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    SUBJECTS — Literature; Science-Technology;World/Indonesia;
    SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL LEARNING — Families inCrisis; Brothers; Surviving;
    Age: 5-12; No MPAA Rating; Drama; 1960, 126 minutes; Color; Available from Amazon.com.

    Description:    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.

    Benefits of the Movie:     This movie shows how a family that works together and uses its ingenuity can surmount almost any challenge.

    Possible Problems:    MINOR. The conflict between the brothers for the attentions of the only girl on the island is the only problem we see with the film. However, this is an opportunity to discuss better ways to deal with the situation than the competition shown in the film.

    Parenting Points:     Review the Helpful Background section and impart this information to your child. Ask and help your child to answer the Quick Discussion Question.

    Selected Awards, Cast and Director:

      Selected Awards:  None.

      Featured Actors:  John Mills, Dorothy McGuire, James MacArthur, Tommy Kirk, Janet Monroe, Sessue Hayakawa, Kevin Corcoran.

      Director:  Ken Annakin.



Benefits of the Movie
Possible Problems
Parenting Points
Selected Awards & Cast
Helpful Background
Discussion Questions:
      Subjects (Curriculum Topics)
      Social-Emotional Learning
      Moral-Ethical Emphasis
            (Character Counts)
Bridges to Reading
Links to the Internet
Assignments, Projects & Activities

WORKSHEETS: TWM offers the following worksheets to keep students' minds on the movie and direct them to the lessons that can be learned from the film. Teachers can modify the movie worksheets to fit the needs of each class. See also TWM's Movies as Literature Homework Project.

QUICK DISCUSSION QUESTION:  What was so unique about the way that this family solved its crisis?

Suggested Response: It was that they made such a complete life for themselves on the island.

    Helpful Background:

    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.


BUILDING VOCABULARY: 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.

Click here for TWM's lesson plans to introduce cinematic and theatrical technique.

Reminder to Teachers: Obtain all required permissions from your school administration before showing any film.

Teachers who want parental permission to show this movie can use TWM's Movie Permission Slip.

Select questions that are appropriate for your students.

Are you concerned that time will be wasted if you are absent from class? Worry no more  .  .  .   Check out TeachWithMovies' Set-Up-the-Sub.

    Social-Emotional Learning Discussion Questions:


    1.  There was conflict between the older brothers about the girl. Do you know why they were having these problems? Do you have a suggestion about a better way to solve it than their competition for the girl?

Teachwithmovies.com is a Character Counts "Six Pillars Partner" and uses The Six Pillars of Character to organize ethical principles.

Character Counts and the Six Pillars of Character are marks of the CHARACTER COUNTS! Coalition, a project of the Josephson Institute of Ethics.

    Bridges to Reading: The book is a classic and excellent reading.


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