Teacher Guide

Robinson Crusoe Lesson Plan

Introduction to Robinson Crusoe

The main part of Defoe's novel is focused largely on the central incident in the life of a real Scotsman, Alexander Selkirk. Although it is possible, even likely, that Defoe met Selkirk before he wrote his book, he used only this one incident in the real sailor's turbulent history to build his own story. At the time, the island was known as the island of Juan Fernandez. Selkirk was not the first person to be stranded here--at least two other incidents of solitary survival are recorded. A Mosquito (Guyanese) Indian, Will, was abandoned there in 1681 when a group of buccaneers fled at the approach of unknown ships. The pilot of Will's ship claimed that another man had lived there for five...

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