‘Changing the World’ Writing Resources for KS2-3: Webinar for Teachers and Home Educators

In collaboration with Newington Green Meeting House and The Museum of Methodism & John Wesley’s House, we have created digital resources for Ks2-3 (Us Grades 4-8) to inspire their writing. All of our unique historical sites are about making the world a better place and celebrating people that championed these changes.

The webinar below was recorded on 20 May 2020 to introduce teachers and home educators to the resources created by each site and how to use them with students.

You can download the Benjamin Franklin House resources here

You can download the Newington Green Meeting House resources here

You can download The Museum of Methodism and John Wesley’s House resources here

Please don’t hesitate to contact our Education Manager if you have any questions about the webinar or resources.

 

His Final Chapter: Benjamin Franklin’s Busy Final Five Years

In this lecture, Dr. George Boudreau explores Dr. Franklin’s last years, a sometimes overlooked, but essential part of the great man’s life.  Starting with his final visit to England on the way home from ambassadorial service in Paris, the illustrated lecture explores his reputation in the Empire after America secured her independence, and then the changes he encountered in the newly United States when he returned to Philadelphia.  Franklin’s family dynamic, developing ideas about abolition and slavery, encounters with a new American economy, and continuing fascination with the scientific realm all vied for time in his busy mind as he helped write the Constitution of the United States and new Pennsylvania government.  This sage did not go gently into that good night.

Watch the full talk and Q&A here:

Virtual Talks Available Online!

If you missed one of our Virtual Talks, they are available on demand on their respective event pages and through our YouTube channel here

Past Virtual Events 

Character Virtues for the 21st Century by Dr Marcia Balisciano

What is good character? Why does it matter? Benjamin Franklin in the 18th century had an abiding faith in the power of good character to improve quality of life for an individual and society at large. As a young man, Benjamin Franklin identified 13 character virtues.  What were they?  Did they improve his character and are they instructive for ours?

See the full talk and Q&A here

Endell Street – The trailblazing women who ran a military hospital in WWI

Join author and journalist Wendy Moore, who acts as a judge for the Benjamin Franklin House Literary Prize, as she discusses her latest book, Endell Street (published in the US as No Man’s Land). This military hospital was run entirely by women and played a key role in the treatment of injured British soldiers during World War One. It was situated just minutes away from Franklin’s former home on Craven Street.

See the full talk and Q&A here

Benjamin Franklin, The Early Years

Join the House’s Education Manager, Eleanor Hamblen, for an exploration of Benjamin Franklin’s early years. From his childhood inventions to the time he spent as an apprentice to both his father and brother prior to his first visit to London in 1724. Uncover the formative experiences which shaped this Founding Father as we remember him today.

See the full talk and Q&A here

Reflecting on the US Primaries

Philip Davies, Professor Emeritus of American Studies, De Montfort University, discusses what the primary season holds and reflects on the months since the opening contests in Iowa and New Hampshire: both the winnowing of a huge field of Democratic hopefuls and the fortunes of those Republicans with the temerity to challenge President Trump.  Looking forward he will speculate on what to expect from the Democratic and Republican Conventions, and anticipate the routes that might be taken to Election Day in November.

See the full talk and Q&A here

Franklin and the Joys of 18th Century Cooking

Join the House’s Operations Manager, Caitlin Hoffman, in exploring the savoury (and unsavoury!) 18thCentury diet and how Benjamin Franklin might be considered an early foodie. Discover why the Georgians drank beer in the morning and how Franklin introduced some of his favourite foods from the colonies to his London hosts.

See the full talk and Q&A here

Benjamin Franklin in London – the British life of America’s Founding Father

George Goodwin, our Honorary Author in Residence at Benjamin Franklin House, captures the fullness of Dr Franklin’s life in the heaving metropolis of 18th century London. He describes Franklin’s friendship with men such as Joseph Priestley and the notorious Francis Dashwood, charts Franklin’s political cooperation with Prime Ministers William Pitt the Elder and the Marquess of Rockingham, and details the final antagonism with the ‘mangling ministers’ in Lord North’s administration which ultimately made Franklin the fiercest of American patriots. In a highly illustrated talk, George tells Benjamin Franklin’s London story with wit and verve.

