Understand sequence of events and identify figurative language. Synthesize information to evaluate the Autobiography. Analyze the meaning of Poor Richard’s aphorisms. Paraphrase and evaluate Poor Richard’s aphorisms in an expository essay



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Ben Franklin’s Autobiography and Poor Richard’s Almanac Understand sequence of events and identify figurative language. Synthesize information to evaluate the Autobiography. Analyze the meaning of Poor Richard’s aphorisms. Paraphrase and evaluate Poor Richard’s aphorisms in an expository essay. Use quotes and periods correctly, use commas before each quote, and use a capital letter to start quotes that are complete sentences.

Procedures

  • Students will identify facts from Franklin’s life before reading an excerpt from his autobiography.
  • Then, students will participate in “Say something” by sharing one fact they wrote.
  • Students will then complete the fill in the blank sequence of events sheet as they read.
  • Students can demonstrate their understanding by taking a quiz.
  • Students evaluate the reading with another fill in the blank sheet.

Procedures Con’t

  • Students then will understand the meanings of the aphorisms from “Poor Richard’s Almanac” with a matching sheet.
  • Next, students will create their own “Book of Sayings.” They may do this in groups or individually. This assignment can be in place of or in addition to the essay below. The grammar objective taught and practiced is the use of quotes with end marks.
  • Finally, students will analyze the sayings with an expository essay. And example essay and editing plan is provided.
  • What the history books say…
  • What he was really like…
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • Ben Franklin’s Autobiography
  • Write five facts for each side of the table as we read the information

What the History Books Say

  • Benjamin Franklin was the tenth son of soap maker, Josiah Franklin.
  • His father wanted him to become a preacher.
  • He went into business at the age of 12 with his brother.
  • He liked to write poetry but his father though it was a waste of TIME.

What the History Books Say

  • Ben wanted to write for his brother’s paper but his brother would not let him.
  • Ben played a trick on his brother and wrote letters to the paper in the name of an elderly woman named “Silence Dogood.”
  • When his brother found out, he was furious and they had a fight.

What the History Books Say

  • Later on, Ben and his brother got in trouble with the local ministers over the small pox epidemic.
  • Ben believed taking the inoculation made people sicker.
  • His brother was so loud and rude in his views they finally threw him in jail.
  • Ben took over the business in the mean time.
  • Eventually Ben and his brother would not be business partners.

What the History Books Say

  • Ben left town to make his own way.
  • He went to Philadelphia to make his own living in the printing business.
  • He eventually married and settled down.
  • He bought the Pennsylvania Gazette and started Poor Richard’s Almanac.

What the History Books Say

  • Ben got involved in local politics starting a fire department and helping keep the city clean.
  • He started a local library.
  • He ended up getting involved in the Revolution, going to Parliament to speak for the colonists about the Stamp Act.
  • The English were so rude to him that he came home a staunch supporter of rebellion against England.
  • He later was our diplomat to France.

What the History Books Say

  • Ben stands alone as the only person to have signed all four of the documents which helped to create the United States: the Declaration of Independence, the Treaty of Alliance, Amity, and Commerce with France, the Treaty of Peace between England, France, and the United States, and the Constitution.
  • Ben was a great inventor.
  • He invented the Franklin Stove, Bifocals, the Lightening Rod, Odometer, among other things
  • He was quite the Renaissance Man.
  • The Real Ben…
  • Franklin was hard to get along with...
  • He always thought he was right...
  • He was very stuck on himself and obsessed with his looks...
  • The Real Ben…
  • Franklin abandoned his son and only recognized him when Ben had no other male child heir...
  • Franklin cheated on his wife after marriage more than once.
  • Franklin believed that people who served in government should not be paid...
  • When he was minister of France, he spent a lot of time chasing the ladies while his wife back home struggled to keep the business going.
  • The Real Ben…
  • Even though he was a great scientist, he took great risks.
  • One time when trying to show off his experiments with electricity, he electrocuted himself and nearly died.

Say Something…

  • Now, share one of the facts you wrote.
  • We will go down the row.

Evaluation Paragraph

  • Ben Franklin’s Autobiography and his almanac provide information on how to live a better life. Ben hoped that people could achieve success by following in his footsteps of becoming a successful author of ______ _________ _________. He wanted people to realize that if they started with only three ____ in their pocket, that they could become a famous i_________, d_____________, and author. By using the sayings of Poor Richard like _____________________ (add your favorite), he hoped everyone would be happier and healthier.

