SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON
SUBJECTS — Literature; Science-Technology; World/Indonesia;
SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL LEARNING — Families in Crisis; Brothers; Surviving;
MORAL-ETHICAL EMPHASIS — General.
AGE: 5-12; No MPAA Rating;
Drama; 1960, 126 minutes; Color. Available from Amazon.com.
A family from Switzerland traveling to New Guinea is shipwrecked on an uninhabited tropical island. Through hard work and inventiveness, they adapt to their new environment.
This is a fast-paced adventure with shipwrecks, pirates, pitched battles and wild animals. Filmed on location on the beautiful Caribbean island of Tobago, the scenery shown in this film is breathtaking. The movie is adapted from the children’s classic by Johann David Wys.
During the 19th century, Europe was completing the colonization of most of the rest of the world. The Robinson family, originally from Switzerland, was on its way to New Guinea to participate in the colonization of that area. Show where New Guinea is on the map and where Switzerland is. Try to find the city of Bern.
The Robinson family left Switzerland so that the two boys would not be drafted to fight in the Napoleonic Wars. See Conquest.
The Black Death is another name for the bubonic plague. In the mid-14th century, the Black Death swept from Asia to Europe wiping out whole communities and killing up to half of the people in Europe. The Black Death originated in China and was carried West by flea-infested rats on trading vessels. The yellow flag with a black dot on it showed that Black Death was on a vessel and it was quarantined. Plague still exists but is kept at bay by modern medicines and modern techniques of rodent suppression.
What was so unique about the way that this family solved its crisis?
It was that they made such a complete life for themselves on the island.
MORAL-ETHICAL EMPHASIS (CHARACTER COUNTS)
Discussion Questions Relating to Ethical Issues will facilitate the use of this film to teach ethical principles and critical viewing.
ASSIGNMENTS, PROJECTS & ACTIVITIES
BRIDGES TO READING
colony, colonization, Trojan Horse, Iliad, Black Death, Bubonic Plague. For English Language Arts classes, distribute TWM’s Film Study Worksheet. Teachers can modify the worksheet to fit the needs of each class. Ask students to fill out the worksheet as they watch the film or at the film’s end.