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ERIC Number: ED463221
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Sep
Pages: 31
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Making Friends with Franklin. Smithsonian in Your Classroom.
Binns, Stephen
Long before he was a Founding Father, Benjamin Franklin was world famous for his work in electricity. He challenged the prevailing idea that there were two distinct kinds of electrical fluid, proposing that there is one kind of electricity and two charges. He invented the lightning rod which is still used today and so found a highly practical use for one of his scientific theories, that lightning and electricity are the same thing. But Franklin never thought of himself as a scientist, and the word did not enter the English language until some 50 years after his death in 1790. Science was not considered a profession in the 18th century, a time that saw the creation of whole new fields of science: electricity, geology, paleontology, and modern chemistry. In an exhibit that opened in 1999, the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery spotlighted a collection of portraits of Benjamin Franklin and his colleagues in natural philosophy, as science was then called. This issue of "Smithsonian in Your Classroom" reproduces the portraits of Edward Bromfield, David Rittenhouse, Benjamin Rush, David Wiley, and John Winthrop; presents an overview of Franklin and his activities; and provides three lesson plans highlighting these activities. Lesson 1 revolves around language arts; lesson 2 addresses the sciences; and lesson 3 features the visual arts. In each lesson plan, a student objective is given, materials needed are listed, and a classroom procedure is suggested. Additional information about Franklin is attached along with a reference list that contains five books, four books for young people, and four Web sites. (BT)
Smithsonian Center for Education & Museum Studies, SI Building, Room 153, Washington, DC 20560-0010. Tel: 202-357-2700; e-mail: For full text:
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Practitioners; Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC. Office of Education.