Sunday, November 18, 2012

What Would Benjamin Franklin Do?

This semester, I've been teaching an American Literature class using this really difficult text book. Not only do my students find it hard to understand, but I do. It's dense and boring and American Literature deserves more. So, I have to take matters into my own hands, tie a string around my finger, test some new ideas, and let the sparks fly. Well, maybe not sparks...

Last week I taught about Ben Franklin, which consisted of using a biography information gap activity and me drawing pictures of bifocals, flippers, and a kite on the board because I didn't know how to translate. Afterwards,  I had my students make posters about Franklin and present them in front of the class. Here's an uncanny goodie:

Tomorrow, I'm going to teach Franklin's 13 virtues. I've devised a short quiz for the students to take to see how virtuous they would be in the eyes of Ben Franklin. The quiz consists of thirteen questions based on each of his virtues: temperance, silence, order, resolution, frugality, industry, sincerity, justice, moderation, cleanliness, tranquility, chastity, and humility. There are four possible options for each virtue and students must choose the one they agree with the most. I can't wait to see how virtuous my little Franklinsteins are!

For materials and lessons, go here. I started a teaching English blog to stay more organized.

Scoring system:
1-13: Ben Franklin incarnate
14-27: Lil' Franklin is your nickname
28-40: Virtuous smirtuous
41-52: You're in danger of being struck by lightning (and this doesn't bother you)

How virtuous are you? Take the quiz! Give your self one point for every (a), two for every (b), three for every (c), and four for every (d) and add them all up and post your score, if you dare.

What Would Benjamin Franklin Do? 
Look at the following virtues and choose the option that you agree with the most.
1.) Temperance a.) I don’t eat a lot. Only enough to survive b.) at a party, I try all of the food, but I don’t like to eat too much c.) If there is food on the table, I will eat it, even if I’m not very hungry  d.) I eat until I can’t move
2.) Silence a.) I never say anything bad about other people b.) I am generally quiet, but sometimes, I talk loudly to my good friends c.) People say that I am very loud d.) I say what I want, when I want, even I it makes someone upset
3.) Order a.) My bedroom is always neat and very organized b.) My bedroom is neat, but sometimes I forget to make the bed c.)My bedroom is messy and there are things on the floor  d.)I can’t even see the floor of my bedroom and I don’t remember the last time I cleaned it.
4.) Resolution a.) I always do what I say I’ll do b.) I usually do what I say I’ll do c.) I rarely do what I say I’ll do d.) I can’t remember what I said I’d do
5.) Frugality a.) If I have extra money, I save it  b.) If I have extra money, I save most of it and spend a little  c.) I ask my parents for money every week so I can buy snacks d.) I have trouble saving money. I love shopping!
6.) Industry a.) If I am not busy, I am not happy b.)When I finish all my work, I sometimes find something else to do  c.) When I finish all my work, I rest d.) I play computer games or surf the net instead of doing all my homework
7.) Sincerity a.) I always speak the truth, but I try to do it nicely b.)If I don’t like someone, I try not to show it c.) If I don’t like someone, I will tell them d.) If I don’t like someone, I will not be nice to them, and I will laugh at them
8.) Justice  If I was in court for a crime I committed: a.) I would tell the truth and confess with no fear b.) I would tell the truth but be scared c.) I would lie a little d.) I would lie and blame someone else
9.) Moderation  a.) I am a calm person and I don’t like extreme situations b.) If someone makes me angry, I will be upset, but I will stay calm  c.) If I like doing something, I will do it even if I don’t have time  d.) I like to walk on the wild side.
10.) Cleanliness a.) I always smell good and clean b.) I have a pretty clean room  c.) I am clean but sometimes I don’t shower after playing sports d.) I smell. Who cares?!
11.) Tranquility You caught your boyfriend or girlfriend kissing someone else: a.) It’s OK. Things happen. b.) I will be sad and calmly talk to them and ask what went wrong  c.) I will shout and cry and run away  d.) How scandalous! I’m going to give someone a knuckle sandwich!
12.) Chastity a.) I will only have sex to have a baby and raise a child b.) I should be married before having sex c.) I can have sex with anyone if I love them c.) d.) I’m a player, baby!
13.) Humility  a.) I don’t like to talk about myself b.) When I hear a compliment, I blush and say thanks 
c.) I think I’m pretty cool and my friends agree  d.) I am too cool for school

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