Benjamin Franklin: Master Diplomat for One Last Time

This Benjamin Franklin: Master Diplomat for One Last Time lesson plan also includes:

New Review

At 81, Benjamin Franklin was the oldest delegate to the 1787 Constitutional Convention, where he exercised significant influence in shaping key elements of how the United States operates. The class examines his role, using “The Scene at the Signing of the Constitution” by Howard Chandler Christy) and Franklin’s speech at the end of the Constitutional Convention. 

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Instructional Ideas

  • To extend the lesson, invite pupils to compare and contrast Franklin’s role in the writing of the Declaration of Independence with his role in developing the Constitution
  • If you have more students than comfortably fit into four groups for step five, add other virtues, such as wisdom and logic for additional groups to try to identify
Classroom Considerations

  • Learners may benefit from addition examples (e.g., from the Congressional Record) to feel they are qualified to judge whether compromise is “the essence of the democratic process”
Pros

  • A timely honoring of the art of compromise that may be extended to reflections on current events
  • Interesting use of cross-curricular analysis
Cons

  • Links for some materials do not work, but most can be easily found online