Goal Setting with Ben Franklin

As part of 8th grade US History, I ask students to set goals for the year. (The goals sheet also turns into a faux certificate for 8th grade Celebration practice at the end of the year.) In the past this lesson has been a little meh. I was happy with the change I made to ask students tie their goals/reflection to our school’s mission statement, but I also wanted a way to introduce the lesson in a way that felt a bit more authentic and related to US History.

After the Teaching with Primary Sources Institute at the Library of Congress this summer I wondered if there was a primary source doc that could be used for a quick intro. I remembered a LifeHacker post that I’d seen describing Ben Franklin’s system for monitoring his habits as outlined in his autobiography. The LoC didn’t have a digital copy of the Autobiograpy, but they were able to point me to one.

franklinsnip

I began by giving students a portion of the document. I asked them to make observations, guesses*, and questions about the document. They fairly quickly guessed that the letters at the top of the chert represented days of the week. Students had some interesting ideas about what the document might represent (a chart for showing which days to feed children? a diet? a chart to help alcoholics stay sober?) We also talked about who the author might be and students guessed by the way that the definition of temperance was written that it was probably an old document.

I then projected page 215 of the Autobiography that lists the virtues Franklin was trying to cultivate and asked students to revisit their guesses about what the purpose of the document was based on them. After they’d shared, I projected a page from Franklin’s Autobiography describing his method. We briefly discussed whether students thought this was a useful system and then segued into writing their own goals/reflections.

analyzefranklin

*The Library of Congress’s materials refer to these as reflections, but I’ve found that this terms doesn’t seem to resonate with students and hypotheses or guesses works better.

About these ads

5 thoughts on “Goal Setting with Ben Franklin

  1. I do not comment, but after reading a lot of responses on this page Goal Setting with Ben Franklin | In For Good.
    I do have a couple of questions for you if you tend not to mind.

    Is it only me or do a few of these responses
    look like they are left by brain dead people? :-P And, if you are posting on other online sites,
    I’d like to keep up with you. Could you make a list of every one of your social community sites like your linkedin profile,
    Facebook page or twitter feed?

  2. You can capture the sound as clear as the HD video.

    While there are only two custom slots on the mode dial,
    the camera supports four custom settings groups
    at a time. 0 inch LCD touch screen, this is the world’s first touch-control
    shooting camera.

  3. Some sort of tape to attach your camera lens to the filter.
    It may well serve as the take care of, applied in between your bowl to the base of your glass.
    Pint glasses can be painted with glass paint to create
    beautiful rainbows of colored glasses.

  4. Great blog here! Also your site loads up fast! What host are
    you using? Can I get your affiliate link to your host?

    I wish my website loaded up as fast as yours lol

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s