About Ben Franklin

Ben Franklin is one of the most famous Americans in history. Let's begin our study by watching this video to get an overview of his life:

Next, explore this timeline to learn more about Franklin's Life.


Between 1757 and 1775, Dr. Benjamin Franklin – scientist, diplomat, philosopher, inventor, US Founder– called 36 Craven Street his London home. Discover the extraordinary life of Benjamin Franklin through our interactive timeline.

After you click through the timeline, leave a comment below sharing something that stuck out to you the most about Franklin's life.

Mrs. Silence Dogood

Benjamin Franklin loved to read and study. He taught himself a lot while he worked as an apprentice for his older brother, James, for the printshop he owned.

One of Ben's jobs was to sell newspapers door-to-door. He really wanted to write for the newspaper, but his brother did not let him. Secretly, at just 16 years old, Ben wrote humorous articles he submitted to the newspaper under the pseudonym "Mrs. Silence Dogood."

You can view and read any of the 14 Silence Dogood essays HERE.

Did you know that many other authors sometimes use pseudonyms, just like Ben Franklin did? Check out this list HERE. Do you recognize any of the pseudonyms (or do any surprise you)?

Poor Richard's Almanack

Richard Saunders is another pseudonym Ben Franklin adopted years later, as he created and printed an almanac.

In Franklin's day, people didn't have the internet at their fingertips, and almanacs became a very popular source of information. They were small books that contained calendars, weather forecasts, wise sayings, jokes, puzzles, and advice.

Read more about Franklin's almanac at the link below:

Poor Richard’s Almanack

Franklin’s greatest business accomplishment came from the publication of Poor Richard’s Almanack. On December 19, 1732 Franklin published his first almanac under the pseudonym of Richard Saunders. The almanac was published for the year of 1733 and was published once a year for the next 25 years. It contained all sorts of interesting information such as the calendar, weather predictions, sayings, poems and demographics.

You can view a fun online almanac for kids HERE.

Poor Richard's Almanack is most-remembered by sayings penned by Franklin. CLICK HERE to read some of these famous quotes.

Choose one of the quotes that inspires you, and share why in the comments below. How does it apply to your life or those around you?

Magic Squares

From 1736-1750, Ben Franklin worked as a clerk for the General Assembly of Pennsylvania. He often became bored on the job, and turned to math - for fun! He loved to figure out and create Magic Squares to keep his brain sharp.

A magic square is a grid of numbers arranged in a way that each column, row, and diagonal have the same sum.

Check out this interactive website to see if you can figure out magic squares of various types.

Need a hint? Watch the video below to learn how to create magic squares: