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A Picture Book of Benjamin Franklin A Picture Book of Benjamin Franklin

What I Learned Section 1 -- Answer the Following Questions:
1. When was Benjamin Franklin born?
January 17, 1706. Benjamin Franklin was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on January 17, 1706. Ben had sixteen brothers and sisters. He was the tenth child, and youngest son.

Did you know when Ben was born, Massachusetts was one of the thirteen American colonies ruled by Great Britain?

As a boy, Ben worked in his father's soap-and candle shop.

From 1718 to 1723, Ben worked for his brother's newspaper, The New England Courant. He started when he was twelve years old. Ben secretly wrote and submitted articles that were published in his brother's newspaper. Ben used the fake name Silence Dogood so his brother would not know Ben wrote the articles.

In 1723, Ben moved to Philadelphia. He was seventeen years old. He worked in a print shop. Ben met Deborah Read in Philadelphia. In 1730, Ben and Deborah were married. Ben had three children named William, Francis, and Sarah.

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2. What was The Pennsylvania Gazette?
It was the newspaper Ben Franklin published. In 1728, Ben opened his own print shop and published The Pennsylvania Gazette. Ben was twenty-two years old. Ben also became the official printer of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland.

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3. Which of the following was the name of the almanac published by Ben Franklin?
a) American Almanack
b) Pennsylvania Almanack
c) Poor Richard's Almanack
d) United States Almanack

c) Poor Richard's Almanack. In 1732, Ben began publishing Poor Richard's Almanack. This almanac was published once a year. It was the most popular almanac in America. Ben's almanac contained recipes, stories, a calendar of important dates, and information about the weather. It also had wise sayings like, "Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise" and "Haste makes waste."

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4. Which of the following did Ben Franklin do?
a) Discover lightning was electricity by flying a kite and key during a thunderstorm.
b) Become a lawyer and serve as a member of the Virginia House of Burgesses.
c) Ride from Boston to Lexington to warn the American colonists the British were coming.
d) Lead the Continental Army during the American Revolution.

a) Discover lightning was electricity by flying a kite and key during a thunderstorm. In June, 1752, Ben Franklin flew a kite and a key during a thunderstorm. He wanted to find out if lightning was electricity. This was a very dangerous experiment. The lightning struck the kite, and sparks flew from the key. This proved lightning was electricity.

The other choices to this question may seem familiar. That's because they were accomplished by other famous American Patriots. Patrick Henry was a lawyer and served as a member of the Virginia House of Burgesses. Paul Revere rode from Boston to Lexington to warn the American colonists the British were coming. George Washington led the Continental Army during the American Revolution.

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5. Which of the following places did Ben Franklin live?
a) Boston
b) Philadelphia
c) England
d) France
e) All of the above

e) All of the above. In 1706, Ben Franklin was born in Boston. In 1723, he moved to Philadelphia. From 1765 to 1775, Ben lived in England and represented the colonies. From 1776 to 1785, Ben lived in France and represented the United States.

Ben died on April 17, 1790, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was 84 years old.

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What I Learned Section 2 -- Define the following words:
Colony: A territory separated from a ruling party

Tax: Money paid to a government for its support

Delegate: A person designated to act for or represent others

Independence: To be free

Treaty: Formal agreement between two or more states with reference to peace, alliance, commerce, or other international relations

Autobiography: A history of a person's life written by that person

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Bonus Questions (Answer 1 of the Following Questions for Your FREE Bookmark):
a. Name ONE of Benjamin Franklin's inventions.
Swimming paddles, lightning rod, Franklin stove, bifocals, and a "long arm" to reach books.

When Ben was a young boy, he invented swimming paddles that fit over his hands to help him swim faster.

In 1753, Ben invented the lightning rod. A lightning rod is a metal rod attached to houses, barns, and other structures. During a storm, lightning would hit this rod rather than the structure. This invention saved many buildings from being burned.

The Franklin stove was a heater. It warmed up a room better than a fireplace, and it saved fuel.

In 1784, Ben invented bifocals. Bifocals are one pair of glasses with two lens. One lens allows a person to see far away and one lens allows a person to see up close.

Ben invented a "long arm" to reach books on high shelves.

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b. Name ONE of Benjamin Franklin's jobs.
Soap-and-candle shop worker, print shop worker for The New England Courant, printer, public servant, postmaster, inventor, scientist, statesman, and writer.

When Ben was ten years old, he worked in his father's soap-and-candle shop. He cut wicks, poured hot wax into candle molds, and did errands. Ben did not like this job. He did not like the smell of the wax or the boiling soap.

