"An investment in knowledge pays the best interest"
- Benjamin Franklin


Task # 1: Improve upon one of Benjamin Franklin's inventions or create your own invention


Ben Franklin was a master inventor. Through his inventions, he created resources such as the bifocals and the lightening rod. All of his inventions were intended to improve society or help people in his community. Your first task is to improve one of Ben Franklin's inventions or create your own invention. Your goal is to come up with something that people around you can use and that would help make their lives better.


1. First, we need to do some research. Click on the following links to do some research on Ben Franklin's inventions. 

                      -Benjamin Franklin's Inventions, Discoveries, and Improvements

                     -Liberty Archive: Benjamin Franklin

                     -Ben's Guide to U.S. Government for Kids

                     -PBS Kids: Benjamin Franklin

                     -Franklin Firsts


2. Now, you need to decide if you would like to improve on one of Ben Franklin’s inventions or come up with your own.

   *If you are improving one of Ben Franklin's inventions go to step 3. If you are creating your own invention go to step 6.

3. If you are improving one of Ben Franklin’s you must pick which one and write up a short paragraph (about five sentences long) on why you will be improving it. You should be thinking about how people around you might use it.

4. Next you need to draw a sketch of how it will look when it is done. You might want to add some notes to your sketch so you know what you are changing and what you are adding.

5. Once completed, you will share the invention with the class!


*For those of you creating your own invention follow these steps.*

6. Now that you have looked at some of Ben Franklin's inventions it is time to come up with your own invention that will help make people's lives better. Write up a short paragraph (about five sentences long) about why your invention is a good one and how it will help others. 

7. Next you will need to draw a sketch of your invention. You might want to label some parts on your sketch so you can remember what you were thinking.

8. Now it is time to share it with the class! Good job


"Great beauty, great strength, & great riches, are really & truly of no great use; a right heart exceeds all." 
- Benjamin Franklin

Task # 2: Plan a community service project

Benjamin Franklin gathered eleven friends and formed a club called Junto to come up with ideas to help improve Philadelphia.  Results of their hard work included establishing a lending library, hospital, school, fire brigade, and insurance company.  Benjamin Franklin was also concerned about public safety which led to the cleaning and paving of Philadelphia streets and he also designed a fireplace that avoided house fires.



1. Divide into a group of 3 or 4 classmates.

2. Brainstorm with your group some ideas you may have for a community serveice project. Think about things your school can do to help the community or even one person in your community. 

3. Visit some of the links below for some neat ideas on what other students have done to help their community. 



4.  Now that you have researched some other ideas it's time for you to decide on what you are going to do as a community service project.

5. Download and print the following graphic organizer.

            Graphic Orginizer

6. Fill in your graphic organizer as a group including information such as:

                  - Topic you are addressing

                  - Who will it impact

                  - Who is involved

                  - Supplies you will need

                  - Location

                  - Where did you find your information

* On the back please write a small summary of how this plan will take action*

7. Once completed, present your ideas to the class!



 "If you would not be forgotten, as soon as you are dead and rotten, either write things worth reading, or do things worth the writing." ~ B. Franklin



Task # 3 Write a Persuasive Letter

 Benjamin Franklin is the most well known of the founding fathers of our country. This is because of his own devotion to the written word. His literary career began at age 12 when he became an apprentice printer for his older brother. Throughout his lifetime he was a typesetter, writer, printer, editor, and publisher. Franklin’s work includes volumes of letters, essays, newspaper articles, proverbs, ballads, an autobiography and the Poor Richards Almanac. He believed so much in the power of writing and reading he organized the first public library in Philadelphia.

Benjamin Franklin was an avid letter writer. He is credited for greatly improving the mail system as the Post Master of Philadelphia.

Task three will be to write a persuasive letter to the principal of your school asking for permission to carry out your volunteer project.


1. Explore the websites below to chose a planner that will help you organize your ideas for a persuasive letter.

2. Print a planner.

3. Using planner organize information and details from your volunteer graphic organizer.

Persuasion Map Planning Sheet

How to Write a Persuasive Letter

4. Write letter; use website below to follow step by step instructions to create your letter.

Letter Generator

5. Print letter and hand in to teacher.