frankly speaking… exploring benjamin franklin’s aphorisms · frankly speaking… exploring...
Embed Size (px)
Who was Benjamin Franklin, The
• He was a printer, journalist, author, scientist, diplomat, educator, and philosopher…all with no formal education
• Born in Boston in 1706; one of seventeen children
• Left Boston at seventeen years old to open his own print shop
• After establishing himself as a printer, he began publishing a newspaper and an annual publication called Poor Richard’s Almanack
Who is Benjamin Franklin, The
• When he was forty-two, Franklin retired from printing and
became a successful scientist
• He was responsible for inventing: the lightning rod, bifocal
glasses, new type of stove; confirming the laws of electricity;
scientific understanding of earthquakes and ocean currents
Who is Benjamin Franklin, The
• He played an important role in drafting the
Declaration of Independence, enlisting French
support during the Revolutionary War, negotiating a
peace treaty with Britain, and drafting the United
• In later years, he was ambassador first to England
and then to France
What is Poor Richard’s Almanack?
• Franklin created a fictitious author called “Richard Saunders”
• Contained practical information about the calendar, the sun and moon, and the weather
• Also, featured homespun sayings and observations…many of which are still quoted today
• These aphorisms* made the Almanack a bestseller! Franklin put an aphorism at the top or bottom of most pages.
What’s an aphorism?
• A short, concise statement expressing a wise or clever observation or a general truth
• A variety of devices make aphorisms easy to remember ryhmes; repeated words or sounds; paralell structure to present contrasting ideas
“No Pain, No Gain”
uses rhyme, repetition and
• “No pain, No gain” ~Unknown
• “Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me.” ~Unknown
• “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
• “Believe nothing what you hear and only half of what you see” ~Mark Twain
• “Those who cannot remember the past, are condemned to repeat it” ~ George Santayana
What aphorisms do you know?
• You see sayings like the ones
on the previous slide on
bumper stickers, T-shirts, and
• Can you think of an example
of a contemporary aphorism?
What does it say about our
As the saying goes… or
Como dice el dicho
Some of you might be familiar with the popular Mexican drama series, Como Dice El Dicho, in which each episode dramatizes a popular saying into a real-life story. “Dichos” are aphorisms. What “dichos” do you know?
Writing Exercise #17
1. Choose any aphorism that speaks to you in some way and
write it down. Explain the aphorism’s literal meaning, the
idea the aphorism expresses, or provide a real world
example that connects to the aphorism’s meaning.
2. Choose one of Franklin’s aphorisms from List #1 on the
next slide. Explain…
3. Choose one of Franklin’s aphorisms from List #2 on the
slide after the next. Explain…
At the working man’s house hunger looks in but dares not enter.
Industry pays debts while despair increases them.
Diligence is the mother of good luck.
God gives all things to industry.
Plough deep while sluggards sleep and you shall have corn to sell and to
Work while it is called today for you know not how much you may be
One today is worth two tomorrows.
• Trouble springs from idleness and grievous toil from needless ease.
• Industry gives comfort and plenty and respect.
• Keep thy shop and thy shop will keep thee.
• If you would have your business done, go; if not, send.
• Want of care does us more damage than want of knowledge.
• Not to oversee workmen is to leave them your purse open.
• If you would have a faithful servant and one that you like — serve
Choose an aphorism from any Poor Richard’s Almanack publication.
Explain it, much the same way you did for today’s writing exercise.
Make a poster (8 ½ x 11 or larger) that includes the aphorism.
Choose words of wisdom by anonymous writers or attributed to
someone other than Franklin.
Explain which of Franklin’s 13 virtues it embodies.
Make a poster (8 ½ x 11 or larger) like the ones framed in my room.
Optional Assignment Due Friday, Dec. 15th
From Poor Richard’s
Example of Silence