Livesey feel about Jim now? 
What is the best word to describe Silver's crew of pirates at this point in the novel? 
Explain in your own words what the doctor gave Silver and what Silver thinks about it. 

Part 6 Chapter 2

What is Silver trying to make the pirates believe? 
Now we know why Silver is being so nice to Jim and vows to "stick by him." Silver plans to use Jim as a hostage when another ship comes looking for the members of the Hispaniola. 
Silver is convincing the other pirates that because of them they've lost the Hispaniola, but only because of Silver do they have the treasure map. Then, even though just moments ago they gave him the "black spot" and took away his title of captain, Silver claims he resigns from being captain. 
So Silver is reestablished and reelected as captain of the pirates. The "game" Silver is "engaged upon," as Jim puts it, is keeping his pirates in line and, at the same time, saving his own life. 

Part 6 Chapter 3

Why does Jim feel guilty when he sees the doctor? 
Why has the doctor come to the stockade this morning? 
Dr. Livesey is saying that he takes good care of his patients so they are alive enough for England to ___________ or ___________ them. 
Remember, the "fever" the doctor is referring to is Yellow Fever which is carried by mosquitoes. So the doctor is scolding Silver for being stupid enough to camp in a swamp (the pirates were camping in the swamp before they took over the stockade house). 
What is Silver asking Jim to promise if he allows him to talk to the doctor? 
In other words, the pirates are accusing Silver of playing both sides--trying to please the pirates, and trying to please Jim, the doctor, and the others. Of course, this is EXACTLY what Silver is doing, and Jim recognizes that. He notes that Silver is clever enough to do this well.  
Silver is making sure the doctor knows that he saved Jim's life and is trying to cooperate with the doctor. What he wants in return is some hope that the doctor will speak favorably of him if Silver is ever brought to trial back in England.  
Silver wants the doctor to speak plainly and explain to Silver what he means. He doesn't understand why the doctor just handed over the map and now he doesn't understand why the doctor has warned him of "squalls" if he intends to look for the treasure. 
Why does Jim not run off like Dr. Livesey tells him to? 

Part 6 Chapter 4

Silver explains to Jim that he realizes he could have run away but didn't to keep his word. He's even more impressed with Jim. 
Jim knows that Silver will continue to keep his options open and play both sides. He realizes, though, that if the pirates find the treasure and escape, Silver will be with them one hundred percent. 
These questions Jim has about not understanding why the doctor and captain left the stockade and why they handed over the map build a great deal of suspense for readers. How does the writer do that? 
Here's a good picture of the scene Jim just describes. (This annotation contains an image)
This is Flint's pointer that will help lead to the treasure. (This annotation contains an image)
This means Silver and the pirates know who this skeleton belongs to. His name was Allardyce and he was tall and blond. 
Why aren't the pirates excited now since they're so close to the treasure? 

Part 6 Chapter 5

Who do you think is singing? 
Whose voice do the pirates think they are hearing? 
George Merry is warning Silver not to anger a ghost. 
The pirates now believe they recognize Ben Gunn's voice. Even if Gunn is a ghost, the pirates don't find him scary like Flint. 
The men are no longer afraid or thinking about ghosts; they're only thinking about 
Jim realizes that now with the treasure so close, Silver has no intention of saving Jim's life or keeping his promise to the doctor. Silver wants the treasure, and as soon as he gets it, Jim believes, he will kill him, the doctor, the captain, and the squire, and live the rest of his days as a ruthless pirate. 

Part 6 Chapter 6

What has Silver quickly decided to do? 
Explain in your own words why the doctor gives Silver the treasure map and all the food. 
The squire is saying he knows Silver that is evil to the core and a criminal, but he has promised not to prosecute him once they return to England. But he reminds Silver how many men's lives Silver is responsible for losing. 
This is the cove where Ben Gunn has moved the treasure. (This annotation contains an image)
Do you think Long John Silver has any bit of good in him? Would you ever trust him? 

Part 6 Chapter 7

Jim stays in the cove and puts the gold into bags for easy hauling.  (This annotation contains an image)
To show how many coins were in the cove, the writer uses a simile comparing them to what? 
What does this show us about the doctor? 
This is an example of verbal irony--where what is said is the exact opposite of what is meant. The doctor is letting Silver know that all of them believe him to be a liar and not one to be trusted. 
Final Quiz