See the full talk and Q&A here

His Final Chapter: Benjamin Franklin’s Busy Final Five Years

In this lecture, Dr. George Boudreau explores Dr. Franklin’s last years, a sometimes overlooked, but essential part of the great man’s life.  Starting with his final visit to England on the way home from ambassadorial service in Paris, the illustrated lecture  explores his reputation in the Empire after America secured her independence, and then the changes he encountered in the newly United States when he returned to Philadelphia.  Franklin’s family dynamic, developing ideas about abolition and slavery, encounters with a new American economy, and continuing fascination with the scientific realm all vied for time in his busy mind as he helped write the Constitution of the United States and new Pennsylvania government.  This sage did not go gently into that good night.

See the full talk and Q&A here

Upcoming Virtual Events

What Would Benjamin Franklin Think About Facebook? (Fulbright Lecture Series) 

Thursday May 28th, 3pm London/10am NY

As both a publisher and postmaster, Benjamin Franklin frequently had to confront the vexing challenge of squaring the ideals of truth and liberty with the realities of immorality and the threat of harm to private and public interests.

Amy Werbel, Fulbright Scholar to the United Kingdom and Professor at the State University of New York-Fashion Institute of Technology, ponders how the prospect of greater censorship of social media, Franklin’s experiences and views, shed necessary light on our best path forward in tumultuous times.

For more information and how to register for this talk follow the link here 

Live Science Class for Kids: Ben Franklin and the Gulf Stream

To join the class directly on Tuesday 26 May at 3pm (UK time)/ 10am (US time), click on the following zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85411545071

If you would prefer to sign up in advance and receive reminders, please visit Eventbrite.

Join our series of weekly virtual classes to learn how Ben Franklin’s inventions and scientific discoveries illuminate the national curriculum! You can recreate all the featured science demonstrations at home using household materials.

Did you know that Ben Franklin crossed the Atlantic 8 times in his life? He kept busy on these long journeys by charting the Gulf Stream. Learn more about this ocean current and why it is so important to our climate today, developing an understanding of Sustainable Development Goal 13: climate action and Sustainable Development Goal 14: life below water. Create your own convection current at home!

Activity materials: 1 empty spice jar, food colouring, 1 large plastic container, kettle, water, ice (optional)

Safety Notice! Make sure an adult boils the kettle and pours the hot water

Links to the Science Curriculum:

KS3: Energy changes and transfers

Most Suitable for KS3 (US Grades 6-8) but all ages welcome!

If you have any questions, please contact education@benjaminfranklinhouse.org

Live Science Class for Kids: Ben Franklin’s Swim Fins

Replica swim fins on display at the Benjamin Franklin Museum in Philadelphia, part of Independence National Historical Park

To join the class directly on Tuesday 19 May at 3pm (UK time)/ 10am (US time), click on the following zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84720513335. You will need to enter the password: SwimFins.

If you would prefer to sign up in advance and receive reminders, please visit Eventbrite.

Join our series of weekly virtual classes to learn how Ben Franklin’s inventions and scientific discoveries illuminate the national curriculum! You can recreate all the featured science demonstrations at home using household materials.

Did you know that Ben Franklin was a keen swimmer as a young man? Learn how he used his knowledge of water and air dynamics to create devices to help him swim more quickly. Build on this understanding to create paper boats and race them!

Activity materials: paper, straws, tape, scissors, large plastic container/ bath tub/ paddling pool

Links to the Science Curriculum:

KS2: Forces (Y3, Y5)

KS3: Forces

Most Suitable for KS2 and KS3 (US Grades 2-8) but all ages welcome!

If you have any questions, please contact education@benjaminfranklinhouse.org

Watch the full class and demonstration:

You can download ‘how to make a paper boat’ visual instructions here 

How to make a paper boat

Live Science Class for Kids: Ben Franklin’s Fuel-efficient Stove

Join our series of weekly virtual classes to learn how Ben Franklin’s inventions and scientific discoveries illuminate the national curriculum! You can recreate all the featured science demonstrations at home using household materials.

Did you know Ben Franklin was an environmentalist ahead of his time? Ben discouraged waste and even designed a special stove to save fuel. Learn how we are following in his footsteps today by developing renewable energy sources and working towards Sustainable Development Goal 7: affordable and clean energy. Create your own anemometer to measure wind speed!

Activity materials: 5 paper cups, 2 straws, 1 pencil with a rubber, 1 push pin, 1 hole punch

Links to the Science Curriculum:

KS3: Energy

Most Suitable for KS3 (US Grades 6-8) but all ages welcome!

