For Teachers Grade 2 Grade 3 Grade 4 Grade 5 January President's Day Social Studies Winter


Ben Franklin

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.

Colonial Period

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.)

The Ben Franklin Story (Parts 1 & 2) includes two 10-minute videos that tell the story of Ben Franklin. Part 1 is The Inventive Genius and Part 2 is America’s Diplomat.

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.

Of course, it’s a birthday, there should be cake!

*For our current customers, these and other websites are in the Simple Solutions Star Center  or click here for information about our products.

About the author


Diane D has been researching and writing for Simple Solutions since retiring from her teaching position at the Nordonia schools. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science. Diane, who is fluent in Italian, travels a lot, bikes every opportunity she gets, rock climbs, skis, and has recently joined a rowing team.

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