Early summer is a time when the United States turns its attention to American History. Memorial Day, Flag Day, 4th of July all focus on famous people and events in American history. One of the most famous was Benjamin Franklin. Students study his life and works extensively in school. Who was Benjamin Franklin? He was many things--statesman, diplomat, inventor and leader. Here are free printable lesson plans on Benjamin Franklin to explore this enigmatic character. Born January 17, 1706, Benjamin Franklin was the 15th of Josiah Franklin's 17 children. His parents were poor working class people. Franklin's grandparents had been blacksmith, farmer and indentured servant. Despite these humble beginnings, Benjamin Franklin has been called a polymath or Renaissance Man. A Renaissance Man is a "jack of all trades," a universal man. Most were ancients like Leonardo da Vinci and Cicero and Imhotep who fell into it by birth.Benjamin Franklin is one of a very few people to earn this title of Renaissance Man in modern times. Visit these links for free printable lesson plans on the Renaissance Man.
Why is Benjamin Franklin a Renaissance Man? Franklin was in his lifetime, an author, printer, satirist (political humorist), political thinker, politician, scientist, inventor, statesman, diplomat, soldier and citizen activist. Benjamin Franklin was one of the founding fathers of America. He was one of the "committee of five" to draft the Declaration of Independence. Franklin traveled to England as an ambassador (person who seeks good will between nations). Franklin met many times with King George III. As one of the Sons of Liberty, Franklin published pamphlets educating people about problems with England. He worked against the Intolerable Acts and heavy tariffs. Here are free printable American history lesson plans about Benjamin Franklin and the many hats he wore.
Benjamin Franklin lived what he wrote about: common sense, hard work, community, education and thrift. Benjamin Franklin's book "Poor Richard's Almanack" was a mini encyclopedia for practical information. Franklin The Pennsylvania Gazette, an early newspapers in the colonies. He was the first postmaster general. Benjamin Franklin experimented with electricity and invented the lightening rod. He invented bifocal (double vision) glasses and the Franklin pot belly stove. Franklin began the first public lending library and fire department. He established the American Philosophical Society, was the first governor of Pennsylvania and help found the University of Pennsylvania. Benjamin Franklin worked hard right up to the end of his life. He fought against slavery, tyranny and injustice. Benjamin Franklin died on April 17, 1790. Nearly 20,000 people from many lands attended Franklin's funeral. For more on Benjamin Franklin, please click on any of the links listed here. For more free printable American history lessons, visit Free Printable Lesson Plans and Free Lesson Plans 4U. You can find help with your American history homework here, too.