Benjamin Franklin’s Wise Words

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Benjamin Franklin departed this earth some 227 years ago, but his contributions, inventions and ideals to live by are still celebrated to this days. This is heartily proven in Karen M. Kostyal’s latest Nat Geo book for teens, called: Benjamin Franklin’s Wise Words: How to Work Smart, Play Well, and Make Real Friends.

Inside, children in Grades 3 to 7 read what Ben thought about the people or situations of his day, and compare them to their own current-day scenarios. For example, Benjamin said that “a true friend is the best possession.” Ms. Kostyal translated this to mean that “there’s nothing better in life than a best bud or two to hang out with.”

The book is organized into seven chapters that range from tranquility to humility to moderation. Children learn about contentment, how to deal with being angry or sad, and why it’s best to have virtue and morals. All of Ben’s sayings are backed up by wonderful illustrations, including men who place their coats over puddles so women don’t get their feet wet; families that work hard to complete ALL their chores; and hilarious illustrations on how to organize your day.

Ms. Kostyal’s words and examples are appropriate for Grades 3-7, but it is artist Fred Harper’s illustrations that make these words shine. His illustrations are bright, colorful and comedic enough to make middle graders who insist their too old for “baby books” to forget that they are actually reading a picture book.

This book is perfect for homeschool, public school, or any variation thereof. It can be used as a supplement to both Social Studies and Social Skills. It can be used to introduce a multi-layered lesson on Benjamin Franklin, early America, and how modern ideals differ from ideals of the past.

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