“Nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”
– Benjamin Franklin, in a letter to Jean-Baptiste Leroy, 1789

It’s Tax Day in the U.S. and Benjamin Franklin, founding father and original hipster, is on my mind. If he was alive today, you just know that Franklin would be the Boss of the Internet, spreading his ideas via websites and social media. Heck, a recent Instagram search of #benfranklin came up with nearly 45,000 posts, and that’s not even including all of the money shots at #benfranklins and the questionable body art choices at #benfranklintattoo.

Clearly, Franklin is still interesting and relevant. In fact, a recent re-read of his autobiography led me to realize that Ben Franklin was just like the rest of us – struggling to watch his diet, manage his money, and button his lip.

His self-helpish 13 Virtues are a highlight of his autobiography and serve as the backbone of the lesson materials I use to introduce his life story (hooray for interesting informational text!) when we cover the origins of our nation each fall in my American literature class. Click HERE for a closer look at my two-day lesson materials.

Teach on, everyone!


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American literture, founding father, fun stuff, informational text, non-fiction, print and teach, social media