- Fifth Grade
- 140 minutes
Benjamin Franklin wasn't just a Founding Father of the United States of America—he was so much more. In this lesson, students will learn how Ben Franklin changed the shape of Philadelphia.
Students will able to describe the contributions made by Benjamin Franklin.
Introduction (5 minutes)
- Start the lesson by activating your students' prior knowledge about Benjamin Franklin. Great questions to kick off the discussion include: Who was Benjamin Franklin? What are some of the things he is famous for? What is an example of something he invented? When did Benjamin Franklin live?
- After a short discussion, tell your class some important facts about Ben Franklin—notably that he is one of the Founding Fathers who lived in Philadelphia, and helped establish the U.S.A. Explain that today, they will be learning specifically about how Benjamin Franklin impacted Philadelphia.
Explicit Instruction/Teacher Modeling (30 minutes)
- Pass out a copy of the Benjamin Franklin Contributions to each student. As a class, review the the handout, stopping to answer any questions that the students may have.
Guided Practice/Interactive Modeling (30 minutes)
- Tell your students that today, they will be creating an almanac with a partner. Ask a student volunteer to define the word almanac. After some educated guesses, define the word almanac as a publication that comes out once a year, and covers topics such as a calendar of events, weather forecasts, and general information.
- Group students into pairs of two. Hand out or set up a common station with the white paper, colored pencils, markers, and stapler. Your students will use these supplies to create their almanacs.
- Before students begin working, write a down list of things their almanac should include, on the whiteboard or using an interactive whiteboard. The list should include a creative title, jokes, a couple of sayings of their choice (original or attributed to someone), and the weather forecasts for each season in their city. The students should also include crops that could be grown in each season.
- Give your students an opportunity to chose a setting for their almanacs. This could be a city, state, country, or region.
Independent Working Time (30 minutes)
- Arrange access to a list of quotes by Benjamin Franklin. This could be done the Internet, in the form of a handout, or on the whiteboard.
- Instruct each student to pick a saying by Benjamin Franklin, and to write a paragraph explaining if they agree or disagree with the quote. Remind them to include reasons as to why they agree or disagree.
- Enrichment: Ask your students to pick any two of Benjamin Franklin's contributions, and write a paragraph for each contribution. They should explain how those contributions still affect us today.
- Support: Use a computer to show your students pictures of each of Benjamin Franklin's contributions, and discuss how each one affects the world we live in today.
Assessment (15 minutes)
- To assess your students' retention of the material, ask your students to list and describe any five contributions made by Benjamin Franklin, either in their notebooks or on a sheet of lined paper.
Review and Closing (30 minutes)
- To close the lesson, encourage your students to present their almanacs to the class. Encourage the students who are listening to ask questions about each location—this is a great opportunity to practice geography.