Biography: Benjamin Franklin

CURRICULUM: America The Beautiful by Charlene Notgrass
Lesson 24 – An American Biography: Benjamin Franklin, Scientist and Statesman

READ ALOUD: The American Story: 100 True Tales from American History by Jennifer Armstrong
1752 – Go Fly A Kite!

LAPBOOK/NOTEBOOK: History Through the Ages, Hands-on History K-2 Lap-Pak: Benjamin Franklin by Homeschool in the Woods

LAPBOOK/NOTEBOOK: Add this free Benjamin Franklin lapbook to our lapbook/notebook above

LAPBOOK/NOTEBOOK:  Add Historical Turning Points Trading Card Discovery of Electricity (Benjamin Franklin) to the History and Geography Lapbook and Notebook

LAPBOOK/NOTEBOOK: Famous Figures of the American Revolution (Figures in Motion): Benjamin Franklin by Cathy Diez-Luckie

TIMELINE:  History Through the Ages, Timeline Figure:  Benjamin Franklin  1706-1790 AD by Homeschool in the Woods

RESOURCE: The Ben Franklin Book of Easy and Incredible Experiments: A Franklin Institute Science Museum Book

RESOURCE: Benjamin Franklin, American Genius: His Life and Ideas with 21 Activities by Brandon Marie Miller

RESOURCE: Amazing Ben Franklin Inventions: You Can Build Yourself (Build It Yourself) by Carmella Van Vleet

JUST FOR FUN: Build a Lego Ben Franklin

ACTIVITY:  Make Benjamin Franklin’s eyeglasses out of pipe cleaners.

READ ALOUD: Ben Franklin: His Wit and Wisdom from A-Z

CHARACTER STUDY: Thirteen Virtues of Benjamin Franklin

  1. “Temperance. Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.”
  2. “Silence. Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.”
  3. “Order. Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.”
  4. “Resolution. Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.”
  5. “Frugality. Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing.”
  6. “Industry. Lose no time; be always employ’d in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.”
  7. “Sincerity. Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly.”
  8. “Justice. Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.”
  9. “Moderation. Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.”
  10. “Cleanliness. Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths, or habitation.”
  11. “Tranquility. Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.”
  12. “Chastity. Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation.”
  13. “Humility. Imitate Jesus and Socrates.”

READ ALOUD: The Remarkable Benjamin Franklin by Cheryl Harness

READ ALOUD: How Ben Franklin Stole the Lightning by Rosalyn Schanzer

READ ALOUD: Ben Franklin and His First Kite (Childhood of Famous Americans) by Stephen Krensky

READ ALOUD: Benjamin Franklin: Young Printer (Childhood of Famous Americans) by Augusta Stevenson

READ ALOUD: Benjamin Franklin by Ingri and Edgar d’Aulaire

READ ALOUD: A Picture Book of Benjamin Franklin (Picture Book Biography) by David A. Adler

READ ALOUD: Now & Ben: The Modern Inventions of Benjamin Franklin by Gene Baretta

READ ALOUD: Ben Franklin and the Magic Squares (Step-Into-Reading, Step 4) by Frank Murphy

ACTIVITY: Play Magic Squares: Here are some free worksheets and I also like this idea. There are lots of free ipad apps available. Magic Squares and Sudoku are similar games.  This would be a good time to teach Sudoku.  My younger kids like the Colorku game.
Colorku Solid Wood Game Set

READ ALOUD: Electric Ben: The Amazing Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin by Robert Byrd

READ ALOUD: What’s the Big Idea, Ben Franklin? by Jean Fritz

Benjamin Franklin: Electrified the World with New Ideas (Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Inventors & Scientists) by Mike Venezia

LAPBOOK/NOTEBOOK: Scientists and Inventors Lapbook and Notebook: Benjamin Franklin Lesson

LAPBOOK/NOTEBOOK: Scientists and Inventors Lapbook and Notebook: How to draw Ben Franklin

READ ALOUD: Ben and Me: An Astonishing Life of Benjamin Franklin by His Good Mouse Amos by Robert Lawson

MOVIE: Ben and Me by Disney Classics (based on the book above)

READ ALOUD: Ben Franklin of Old Philadelphia (Landmark Books) by Margaret Cousins

ACTIVITY: Discuss the meaning and significance of the ‘Join or Die’ political cartoon by Benjamin Franklin

ACTIVITY: Learn from Benjamin Franklin’s daily schedule

READ ALOUD: Poor Richard by James Daugherty

READ ALOUD: Wit and Wisdom from Poor Richard’s Almanack (Dover Thrift Editions) by Benjamin Franklin

READ ALOUD: Poor Richard’s Almanac by Benjamin Saunders aka Benjamin Franklin

ACTIVITY: Make your own Poor _(child’s name)_’s Almanac book

JUST FOR FUN: Create fun pseudonyms for each other, just like Ben Franklin

Here is a list of additional Benjamin Franklin biographies; including his autobiography:

READ ALOUD: The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin (Dover Thrift Editions) by Benjamin Franklin

READ ALOUD: Benjamin Franklin: Live Wire (Heroes of History) by Geoff Benge and Janet Benge

READ ALOUD: The Story of Benjamin Franklin: Amazing American (Dell Yearling Biography) by Margaret Davidson

READ ALOUD: A Dangerous Engine: Benjamin Franklin, from Scientist to Diplomat by Joan Dash

READ ALOUD: Benjamin Franklin (Rookie Biographies) by Wil Mara

READ ALOUD: Benjamin Franklin (In Their Own Words) by Peter Roop

READ ALOUD: Who Was Ben Franklin? by Dennis Brindell Fradin

Benjamin Franklin: An American Genius (Graphic Biographies) by Kay Melchisedech Olson

READ ALOUD: Benjamin Franklin (DK Biography) by DK Publishing

READ ALOUD: Time For Kids: Benjamin Franklin: A Man of Many Talents (Time for Kids Biographies) by Editors of TIME For Kids

READ ALOUD: The Amazing Life of Benjamin Franklin by James Cross Giblin

MOVIE: Benjamin Franklin: An extraordinary Life. An Electric Mind. (PBS)

MOVIE: Benjamin Franklin by A&E Bio

MOVIE: Animated Hero Classics: Benjamin Franklin

Return to The 18th Century, The American Revolution, and Early Unites States of America.

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Jennifer Hale and Marty Hale

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