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Benjamin Franklin Autobiography Teacher Resources
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A talkative old man? A naïve believer in Human Perfectibility? A Sage? Who is this guy, anyway? The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin launches a study of the way Franklin uses structure, style, and purpose, as well as different personas, to build our perception of him. Not only is this a good literary analysis and writing lesson, it also lends well to a cross-curricular activity with an American history class. Expand the lesson to individual autobiographical writing.
Students explore U.S. history by researching a famous inventor. In this Benjamin Franklin biography lesson plan, students identify the differences in modern day technology and communication and the era Franklin lived in. Students create a timeline based on how a specific invention changed the subsequent history forever.
Students explore the life of Benjamin Franklin. In this American history lesson, students research primary and secondary documents regarding Franklin's life. Students should examine the point of view each of the accounts is written from as they complete the suggested activities.
Students discover what "Poor Richard's Almanack" is and identify at least one element of good writing used by Benjamin Franklin and his work. They then identify what makes some of Benjamin Franklin's sayings applicable today and create a class almanac based on "Poor Richard's Almanack".
Seventh graders read "Diary of a Young Girl" by Anne Frank. In groups, they discuss the reasons why people would write an autobiography and identify their own identity crisis. After reading excerpts of other autobiographies, they attempt to write their own and if comfortable share it with the class.
High schoolers examine writings from the period the American Revolutionary War. They focus on the writing of Benjamin Franklin, and attempt to emulate his style and focus. Franklin's writings literally helped to transform the nation, and he kept a type of journal called a "virtue log." Students make their own virtue logs, and write about something they want to improve in themselves, society, or at school. This three-day project should lead to some thoughtful writing, and it will be interesting to hear what each pupil has to say.