Evaluation Paragraph Key

  • Ben Franklin’s Autobiography and his almanac provide information on how to live a better life. Ben hoped that people could achieve success by following in his footsteps of becoming a successful author of Poor Richard’s Almanac. He wanted people to realize that if they started with only 3 pennies in their pocket, that they could become a famous inventor, diplomat, and author. By using the sayings of Poor Richard like “A rolling stone gathers no moss” he hoped everyone would be happier and healthier.

Quiz

  • To what nation was he a diplomat?
  • Other than writing and printing, what other things was Ben famous for?
  • What types o f items did he invent?
  • What did his father want him to be?
  • What city did he end up at?
  • BONUS: According to BEN, what caused man to be generous (more or less money)?

Quiz Answers

  • To what nation was he a diplomat? France
  • Other than writing and printing, what other things was Ben famous for?
  • What did he miss at Burlington? A boat
  • What did he do with his rolls? Gave them to a woman and child
  • What city did he end up at? Philadephia
  • BONUS: According to BEN, what caused man to be generous (more or less money)? Less

Poor Richard’s Almanac: Match the saying with its meaning

  • Saying: From 102
  • “A rolling stone gathers no moss.”
  • “Buy what thou hast no need of and before long you will sell your necessities.”
  • “Fish and visitors smell in three days.”
  • “Honesty is the best policy.”
  • “No gains without pains.”
  • “Not to oversee workmen is to leave your purse open.”
  • “The worst wheel makes the most noise.”
  • “Tis easier to prevent bad habits than to break them.”
  • “Well done is better than well said.”
  • “What you seem to be, be really.”
  • Meaning: :
  • ___ People will steal from you if you don’t watch them.
  • ___ Don’t buy more than you need.
  • ___ Be what you appear. Don’t be fake.
  • ___ You don’t gain anything without working.
  • ___ Do a good job; don’t just say you will.
  • ___ People who stay too long get on your nerves.
  • ___ Tell the truth.
  • ___ Don’t complain or people won’t like you.
  • ___ Prevent or stop yourself from a bad habit first.
  • ___ Always do something and you’ll get better all the time.
  • Saying: From 102 
  • “A penny saved is a penny earned.”
  • “Quarrels could never last long if only on one side lay the wrong.”
  • “An empty bag cannot stand upright.”
  • “Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.”
  • “He that cannot follow, cannot lead.”
  • “Love thy neighbor; don’t pull down your hedge.”
  • “Most fools think they are just ignorant.”
  • Meaning:
  • ___ Most dumb people think they are just uniformed.
  • ___ If you have no beliefs, you’ll fall for anything.
  • ___ If you can’t follow, you cannot lead.
  • ___ Save money and you’ll have money.
  • ___ A fight would end faster if only one person was wrong.
  • ___ Don’t plan too much; you can’t control everything.
  • ___ Love your neighbor; keep your distance.
  • Poor Richard’s Almanac: Match the saying with its meaning

Poor Richard’s Almanac Matching Key.

  • F. People will steal from you if you don’t watch them.
  • B. Don’t buy more than you need.
  • J. Be what you appear. Don’t be fake.
  • E. You don’t gain anything without working.
  • I. Do a good job; don’t just say you will.
  • C. People who stay too long get on your nerves.
  • D. Tell the truth.
  • G. Don’t complain or people won’t like you.
  • H. Prevent or stop yourself from a bad habit first.
  • A. Always do something and you’ll get better all the time.
  • N. Most dumb people think they are just uniformed.
  • J. If you have no beliefs, you’ll fall for anything.
  • L. If you can’t follow, you cannot lead.
  • H. Save money and you’ll have money.
  • I. fight would end faster if only one person was wrong.
  • K. Don’t plan too much; you can’t control everything.
  • M. Love your neighbor; keep your distance.

Poor Richard’s Almanac Figurative Language

  • Decide if each of the following sayings is a simile (only 1) (comparison with like, than, or as), metaphor (only 3) (comparison without like or as), or paradox (only 3) (saying that sounds contradictory but is also somehow true). Use M for metaphor, S for simile, P for paradox.
  • ____ “A rolling stone gathers no moss.”
  • ____ “Fish and visitors smell in three days.”
  • ____ “No gains without pains.”
  • ____ “The worst wheel makes the most noise.”
  • ____ “Well done is better than well said.”
  • ____ “An empty bag cannot stand upright.”
  • ____ “He that cannot follow, cannot lead.”

Poor Richard’s Almanac (label each as S for simile, M for metaphor, and P for paradox) KEY

  • M “A rolling stone gathers no moss.”
  • M “Fish and visitors smell in three days.”
  • P “No gains without pains.”
  • M “The worst wheel makes the most noise.”
  • S “Well done is better than well said.”
  • P “An empty bag cannot stand upright.”
  • P “He that cannot follow, cannot lead.”

