Guides and Materials About Mr. Franklin
An Introduction
Ben Across the Curriculum
Essay Contest
Essay Contest


Ben Across the Curriculum is a set of interdisciplinary lesson plans, keyed to appropriate national standards, that expand upon and interpret the five central themes highlighted in the international traveling exhibition, Benjamin Franklin: In Search of a Better World. These themes are Character Matters; B. Franklin, Printer; Civic Visions; Useful Knowledge; and World Stage.

We created a total of thirty lesson plans, ten plans each for elementary, middle and high school levels. At the elementary level, to address the disparity between younger and older readers, we created two tiers for each plan: one for grades K-2, and a second for grades 3 – 5. Many of the lesson plans throughout Ben Across the Curriculum focus on collaborative learning and where appropriate, rely on primary resources, including a number of writings by Franklin and his contemporaries.

The Benjamin Franklin Tercentenary is deeply indebted to The Barra Foundation and the John Templeton Foundation, whose steadfast and generous support made the creation of these curricular materials possible.

Contributors to these plans include Dana Devon, Allison McBride, Benjamin Franklin Tercentenary, and Hindie Weissman, Center for Educational Innovation-Public Education Association (Elementary Level Lesson Plans); Dana Devon, Benjamin Franklin Tercentenary, and Thomas F. Harrington, Bank Street School for Children (Middle School Lesson Plans); Dana Devon, Thomas Harrington and Eli Lesser, Annenberg Public Policy Center (High School Lesson Plans).

The Tercentenary offers a special thanks to Leapfrog Advancement Services, and especially to Melissa Cooper, Nancy McDonald, Kim Fischer and Carrie Horchuck, for their outstanding design and editing work.