Amazing Ben Franklin Inventions You Can Build Yourselfby Carmella Van Vleet
Ben was left-handed, which was considered bad luck in colonial times. Ben was the first American to invent an instrument (the armonica). Ben liked to take what he called "air baths" in which he sat naked in a tub and let the cold air from an open window clean away the germs. Ben wanted the turkey, not the eagle, to be America's national bird. Amazing Ben Franklin Inventions You Can Build Yourself introduces readers ages 9 and up to the life and times of one of America's greatest thinkers with over 25 hands-on building projects and activities. From his groundbreaking scientific discoveries and inventions to his career as a writer, printer, and politician, Amazing Ben Franklin Inventions gives young readers a comprehensive look at the man who gave us the lightening rod, the armonica, bifocals, the post office, the first public library, Poor Richard's Almanac, and so much more. Amazing Ben Franklin Inventions provides detailed step-by-step instructions, diagrams, and templates for creating each project. Historical facts and anecdotes, biographies, and fascinating trivia support the fun projects and teach readers about the courage, creativity, and determination of Ben Franklin and a young America coming into its own.
Gr 4-8 History and biography are combined with hands-on projects in this introduction to the man and his inventions. Each chapter features one or more of Franklin's creations but opens with biographical background of the relevant phase of his life, along with anecdotes and fun facts. The chapter on the armonica, for instance, covers Franklin's time as ambassador to England, describes his lifelong interest in music, and also includes lyrics to a song he wrote for his wife and a reference to a "virtual armonica" Web site. This multilayered approach is engaging, and, over the course of the book, readers get a good feel for Franklin's life and personality. The lively narrative includes a rich variety of his words, thoughts, and experiences, with many quotes from Franklin's autobiography and letters. Illustrations include mediocre black-and-white drawings and a handful of uninspiring archival photos. Each chapter ends with at least one project, and some are more intriguing than others. Level of difficulty varies: the "feather pen" is a two-step, five-minute activity, while the more intriguing "long arm" requires more supplies and adult help. Most readers will find something to try here, and the narrative presents an appealing and informative look at this fascinating figure.-Steven Engelfried, Multnomah County Library, OR
Children's Literature Review
"Ben Franklin is one of the most famous Americans. His contributions to the worlds of government, science, publishing, and farming are still with us today. Many of his inventions are simple enough for children to try at home. Van Vleet has not only created a fun, step-by-step guide to some of his inventions, she accompanies each invention with background information about Franklin and relevant history. This book goes far beyond the usual kites and invisible ink common to most books about Franklin. Instructions for making your own watermark paper, thermometers, solar ovens, and even baked apples are included. In addition to having “Words to know” sections in each chapter, there is also a thorough glossary and timeline. This book is an excellent source for science experiments, arts and crafts, historical exercises, and just plain fun! "
John C. Van Horne, Director of The Library Company of Philadelphia, founded in 1731 by Benjamin Franklin
"This imaginative book encourages kids to explore their world and learn some history while building projects relating to Ben’s many accomplishments. The projects are both instructive and fun, two things Ben would heartily approve. As Ben himself might have said, 'Huzzah!'"
Blaine McCormick, author, Ben Franklin: America’s Original Entrepreneur
"You're never too young to learn about Ben Franklin, and Carmella Van Vleet gives you a great introduction. My own children grabbed the book away from me as soon as a copy arrived. I only wish my library would have had this book when I was a child."
Meet the Author
Carmella Van Vleet: Carmella Van Vleet is a former teacher and the author of Amazing Arctic & Antarctic Projects You Can Build Yourself, Seven Wonders, Explore Ancient Greece!, Explore Ancient Egypt!, Explore Ancient Rome, How to Avoid School Snafus, Writing Club, and Writing Club II. She lives in Lewis Center, Ohio.
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*Eats her hot dog* :D
Good morning class.