Make your own “Poor Richard’s Booklet”

  • Take one piece of paper and fold it in fours to make a booklet. Staple the folded side and then cut the folded top or bottom edge. Then, pick six sayings you like. Write them at the top of the page like this. Make a title for your booklet like “Grumpy Gus’ Answers to Poor Richard.” Include artwork or decoration. Use quotation marks correctly with end marks. (Period goes inside or to the left of the quotes.) Also, introduce the speaker of each quote and use a comma before the quote and start each quote with a capital letter.
  • Poor Richard says, “Most dumb people think they are just uniformed.”
  • Grumpy Gus says, “Most people are just dumb.”
  • Left hand side of booklet when opened.
  • Right hand side of booklet when opened.
  • Poor Richard says, “A fight would end faster if only one person was wrong.”
  • Grumpy Gus says, “A fight would end faster if one person hits the other with a roundhouse kick.”

Expository Essay Topic

  • Look at the sayings of Poor Richard. Choose three that you think are the most important in life, explain their meaning and how it helps a person live a happy, successful life.

Writing Plan

  • Hook (Intro): (question, quote, statistic or description)
  • _____________________________
  • (and tell where the sayings are found, who wrote them, and why)
  • Thesis (Intro) : The three most valuable sayings of Poor Richard are _____________________ , _____________________ ,and _____________________.
  • _____________________________
  • Saying one (2nd paragraph):________
  • ______________________________
  • Explanation:____________________
  • ______________________________
  • Importance :____________________
  • ______________________________
  • Add transitions for emphasis like for instance, for example, likewise, therefore, even though, but, and, also…
  • Saying two (3rd paragraph):______
  • ______________________________
  • Explanation :____________________
  • ______________________________
  • Importance :____________________
  • Add transitions for emphasis like for instance, for example, likewise, therefore, even though, but, and, also…
  • Saying three (4th paragraph) :_______
  • ______________________________
  • Explanation :____________________
  • ______________________________
  • Importance :____________________
  • ______________________________
  • Add transitions for emphasis like for instance, for example, likewise, therefore, even though, but, and, also…
  • Conclusion: Restate thesis and tell why essay is meaningful or important, or give a call to action.
  • _____________________________
  • _____________________________

The Relevance of Poor Richard Today (Example essay)

  • “Fish and visitors” smell in three days. This quote comes from the sayings of Poor Richard written by Ben Franklin. The sayings were published in Poor Richard’s Almanac and contain much of the the wit and wisdom of Franklin. Even though these sayings were written over one hundred years ago, they are still valuable today. Three of the most valuable sayings for today’s society are “Honesty is the best policy, No pains without gains, and A penny saved is a penny earned.”
  • Poor Richard teaches his readers that it is always best to tell the truth. This aphorism will probably always be good advice. Even though a person may sometimes get feelings hurt when hearing the “brutal” truth, hearing a lie and then finding out the truth hurt much more. And, creating a series of lies to cover up the truth eventually causes many problems than can ever be solved. So always tell the truth.
  • Another wise saying is “no pains without gains.” Ben understood the value of hard work. He knew that in order for a person to achieve success, sacrifice and diligence were necessary. Persistence, however, can sometimes be difficult and heartbreaking. For example, studying at home is not much fun when compared to going out with friends.
  • And, studying more may even provoke the ridicule of friends. But, in the end, the hard work pays dividends. Only through discipline and devotion can some goals be achieved.
  • Ben clearly understood the importance of managing money. Many of his sayings advise people not to spend too much and to save as much as possible. As a business owner, Ben had to keep a watch on expenses to make sure he could not only stay employed but also pay his bills. Likewise, every person has to reel in his or her spending in order to avoid large debt. And, as Ben suggested, it is truly easier to spend less and avoid debt than make more money to pay off large debts.
  • Franklin’s sayings from the late 1700s are still useful for people today. He gives advice on many subjects ranging from personal relationships to financial independence. In a sense, the Almanac provided one of the first self-help books, and it is truly still as relevant today as it was back then. Perhaps we should all have a look at it now and then.

Self Editing

  • Underline your hook and thesis.
  • Place a box around all your transitions and make sure each transition has a comma after it at the beginning of the sentence and has commas before and after if in the middle of the sentence.
  • Underline your lesson, meaning, or call to action in the conclusion.
  • In the body paragraphs, place a check next to each explanation of the Poor Richard quote and a star next to each statement of importance You should have 3 to 5 stars per paragraph.
  • Use quotes and end marks correctly. Make sure the period is to the left of the quotation mark and that each quote that is a complete sentence starts with a paragraph.


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