Teaching Students About Robert Louis Stevenson

Robert Louis Stevenson, a renowned 19th-century Scottish author, is known for his timeless literary works, which continue to captivate readers of all ages. Bringing his stories into the classroom can open up new worlds for students and foster their love for literature. This article explores the importance of teaching students about Robert Louis Stevenson, providing tips on how to introduce his works, and suggesting activities that can enhance their understanding and appreciation.

Why Teach Students About Robert Louis Stevenson:

1. Cultural Impact: As one of the most influential authors of his time, Stevenson’s works have left an indelible mark on literature. Teaching students about his contributions helps them appreciate the historical context and cultural impact of his writing.

2. Engaging Stories: Many of Stevenson’s narratives are engaging and adventurous, capturing students’ attention and imagination. Introducing them to stories like “Treasure Island” or “Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde” can develop their reading interests.

3. Literary Devices: Stevenson’s writing provides excellent examples of various literary devices such as allusion, foreshadowing, and symbolism. Analyzing his work allows students to enhance their understanding of these techniques.

Tips for Introducing Robert Louis Stevenson’s Works:

1. Start with a Brief Biography: Offer background information about Stevenson’s life, emphasizing the significant events that shaped his writing style and themes.

2. Introduce Popular Works: Familiarize students with Stevenson’s most popular works, such as “Treasure Island,” “Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde,” or “Kidnapped.” Provide brief summaries to pique their interest before delving into more in-depth discussions.

3. Highlight His Writing Style: Encourage conversations around Stevenson’s unique writing style that masterfully blends suspense, adventure, and elements of horror.

Classroom Activities:

1. Reading Circles: Assign small groups of students one of Stevenson’s works. Have them meet regularly to discuss chapters and analyze the literary devices used throughout the story.

2. Creative Character Sketches: Task students with selecting a character from one of Stevenson’s works and developing an insightful, visually appealing character sketch that highlights their traits, struggles, and growth.

3. Thematic Discussions: Conduct classroom discussions that focus on the themes present in Stevenson’s stories, such as the complexity of human nature, the power of storytelling, or the concept of adventure.

4. Adaptation Projects: Have students work in groups to create a modern adaptation of one of Stevenson’s stories, whether through a storyboard, script, or short theatrical performance.

5. Letters from Characters: Encourage students to write a letter from the perspective of a character in Stevenson’s novels that delves into their thoughts, motives, and emotions.


Teaching students about Robert Louis Stevenson can enrich their literary knowledge and spark their curiosity about classic literature. By introducing his work through engaging activities and discussions, educators can foster an appreciation for both his timeless stories and the broader world of literature.

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