When Ben was twelve years old, he worked for his older brother, James. James printed The New England Courant. Ben set type and ran the press. Did you know this was one of the first newspapers in America?

In 1728, when Ben was twenty-two, he opened his own print shop and published The Pennsylvania Gazette. Did you know he became the official printer of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland? In 1732, Ben printed Poor Richard's Almanack.

As a public servant, Ben helped establish the following:

the first fire department in Philadelphia
the first police department in Philadelphia
the first lending library in America
the first hospital in America

Ben was both the postmaster of Philadelphia and postmaster of all thirteen colonies.

Ben invented swimming paddles, lightning rod, the Franklin stove, bifocals, and a "long arm" to reach books.

In 1765, Ben went to England to represent the American colonies. He was there for ten years. He spoke to the House of Commons about the Stamp Act. The colonies felt the Stamp Act was unfair. Ben tried to convince King George III to give the colonies more rights and freedoms.

In April, 1775, the American Revolution began. Ben returned to the colonies. He was a delegate at the Second Continental Congress. In 1776, he was one of five people chosen to write the Declaration of Independence. The other people were Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Robert R. Livingston, and Roger Sherman. Thomas Jefferson was the primary author.

In 1776, Ben went to France to ask the French to support the colonies in the American Revolution. The French King Louis XVI sent money and weapons to America. America won the revolution. Ben helped write the peace treaty. It was called the Treaty of Paris.

In 1785, Ben returned to Philadelphia. He was an American hero.

In 1787, delegates at the Constitutional Convention drafted the Constitution of the United States. Ben was a delegate. Ben was 81 years old, and he was the oldest delegate.

Ben also wrote an autobiography.

Ben died on April 17, 1790, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was 84 years old.

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c. Define ONE of the following:
The New England Courant: James Franklin's newspaper where Ben Franklin worked when he was twelve years old. It was one of the first newspapers in America.

Silence Dogood: The pen name Ben Franklin used when he secretly wrote and submitted articles that were published in his brother's newspaper, The New England Courant. Ben used a fake name so his brother would not know Ben wrote the articles.

The Pennsylvania Gazette: Ben Franklin's newspaper. In 1728, Ben opened his own print shop and published The Pennsylvania Gazette.

Poor Richard's Almanack: The almanac published by Ben Franklin. It was published once a year. It was the most popular almanac in America. Ben's almanac contained recipes, stories, a calendar of important dates, and information about the weather. It also had wise sayings like, "Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise" and "Haste makes waste."

House of Commons: The lower house of the British Parliament. The upper house is the House of Lords. The parliament is the legislative (or law making) group.

Stamp Act: A tax placed on the American colonies by Britain in 1765. It was a tax on newspapers and other printed matter. The colonies thought this was an unfair tax. Other taxes were the Sugar Act in 1764, and the Tea Act in 1773.

Continental Congress: The federal legislature of the American colonies from 1774 to 1789. In September, 1774, the First Continental Congress met in Philadelphia. It agreed to oppose British rule and boycott trade with Britain. In May, 1775, the Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia. In July, 1776, the Second Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence. In 1777, the Second Continental Congress drafted the Articles of Confederation. The Articles of Confederation were ratified in 1781, and became the first set of laws of the United States.

The Declaration of Independence: A document declaring the American colonies independent from British rule. In 1776, the Second Continental Congress appointed a committee to draft the Declaration of Independence. The committee consisted of Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Robert R. Livingston, and Roger Sherman. Thomas Jefferson was the primary author. On July 2, the text of the Declaration of Independence was approved. On July 4, it was adopted by all the colonies. Four days later, on July 8, it was read publicly in the State House Yard in Philadelphia and the Liberty Bell was rung. On August 2, the Declaration of Independence was signed by all the delegates of the Second Continental Congress.

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d. Use five of the words in Section 2 in a sentence.
Answers may vary. Here are sample sentences from our young readers:
Massachusetts was a colony of Great Britain.

The colonies did not want to pay taxes to England.

Ben Franklin was a delegate to the Continental Congress.

Our Founding Fathers fought for our independence.

The Treaty of Paris ended the American Revolution.

I am going to write my autobiography when I am famous.

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e. Have a parent or friend give you a spelling test with EACH of the words in Section 2.

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More Valuable Information about Ben Franklin:
IMA Hero™ Ben Franklin Hero History
IMA Hero™ Ben Franklin Hero Timeline
IMA Hero™ Ben Franklin Photos and Links
Ben Franklin (Ben's Guide to US Government for Kids)
Franklin Institute of Science Museum
The Electric Ben Franklin
The Quotable Franklin: 80 Quotations of Ben Franklin
Independence National Historical Park (NPS)

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