Swiss Family Robinson Unit:
Chapter 10

Chapter Ten entitled Preparing for Winter, continues the unit study of the Swiss Family Robinson by Johann Wyss

For a complete copy of The Swiss Family Robinson online, check out

I’m adding a note here that will be true of all of the parts of this unit study. There are several versions of The Swiss Family Robinson. This started back to its original publication some 200 years ago when it was written originally in German. There are various translations and even alternate endings. The edition that I am using was published in 1968 by Classic Press, Inc. in Santa Rosa, California. Other editions may be different. There are several modern versions that have removed all references to prayer and God which are so prevalent a theme in the original work. You may use this unit as a guide, and if your edition of The Swiss Family Robinson is slightly different, simply adjust it to meet your needs.

Suggested Vocabulary:

powder magazine
terra firma

Suggested Questions:

1. What was the purpose of the bird lime and what was it made from?

2. How did father hope to prevent the monkey invasions from continuing at their outlying farms, such as at Woodlands? Why did he hope to stop this from happening? Why did father compare it to a battleground afterwards? Why did the boys become depressed?

3. Why did father with to make a pigeon house?

4. Describe in detail the pigeon house that the Robinson family built and how they acquired “tenants” for it.

5. What did father want to make a loom for?

6. How did father intend to bring water closer to the cave?

7. There was a lot of activity to finish preparing for the winter. What kinds of foods were they storing?

8. What were the various rooms that they set up in the cave home?

9. What kind of things did father plan to keep them busy and intellectually stimulated through the 12 weeks of the rainy season?

10. Do you think it was a good idea to keep everyone so busy? Support your answer.

11. What was the large, rounded thing that looked like the bottom of a boat? [Answer: beached whale] What did they wind up using the object fore?

Suggested Activities:

1. Research how pigeons are cared for.

2. Make your own loom and weave something either decorative or useful.

3. Draw pictures of the different animals in this chapter.

4. Design and draw an aqueduct system that father might have built to bring water to the cave.

5. Try a guava. You can usually find guava nectar in the ethnic isle of your grocery store or at a health food store.

6. Learn about whales, their habitat, diet, migration, why they were hunted, and what they were once used for.

Online Lessons:
Island Survival
Teach With Movies

Sites You May Find A Good Resource:

Swiss Family Robinson Fan Site

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