Main Subject Area: Language Arts
Additional Subjects: Art, Social Studies, Technology
Duration of Lesson:
- Ben Franklin half dollar
Students will research contributions to American culture and technological progress through Benjamin Franklin’s quotes and inventions. They will also analyze research in order to design a coin honoring Ben Franklin’s contributions.
- Demonstrate competence in the general skills and strategies of the writing process
- Use grammatical and mechanical conventions in written compositions
- Gather and use information for research purposes
- Demonstrate competence in the general skills and strategies for reading a variety of informational texts
- Demonstrate competence in speaking and listening as tools for learning
Additional Subject Area Standard(s):
- People, Places, and Environment
- Technology research tools
- Time, Continuity, and Change
Access to a computer classroom that has connection to the Internet.
Art Materials: chart paper, markers, white paper, compasses, pencils, colored pencils, black fine line pens
Coins Used in Lesson:
Have students investigate Ben Franklin's inventions by using the Internet.
1. Ask your students to share what they know about Benjamin Franklin. Use a graphic organizer, such as a web, to organize the student's responses. Guide the students to understand that Benjamin Franklin was an inventor, author, statesman, philosopher, scientist, and a printer.
2. In small groups, have the students investigate Franklin's inventions using the Internet, books and other library resources.
3. Have the students compile a list of at least five of Benjamin Franklin's inventions with a brief written description of each. Have the students rank the inventions in order of importance to American culture and progress. Record and as a class, discuss the student's ranking of the inventions.
4. Have the students search for examples of quotes from Benjamin Franklin. Invite the students to share the quotes with the class. As a class, discuss the meaning of the quotes.
5. Discuss how these quotes reflect life during Benjamin Franklin's time and how those quotes might be interpreted today. For example, "Mind Your Business," was Franklin's proposal for national motto and he meant that if each American paid attention to his or her own business, all America would prosper.
6. Have each of the students select an invention or quote. Invite the students to develop a coin that best represents how Benjamin Franklin contributed to American Culture and progress.
7. Have the students share their coin. As a class, discuss how Benjamin Franklin may have reacted to having his likeness on a coin.
Assessment / Evaluation:
Teachers can assess the coin and quote created by the students. They can share it orally and/or have a checklist for requirement.
Differentiated Learning Options:
- Have students research how the United States Mint chooses who and what are featured on coins.
- Have students write newspaper articles from the 1770's announcing a new Benjamin Franklin coin.
- Have students create a new coin on computer and then write a letter explaining the designs. Have students submit designs to United States Mint for consideration.
- Have students write a focus statement paragraph, reason paragraph, or conclusion paragraph.
- Have students dictate writing to a scribe.