January 17th is the birthdate of one of early America’s preeminent citizens, Benjamin Franklin. Not only was he a founding father and a distinguished journalist, but he was also an accomplished scientist. *Digging into our database of quality websites, I located these links to celebrate Ben Franklin’s birthday by recognizing his many accomplishments.
How Shocking reveals how, through experimentation, Franklin proved that lightning was a form of electricity.
Other links are available in our Star Center Resources. Select Science > Grade 4 > Lesson-Related Websites and open the Electricity category.
Ben Franklin: In Search of a Better World is an interactive timeline. (Please note, this website only displays properly using the Internet Explorer Web Browser.)
Now & Ben: The Modern Inventions of Benjamin Franklin is a picture book read-aloud of the social and scientific contributions of Ben Franklin.
Ben Franklin: An Extraordinary Life. An Electric Mind, produced by PBS, includes information and interactive activities about Ben Franklin. It includes a timeline, map, and kite-making directions. It has a Virtue Quiz, which might be a bit much for elementary students.
The Animated Hero Classics Resource & Activity Book is a pdf filled with activities related to Benjamin Franklin that can be printed out as a booklet or as separate worksheets.
About Ben includes the following topics: Franklin as Printer, Booklover, Author; Franklin as Scientist and Inventor; Franklin as Diplomat and Statesman; and Franklin’s Legacy. It is produced by the US Government Printing Office that uses Ben as their spokesperson.
Other links are available in our Star Center Resources. Select Social Studies > Grades 2, 3, 4, or 5 websites, and open the Colonial Period category.
For a class activity or writing assignment, have each student or small groups of students choose one of any number of great Franklin quotes and explain it. Include how it is still a relevant quote for today.
- An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.
- Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.
- Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.
- Some people die at 25 and aren’t buried until 75.
- Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain – and most fools do.
- The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.
- By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.
- Wise men don’t need advice. Fools won’t take it.