«Література Великої Британії та США». Даніель Дефо, батько англійського роману

Topic : Daniel Defoe , the  Father of English Novel

Objectives: to get Ss aware of Daniel Defoe’s Life and creative work;           to develop reading and listening skills; to practise Ss correcting facts politely; to develop Ss’ ability to assess and analyse situations.

Materials/Aids: stripped biography of Daniel Defoe for jigsaw reading, text for listening comprehension, CD “Vivaldi”, the portrait of Daniel Defoe, Handout 1 for listening comprehension, Handout 2 for role-play.

On the blackboard: portrait of Daniel Defoe, questions for warming up.


Warming up

The students listen to a piece of quiet classical music.

  1. Close your eyes, please, and imagine that you were shipwrecked while travelling to South America. You have had a fortune to escape from drowning. You managed to reach land. What do you see around you? What is the weather like? / The tape-recorder is turned off/

S4. I have noticed a bottle  dropped by the wave on the shore and decided to send a message in it

  1. Here it is. We have got this message. Unfortunately it has been damaged by the dampness, but wemust do our best to read it. Try to  guess what words have been damaged and  fill in the  gaps./ The Ss. get  copies of the damaged  letter and write the missing words. Then one of the students read the letter aloud to check. /

Jigsaw reading

The text of the Defoe’s biography is divided into  4 numbered strips. The class is divided into groups of four. Each group receives a stripped biography. Every student reads his part of the text silently, then they retell their parts to the other members of the  group, until all the students in the group know the whole text


  1. Daniel Defoe was born in London in 1660. His father was a wealthy butcher. He gave his son  good education. After school Daniel was sent to Morton’s Academy where he studied geography, history, astronomy and foreign languages.  Daniel Defoe did rather well, and his father hoped the son would become a priest. However, Daniel preferred the career of a merchant. As a salesman of tights and stockings, he travelled widely in Europe.


  1. He remained interested in travelling throughout his life. He was also interested in politics. From 1694 Defoe took an active part in public affairs. He became an earliest literary journalist in England. He wrote political pamphlets on various subjects and events. In his Essay on Projects(1698) Daniel Defoe suggested all kinds of reforms in different spheres of social life: to establish saving-banks, to construct railways, to protect seamen, to give higher education to women, etc.
  1. In 1702 Defoe published a satirical pamphlet written in support of the protestants. His articles and pamphlets so angered Queen Anne that Defoe was sent to prison. He was rescued from the prison by a Conservative politician, who employed Defoe as a secret agent, sending him round the country to gather information about people’s political opinions. He was again sent to prison when he wrote articles criticizing King George I, but when he was set free Daniel Defoe continued his writing.


  1. During his life Defoe wrote over five hundred articles and books, but he is best known for works he  produced in his later years, especially for Robinson Crusoe (1719). This is considered by many to be the first English novel, and is based on the true story of Alexander Selkirk, a Scottish sailor. The book was translated into many languages, and influenced many later writes and thinkers. It was followed by other novels :Captain Singleton(1720), Moll Flanders (1722), Roxana (1724), and others.

Correcting facts politely

The aim of this task is to check whether all the students know the contents of the whole text.

Team1 prepares false statements about D. Defoe. Team2 corrects them politely.

Daniel Defoe was born in Edinburgh.

Edinburgh? He was born in London, wasn’t he.?

His father hoped he would become a doctor.

Doctor? His father hoped he would become a priest, didn’t he.?

Defoe published a satirical pamphlet against protestants.

Against? He published a satirical pamphlet in support of   the protestants.

Listening to the text  about the plot of the novel “Robinson Crusoe”

Pre-listening task

  1. Who is the main character of the novel?

     What suggested the idea of the novel to Defoe?

Robinson Crusoe

   ” Robinson Crusoe” is the  story of an Englishman who travels abroad. He is born in a well-to-do family . His father wants him to become a lawyer, but Robinson dreams of sea. He runs away from home, and his adventures begin: he is shipwrecked several times and finally finds himself on a desert island.

   Robinson settles there and carries money and a lot of various goods from the wreck to the island. He learns to tame wild goats, grow corn and make bread. One day he saves a man from cannibals and calls him Friday. Friday turns out to be a clever man. He learns English and becomes a devoted servant and companion to his master. After many years Robinson and Friday help the captain of an English ship to defeat the crew who wants to leave their captain on the desert island. The ship takes Robinson to England.

   Defoe’s hero , Robinson Crusoe, spends 28 years on a desert island. He makes use of the equipment which he takes from the ship: tools, pistols, money and other things. His behaviour is practical. He builds a house aand fortifies it, he cultivates the ground. His religion is  ” God helps those who help themselves”.

   Robinson Crusoe is honest, hardworking, careful and enthusiastic. But his most characteristic trait is his optimism. His guiding principle in  life becomes ” never say die”. He has confidence in himself and in man and believes it is within the power of man to overcome all difficulties.

   The second part of the book shows Robinson Crusoe as an old man who is still fond of the sea. He sets on a new series of adventures. He visits his island, China, Siberia and other places and returns home at the age of 72.

   The novel glorifies energy and practicality. It is a praise to human labour and the triumph of man over nature. The book is still considered one of the masterpieces of English prose. It is read both children and grown-ups throughout the world.

After-reading task

Answer the following questions:

  1. How did R. Crusoe’s adventures begin?
  2. What did Crusoe bring to the island from the ship?
  3. What did Crusoe learn to do?
  4. Whom did he rescue?
  5. How long did Crusoe live on the island?
  6. Who helped him to come back home?
  7. What did he do after coming back to England?


Imagine that you and your friend are on an expedition exploring a remote part of the jungle, and have separated from your group. Plan what you will do about

     the possible dangers

    b  finding food and water

    c  protecting yourself

    d  finding the other members of the group.

Student A: You are the adventurous type who enjoys action but who often gets into dangerous situations.

Student B: You are more cautious: your motto is ” Better safe than sorry”.

Summing up. Home assignment.

Read and translate the extract from the authentic text. Write which three objects would you like to take with you on a desert island? Describe them, and explain why you have chosen them.