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Learning Activity: Investigate Ben Franklin's famous maxims

(CNN Student News) -- Students will examine some of Benjamin Franklin's famous maxims and write short stories that place these sayings into a modern-day context.

Procedure

Inform students that during his life, Ben Franklin wrote many words of wisdom. Direct each student to library and online resources, including the Web sites listed, to select one of Franklin's maxims. Have each student write a paragraph explaining the meaning of the saying. Then, instruct students either to write a short story that places the maxim into a modern-day context, or to select an image from a current events news story that illustrates Franklin's saying. Have students share their stories and captioned images with the class and discuss.

Correlated Standards

Language Arts

Standard 1. Uses the general skills and strategies of the writing process

Level III [Grade: 6-8]

Benchmark 7: Writes narrative accounts, such as short stories (e.g., engages the reader by establishing a context and otherwise developing reader interest; establishes a situation, plot, persona, point of view, setting, conflict, and resolution; develops complex characters; creates an organizational structure that balances and unifies all narrative aspects of the story; uses a range of strategies and literary devices such as dialogue, tension, suspense, figurative language, and specific narrative action such as movement, gestures, and expressions; reveals a specific theme)

Standard 7. Uses reading skills and strategies to understand and interpret a variety of informational texts

Level III [Grade: 6-8]

Benchmark 3: Summarizes and paraphrases information in texts (e.g., arranges information in chronological, logical, or sequential order; conveys main ideas, critical details, and underlying meaning; uses own words or quoted materials; preserves author's perspective and voice)

McREL: Content Knowledge: A Compendium of Standards and Benchmarks for K-12 Education (Copyright 2000 McREL) is published online by Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL) (http://www.mcrel.org/standards-benchmarks/external link), 2550 S. Parker Road, Suite 500, Aurora, CO 80014

Keywords

Ben Franklin, maxims, sayings, stories, narratives

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