Ben Franklin

There was a man named Josiah Franklin.
He owned a candle and soap shop in Boston,
Massachusetts. The sign for the shop was shaped like a blue
ball. Josiah had children, but there were often not living at
home. Josiah invited guests to his home to talk and teach his
children, but the guests were not aware that they were
invited to teach the Franklin children. Both Josiah and his
wife felt strongly about educating their children; they took
their childrens' education very seriously. Benjamin, one of
their children, always listened to the guests; he was a very
bright child. Benjamin taught himself to read when he was
only five years old. His parents wished that they could send
Ben to school, but they were very poor. Once three very
important men visited Josiah and told him of a new law
which said that children must attend school. Josiah sent Ben
to the Boston Latin School because the only expenses were
books and fire wood. At the Latin School all the children
were expected to learn fables by heart. The fables had
lessons which the school master thought was an important
part of learning. Ben's best friend's name was Nathan. Ben
helped Nathan learn the fable "The Wolf and the Kid", while
Ben learned "The Dog and his Shadow". At the time of the
recital of the fables the school master said, "and Ben will
recite "The Wolf and the Kid", which was Nathan's fable.
Ben thought, "If I say that it is Nathan's fable, then the school
master will get into trouble. If I recite the fable, then Nathan
will get into trouble." Ben did nothing; he simply stood there
looking up into the sky. Everyone said that Ben was lazy and
that he could not even learn one fable. Josiah Franklin stood
up and explained his son's behavior and the school master
was very embarrassed. Josiah and Nathan's father both took
their sons to the Writing School. Ben was good in every
subject except math. An example of the type of math that
Ben had trouble with is; 848 plus 262 equals 101010. Poor
Ben would get a zero but his teacher would not explain the
math to him. Ben loved science and frequently did
experiments. His first experiment was paddles to make him
swim faster. When he tried his newly invented paddles he
found that although he could swim faster the paddles hurt his
wrists. Next he made a kite which could pull him across the
pond and he found this an enjoyable experience. Ben and
Nathan bought parts of a sailboat which they repaired and
made perfect. When Ben got older he became his father's
apprentice in the candle and soap shop. Ben, the only son
who worked in the family business, treated the customers
well and helped his father. After working with his father for
several years Ben became his brother's apprentice in a print
shop. Ben made a deal with his brother. His brother would
pay for half the cost of Ben's dinner and Ben would pay for
his own food, and the leftover money would be spent on
books. Ben wrote stories for the local newspaper about the
problems Boston was having. When he wrote these articles
he used a pen name and even his brother did not know that
Ben was the author of the articles. Ben thought that if he
wrote about the problems of the city, the other Bostonians
would be embarrassed and would fix the problems before
other people made jokes about Boston. Eventually people
found out that Ben was the author of these articles and Ben's
brother became jealous and mean to him. Ben left Boston
and moved to Philadelphia where he set up his own printing
business. He printed the famous "Poor Richard's Almanac" a
best seller and decided that he would be print it every
twenty-five years. He never stopped experimenting and is
known for inventions such as; bifocal glasses, the rocking
chair and his most famous experiment showing how
lightening can produce electricity. Ben became a famous
politician, a minister to France, and traveled to Europe and
talked about the American cause. He died on April 17,
1790. QUESTIONS 1. Where did Ben live when he was
young? 2. What was Ben's father's name? 3. What was his
father's occupation? 4. What was the color and shape of the
sign above his father's shop? 5. How did the Franklin
children become educated? 6. What did Ben do during while
the guests were talking? 7. What accomplishment did Ben
do at the age of 5? 8. Why couldn't Ben go to school
regularly? 9. How many men