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January 17th: Benjamin Franklin Day

Benjamin Franklin's Birthday, Jan 17th, celebrates the life of this accomplished American Forefather. He was a printer, author, inventor, businessman, scientist, politician, diplomat, musician, and postmaster (despite only attending school until age 10).  

There are several good picture books about Benjamin Franklin, simplified for young children: 

  • "What's the Big Idea, Benjamin Franklin" by Jean Fritz
  • "The Amazing Life of Benjamin Franklin" by James Cross Giblin
  • "How Benjamin Franklin Stole the Lightning" by Rosalyn Schanzer

Learn about many of his accomplishments in this simplified book. 


You may ring these cards that share the same information about his life. These cards work well in small groups for discussion or further research. 


Benjamin Franklin was a "polymath". This means he was an expert on many subjects. Discuss or research what Benjamin did in these different areas. 


Did you know tha Benjamin Franklin made a schedule to follow every day for peak productivity? Look at his schedule and reasoning. He included items of deep work (8-12 and 2-6pm) and shallow work (12-2pm reading or reviewing finances). He also valued downtime: a time to relax and enjoy. Downtime is a powerful tool for re-energizing the brain and body. In Franklin's own words, "Failing to plan is planning to fail". 

Check out this great article to learn more about how Benjamin Franklin made his schedule. 

Have students create their own schedules. Tweak and experiment with Franklin’s daily schedule to find what works best for you. 


Franklin write under several names. He started "Poor Richard's Almanac" under the pseudonym "Richard Saunders" - a poor man who needed money to take care of his wife. What made his almanac unique was the witty writing and famouse quotes.

Check out a few of Benjamin Franklins quotes. What is your favorite?



Benjamin Franklin was a scientist and an inventor. In the science center, include items for students to observe and take notes, such as magnets, shells, candies, etc. Students can write about their observations or an invention. 



Benjamin Franklin founded the Philadelphia Union Fire Company - the first fire station in the city. His quote, "an ouces of prevention is worth a pound of cure"  was initally about fire safey. Check out some fire safety materials. 



Write some ideas you learned about Benjamin Franklin. 



Have fun learning and growing together!