EL Civics for ESL Students

Benjamin Franklin Lesson

EL Civics History and Government
Benjamin Franklin

Presenting the Declaration of Independence to John Hancock

FACTS ABOUT BEN FRANKLIN

1. Benjamin Franklin wanted to abolish slavery in the United States.

2. Franklin was the oldest member of the Constitutional Convention. He was 70 years old at the time of the convention.

3. When he was 12 years old, he started working for his half-brother as a printer's apprentice. Later he became an editor, writer, and newspaper owner. He bought the Pennsylvania Gazette with a partner. It was the first newspaper to include a political cartoon.

4. Josiah Franklin, his father, was a soap and candle maker. He had 17 children. Abiah Folger, his mother, was Josiah's second wife. Benjamin was Josiah's 15th child and Abiah's 8th child.

5. Franklin spoke six languages:  English, French, Italian, Spanish, Latin, and German.

  • Benjamin Franklin was born on January 17, 1706, in Boston, Massachusetts. Massachusetts was a colony at that time.
  • His family was poor, and they had many children.
  • Franklin went to school until he was ten years old.
  • When he was ten, his father took him out of school and taught him how to make soap and candles.
  • When he was twelve, he started working for his brother as a printer. He worked for his brother for five years.
  • Franklin liked books. He skipped meals so he could save money to buy books.
  • He taught himself grammar, arithmetic, navigation, philosophy, and several languages.
  • He bought the Pennsylvania Gazette newspaper and became rich.
  • He retired at 42 years old, so he could spend his time on science and politics.
  • Benjamin Franklin is famous:

    1. U.S. diplomat

    2. oldest member of the Constitutional Convention

    3. first Postmaster General of the United States

    4. writer of Poor Richard's Almanac

    5. started the first free libraries
  • Benjamin Franklin died April 17, 1790. He was 84 years old.
  • About 20,000 people attended his funeral.
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