Reading the Work of B. Franklin, Printer

This Reading the Work of B. Franklin, Printer lesson plan also includes:

Placing Ben Franklin’s ideas about a free press next to those embodied in the First Amendment sheds light on both. Learners interpret and compare two primary sources and then examine them in the light of a contemporary survey about freedom of speech that compiles opinions of young scholars, teachers, and principals. They convey the ideas they formed in an editorial written for their local papers.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Invite scholars to consider barriers to publishing one’s ideas in colonial times as opposed to contemporary times
  • Extend the homework by having high schoolers review 2018 survey results in the light of current events, such as football player protests during the national anthem and discussions of fake news
Classroom Considerations

  • Be aware that the survey takers are not well-identified, which limits learners’ ability to draw accurate conclusions; the first paragraph on page one and the footnote on page four of the original report helps address this

  • Underpins high schoolers’ understanding of key contemporary issues
  • Places the First Amendment in historical context
  • Asks students to analyze both primary sources and survey results