Sunday, November 21, 2010

Ben Franklin DNG

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember.
Involve me and I learn.”

—Ben Franklin

There is sooooo very much we can learn from Ben Franklin, and the Wells kiddos just tipped the iceberg this week using Amanda Bennett's Ben Franklin Download N Go.  The Download N Go series is comprised of week long units on varied subjects including:  animals, continents, countries, people, and food.  The units are cross-curricular as they include history, geography, science, math, literature, art, etc.  Each unit is designed with K-4th grade students in mind, so it is engaging, hands-on, exciting, and entertaining.  The graphics are fabulous and the embedded video clips and websites are equally wonderful.

An overview of our week studying the Ben Franklin DNG is included below as well as a small sampling of the activity pages found in this unit.  The DNG series is complete with both notebooking and/or lapbooking options.  The need to hunt for materials is eliminated because everything required to complete these tasks are provided for you.  You can literally download the unit and go directly into quality learning.  However, I highly encourage you to take a trip to your public library with the recommended reading list in hand.  I know we have found some wonderful supplemental reading each of our units.

Day 1: Who Was Ben Franklin?

Day 2: People and Places in Ben Franklin’s Life
Day 3: The Accomplishments of Ben Franklin
Day 4: Lessons to Learn From Ben Franklin
Day 5: Remembering Ben Franklin

Some highlights of our week...

On Day 1, the kids drew pictures of themselves as what they wanted to be when they grew up.  Caleb drew himself as an "animal doctor" - Papaw, the veterinarian, will be proud.  Jeremiah decided to draw himself as a "people doctor" - a happy Daddy may live vicariously through him.  Finally, Miss Rachel created a drawing of herself as a princess.  Hahaha - I told her she was already our princess, but she wants the castle, gowns, jewels, and the whole 9 yards.  My babies can dream :) 

Day 2 had us pouring over the map locating the great travels of Ben Franklin.  As we always do, we compare the distance of the location to both Kentucky and Ethiopia.  We then determine to which it is closest :) 

We talked about electricity and inventions.  The kids discussed what they wanted to invent....  Rachel wants food.  Guess she will be the gourmet chef?  The boys got out their TRIO blocks and created some interesting things.  We shall see if there are any patents in the boys' future.

Best of all, we were able to study character traits.  I find great value not just in learning about the achievements of historical figures, but the character which they possessed.  We talked about honesty, courage, and bravery.  This sparked some great discussion and real life applications were made.

My only issue with this particular DNG was the inclusion of a Family Tree.  These very common often very popular activities are difficult for adoptive families.  Even though we have more information about our children's family than most, this is not an activity we could complete tracking the biological family.  Instead, we have to focus more on the children's people group and even then, it is so remote, that we are very limited in the information we have to share.  I understand the importance of genealogy, family history and pride, and the historical implications of our forefathers and knowing where we came from.  However, I feel this study could be equally as educational and wonderful without the inclusion of a family tree project.  While I know this is something we will address more in the future as we have very open discussions in our home regarding our children's first family, this was an activity I opted not to use this time.

I encourage everyone to spend some time getting to know Ben Franklin.  I believe a week would be a perfect start, and you would be at a real disadvantage if you tackled this project without the help of Amanda Bennett's Ben Franklin DNG  Until November 22nd, you can purcase the Ben Franklin DNG from The Old Schoolhouse for $6.25 instead of the usual cost of $7.95. The unit can also be bought in a patriotic package including DNG's studying George Washington, Constitution Celebration, and Ben Franklin for $23.85.

Finally, I suggest you click here to read what other reviewers have to say about the Ben Franklin DNG. I always gain such insight from these reviewers and learn new way to expand our DNG studies.  They all offer terrific ideas to use DNG's with your children.

1 comment:

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