Young Ben Franklin

Before he was Benjamin Franklin, he was just Ben, a boy in colonial Boston with an adventurous spirit.

YOUNG BEN FRANKLIN (SEASON ONE) SYNOPSIS

Before he was Benjamin Franklin, legendary inventor and statesman, he was just Ben, a boy in colonial Boston with an adventurous spirit, a curious mind… and a penchant for getting into trouble. Meet our most endearing Founding Father at 13, a charming rebel only beginning to discover the ageless sayings and brilliant inventions that would make him famous. Built upon historically-accurate events in the life of teenage Benjamin Franklin, such as his pivotal relationship with his older brother and apprenticeship as a publisher, Young Ben Franklin imagines a gripping mystery that lets us watch the fictional Young Ben call upon the intelligence, charm and resolve that made the real-life teenager into one of the most influential adults of his time, and a model of a free thinker worth discussing. The leader of a gang of kids known fondly as “The Wharf Rats,” Ben’s tireless quest for knowledge and inquisitive nature often leads to trouble. So when Ben and his friends stumble upon a mysterious letter that could lead to a legendary treasure, Ben’s curiosity leads him afoul of the cruel British governor of Massachusetts.

Students from the 6th to 8th grade level will develop deeper levels of inquiry and understanding as they dive into this historical fiction narrative, filled with jumping off points for discussions about American Colonial history and more as part of both the ELA and History curriculum. In between Seasons One and Two, students can listen to a leading Ben Franklin scholar provide a short, absorbing overview of the real-life historical character over four bonus “mini-episodes”.

Genres: Mystery
Themes: Mystery, Inquiry, American History, Adolescence
Avg. Episode Length: 15-20 mins/ep
No. of Episodes: 10 episodes (3 hours)

OVERVIEW OF CLASSROOM RESOURCES

Hey Educators! You’re excited to use Season One of Young Ben Franklin in class, and maybe you’re asking yourself where do I start or what’s the best way to listen? The answer is that thousands of teachers across the United States and Canada use Gen-Z Media podcasts in dozens of different ways for multiple grade levels, classroom-wide, for breakout groups, to reward learning, and as homework. To the right, you’ll find customized materials that support a flexible and powerful staged approach to engaging with the podcast, which also aligns with common standards. And they’re free!

The Listening Guide offers a simple and effective way to guide your students through themes of story and character development, help guide their search for clues and evidence, and encourage their development of bigger ideas. It is available in both digital and printable versions, and is designed to be simple and intuitive to use. The accompanying video demonstrates ways to use the Listening Guide in more detail.

The Explore Board is a resource for students both before they start listening to the podcast and while listening. The Explore Board resource, customized to each podcast, introduces students to concepts, themes and topics of the podcast and helps them hone skills for deeper learning engagement with the podcast. Because you may have specific ideas you want your students to explore while listening, the Explore Board can be easily edited so that you can tailor it to fit student and classroom needs. A separate video, “Workflow Options,” and accompanying text instructions on the “Where Do I Start” page lays out the simple steps for modifying and sharing the Explore Board and other resources. Microsoft users, there are instructions in that video for you too, explaining how to convert these resources to OneDrive.

The Choice Board is a resource for students to use after they have finished listening to the podcast. The Choice Board, customized to each podcast, takes a deeper dive into major themes, concepts and topics introduced in the podcast. The Choice Board features a combination of anchor assignments and lighter exercises, so you’ll find helpful direction and support for every student. Like the paired Explore Board to support student engagement before and during listening, the Choice Board can also be easily edited so that you can tailor it to fit student and classroom needs. A separate video, “Workflow Options,” and accompanying text instructions on the “Where Do I Start” page lays out the simple steps for modifying and sharing the Choice Board and other resources. Microsoft users, there are instructions in that video for you too, explaining how to convert these resources to OneDrive.

Here is a handy link to a PDF of Standards associated with Young Ben Franklin (Season One) classroom engagement.

YOUNG BEN FRANKLIN: WELCOME TO NEW YORK (SEASON TWO) SYNOPSIS

Before he was Benjamin Franklin, legendary inventor and statesman, he was just Ben, a boy in colonial Boston with an adventurous spirit, a curious mind… and a penchant for getting into trouble. Meet our most endearing Founding Father at 13, a charming rebel only beginning to discover the ageless sayings and brilliant inventions that would make him famous. Built upon historically-accurate events in the life of teenage Benjamin Franklin, such as his pivotal relationship with his older brother and apprenticeship as a publisher, Young Ben Franklin imagines a gripping mystery that lets us watch the fictional Young Ben call upon the intelligence, charm and resolve that made the real-life teenager into one of the most influential adults of his time, and a model of a free thinker worth discussing. In Season Two, Ben finds himself in the middle of another high-stakes mystery, this time in 1720 New York City. When Ben’s prospective boss goes missing, the investigation leads him to an even darker secret, and takes him from the townhouses of the New York gentry to the mean streets of a diverse and ever-changing city.

Students from the 6th to 8th grade level will develop deeper levels of inquiry and understanding as they dive into this historical fiction narrative, filled with jumping off points for discussions about American Colonial history and more as part of both the ELA and History curriculum. In between Seasons One and Two, students can listen to a leading Ben Franklin scholar provide a short, absorbing overview of the real-life historical character over four bonus “mini-episodes”.

Genres: Mystery
Themes: Mystery, Inquiry, American History, Adolescence
Avg. Episode Length: 15-20 mins/ep
No. of Episodes: 10 episodes (3 hours)

OVERVIEW OF CLASSROOM RESOURCES

Hey Educators! You’re excited to use Season Two of Young Ben Franklin in class, and maybe you’re asking yourself where do I start or what’s the best way to listen? The answer is that thousands of teachers across the United States and Canada use Gen-Z Media podcasts in dozens of different ways for multiple grade levels, classroom-wide, for breakout groups, to reward learning, and as homework. To the right, you’ll find customized materials that support a flexible and powerful staged approach to engaging with the podcast, which also aligns with common standards. And they’re free!

The Listening Guide offers a simple and effective way to guide your students through themes of story and character development, help guide their search for clues and evidence, and encourage their development of bigger ideas. It is available in both digital and printable versions, and is designed to be simple and intuitive to use. The accompanying video demonstrates ways to use the Listening Guide in more detail.

The Explore Board is a resource for students both before they start listening to the podcast and while listening. The Explore Board resource, customized to each podcast, introduces students to concepts, themes and topics of the podcast and helps them hone skills for deeper learning engagement with the podcast. Because you may have specific ideas you want your students to explore while listening, the Explore Board can be easily edited so that you can tailor it to fit student and classroom needs. A separate video, “Workflow Options,” and accompanying text instructions on the “Where Do I Start” page lays out the simple steps for modifying and sharing the Explore Board and other resources. Microsoft users, there are instructions in that video for you too, explaining how to convert these resources to OneDrive.

The Choice Board is a resource for students to use after they have finished listening to the podcast. The Choice Board, customized to each podcast, takes a deeper dive into major themes, concepts and topics introduced in the podcast. The Choice Board features a combination of anchor assignments and lighter exercises, so you’ll find helpful direction and support for every student. Like the paired Explore Board to support student engagement before and during listening, the Choice Board can also be easily edited so that you can tailor it to fit student and classroom needs. A separate video, “Workflow Options,” and accompanying text instructions on the “Where Do I Start” page lays out the simple steps for modifying and sharing the Choice Board and other resources. Microsoft users, there are instructions in that video for you too, explaining how to convert these resources to OneDrive.

CLASSROOM RESOURCES