Are you ready to learn all about the great American hero and Founding Father Benjamin Franklin?
There is SO MUCH to be learned about Ben! He’s a family favorite of ours and we enjoy circling back to learn more about him from time to time.
When the kids were younger, we read great picture books about Ben. Then we made a Ben Franklin newspaper and filled the front and back of a large sheet of paper with information about Ben, advertisements for some of his inventions and charitable organizations, political cartoons, wise sayings, and an article about his life.
This time around and now that the kids are older, we’re reading through his original writings: his autobiography, a collection of proverbs from Poor Richard’s Almanack, his Book of Virtues, and his Silence Dogood Letters. The kids are keeping a book of favorite Ben sayings from Poor Richard’s Almanac and we’re enjoying discussing their favorite ones. I love being able to revisit studying Ben’s life like we’re getting to know an old friend better!
To help you learn more about Benjamin Franklin, we’ve developed a week of free lesson plans as well as some activities for your use. It’s all included in our free downloads here!
If you’d like a fun introduction to Frnaklin’s life that will be engaging and authentic, you can grab our Benjamin Franklin Letter by subscribing to the Heritage Letter anytime between now and July 14!. It’s full of direct quotes, facts about his life, and talks much about Ben’s involvement in the writing of the Declaration of Independence. You can get snail mail letter here or the instant digital download version here.
As you study about Ben Franklin, here are some great resources to help you along the way!
Biography: Benjamin Franklin
Bedtime History: Benjamin Franklin for Kids
Benjamin Franklin: PBS Documentary
The Life of Benjamin Franklin: Full Documentary
The best place to visit Benjamin Franklin sites is in Philadelphia! You can enter into Ben’s world by traveling down the historic cobblestone streets of Elfreth’s Alley, learn all about Ben while visiting the Benjamin Franklin Museum at Independence Park, and even visit Ben Franklin’s grave at the Christ Church Burial Grounds.
If you want to visit the only remaining home of Benjamin Franklin and get a taste of American history in England, visit the Benjamin Franklin House in London!
Here’s a fun series of stories about Young Ben Franklin from Gen-Z Media that are sure to delight your family!
They're not books, but I truly feel every American home should have a copy of our Founding Documents on hand. Here's a wonderful set to consider: American Documents Full Size Set: Declaration of Independence, Constitution, Bill of Rights, Complete List of Amendments
Benjamin Franklin by Ingri D’Aulaire
A Picture Book of Benjamin Franklin by David A Adler
Now & Ben: The Modern Inventions of Benjamin Franklin by Gene Barretta
Magic Tree House: To the Future, Ben Franklin! by Mary Pope Osborne
Magic Tree House Fact Tracker for Benjamin Franklin by Mary Pope Osborne
Who Was Ben Franklin? by Dennis Brindell Fradin
Poor Richard by James Daugherty
Poor Richard’s Almanack by Benjamin Franklin
The Silence Dogood Letters by Benjamin Franklin
Ben Franklin’s Book of Virtues by Benjamin Franklin
One Week with Benjamin Franklin
You'll find all of this an more in our free downloads for our Ben Franklin letter!
Day 1: Hello Ben!
- Read the Heritage Letter from Benjamin Franklin
- Watch Bedtime History: Benjamin Franklin for Kids
Day 2: Franklin the Printer & Writer
- Read a book about Franklin and discuss some of his wise proverbs from Poor Richard’s Alamack! Continue reading about Franklin throughout the week.
Day 3: Franklin the Inventor
- Ben liked to study science and conducted many experiments with electricity. Learn more about his famous kite experiment with History’s Ben Franklin and His Kite
Day 4: Franklin the Community Leader
- Franklin founded the first volunteer fire company in the US and the first lending library in Philadelphia. Today’s a great day to visit your library and tell your librarians thank you for all they do or to donate some used books to your library so others can read them!
Day 5: Franklin the Founding Father
- See if you can find Benjamin Franklin’s signature on the Declaration of Independence!
- Learn more about John Trumbull’s painting the Declaration of Independence.
- Can you find Trumbull’s Painting on a $2.00 bill? What about a picture of Ben on a $100 bill?
- Learn more about the Declaration of Independence at the National Archives.
- Finally, catch Nicholas Cage in National Treasure where you'll find Ben Franklin facts scattered throughout the movie (be sure to watch for his library chair in the beginning too) and learn more about the Declaration of Independence!
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