If you have any questions, please contact education@benjaminfranklinhouse.org

Watch the full class and demonstration:

How to make an anemometer:

Live Science Class for Kids: Ben Franklin’s Bifocals

Join our series of weekly virtual classes to learn how Ben Franklin’s inventions and scientific discoveries can illuminate the national curriculum! You can recreate all the featured science demonstrations at home using household materials.

Have you ever wondered how glasses work? Learn how light helps us to see and how Ben made one of the first pairs of bifocal glasses. Use the science of refraction to carry out magic tricks!

Activity materials: 1 glass or jar filled with water, 2 pieces of paper, felt tip pens

Links to the Science Curriculum:

KS2: Light (Y3, Y6)

KS3: Light Waves

Most Suitable for KS2 and KS3 (US Grades 2-8) but all ages welcome!

If you have any questions, please contact education@benjaminfranklinhouse.org

Watch the class and demonstration below:

Live Science Class for Kids: Ben Franklin’s Glass Armonica

Join our series of weekly virtual classes to learn how Ben Franklin’s inventions and scientific discoveries illuminate the national curriculum! You can recreate all the featured science demonstrations at home using household materials.

Did you know that Ben Franklin invented a musical instrument called the glass armonica? Uncover his process of invention and how he harnessed the science of sound to play mesmerising music. Try making your own music with glasses and by creating a musical instrument!

Activity materials: 3 glasses, 1 jug of water, 1 spoon, 1 small plastic container/ cardboard box (e.g. and empty tissues box), rubber bands, 1 cardboard tube (optional)

Links to the Science Curriculum:

KS2: Sound (Y4)

KS3: Sound Waves

Most Suitable for KS2 and KS3 (US Grades 2-8) but all ages welcome!

If you have any questions, please contact education@benjaminfranklinhouse.org

Watch the class and demonstration below:

Live Science Class for Kids: Ben Franklin’s Lightning Rod

Join our series of weekly virtual classes to learn how Ben Franklin’s inventions and scientific discoveries illuminate the national curriculum! You can recreate all the featured science demonstrations at home using household materials.

Did you know that Ben Franklin was one of the fathers of electricity? Learn about Ben’s famous kite and key experiment and how this led to the invention of the lightning rod. Try your hand at some practical activities to explore static electricity!

Activity materials: 2 balloons, 1 piece of paper, 1 spoon

Links to the Science Curriculum:

KS2: Electricity (Y4, Y6)

KS3: Static Electricity

Most Suitable for KS2 and KS3 (US Grades 2-8) but all ages welcome!

If you have any questions, please contact education@benjaminfranklinhouse.org

Watch the class and demonstration below:

Virtual Talk: Benjamin Franklin in London – the British life of America’s Founding Father

 

For fifths of his long life, Benjamin Franklin regarded himself as British. In 1757 he arrived in London as one of the most celebrated scientists of his age and as a political representative who fiercely advocated a Great British empire of North America. From his London home in Craven Street, here in what is today’s Benjamin Franklin House, he fought to keep that ambition alive right up to March 1775, when he was forced to take ship for America to escape arrest by the British authorities.

George Goodwin, our Honorary Author in Residence at Benjamin Franklin House, captures the fullness of Dr Franklin’s life in the heaving metropolis of 18th century London. He describes Franklin’s friendship with men such as Joseph Priestley and the notorious Francis Dashwood, charts Franklin’s political cooperation with Prime Ministers William Pitt the Elder and the Marquess of Rockingham, and details the final antagonism with the ‘mangling ministers’ in Lord North’s administration which ultimately made Franklin the fiercest of American patriots. In a highly illustrated talk, George tells Benjamin Franklin’s London story with wit and verve.

As well as great friend of this house, George is an Eccles Centre Makin Fellow at the British Library, was the 2018/9 Busey Family Fellow at the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington at Mount Vernon, and has twice been a Fellow at the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies at Monticello. George is also a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

George’s book, Benjamin Franklin in London: The British Life of America’s Founding Father (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, UK; Yale University Press, USA), was a BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week

Among the review praise was T H Breen’s comment, in the Times Literary Supplement, that “George Goodwin captures as well as any recent biographer just why Franklin’s contemporaries found him so captivating.”

You can order your UK copy here and US copy here or here.