Amazing Ben Franklin Inventions You Can Build Yourself

Amazing Ben Franklin Inventions You Can Build Yourself

4.7 4
by Carmella Van Vleet
     
 

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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…  See more details below

Overview

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 lightning 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.

Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Erin Wyatt
This instructional guide for creating versions of Ben Franklin's inventions is interspersed with historical and biographical tidbits about his life. Each invention section begins with a brief history of how Franklin was inspired to develop the particular innovation. In addition to the step-by-step instructions given, many chapters include a portion called "Fun Ideas to Try" that have various activities such as writing letters to the editor or drawing political cartoons to extend the text. These activities are similar to what a teacher might assign if the material was being covered within a class. The format makes the text feel disjointed at times, with inset boxes popping up frequently to offer loosely related information using multiple fonts and sizes of text throughout the book. The complexity of the recreated inventions is uneven. Instructions for the various creations go from simple-creating a feather pen by taping a feather to a pen-to more complex, with a glue gun and hand tools required. The author is quite enthusiastic about the topic, frequently peppering the narrative with exclamation points. Although the format is distracting, this book might find an audience with young teens interested in history and inventions of early America.
Children's Literature - Amie Rose Rotruck
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! Reviewer: Amie Rose Rotruck
School Library Journal

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

From the Publisher

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."

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781619301252
Publisher:
Nomad Press
Publication date:
09/01/2007
Series:
Build It Yourself Series
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
128
File size:
5 MB
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

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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