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Amazing BEN FRANKLIN Inventions: You Can Build Yourself (Build It Yourself) Paperback – September 1, 2007

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Children's Literature Review
"Ben Franklin is one of the most famous Americans. His contributions to the worlds of government, science, publishing, and farming are still with us today. Many of his inventions are simple enough for children to try at home. Van Vleet has not only created a fun, step-by-step guide to some of his inventions, she accompanies each invention with background information about Franklin and relevant history. This book goes far beyond the usual kites and invisible ink common to most books about Franklin. Instructions for making your own watermark paper, thermometers, solar ovens, and even baked apples are included. In addition to having “Words to know” sections in each chapter, there is also a thorough glossary and timeline. This book is an excellent source for science experiments, arts and crafts, historical exercises, and just plain fun! "

John C. Van Horne, Director of The Library Company of Philadelphia, founded in 1731 by Benjamin Franklin
"This imaginative book encourages kids to explore their world and learn some history while building projects relating to Ben’s many accomplishments. The projects are both instructive and fun, two things Ben would heartily approve. As Ben himself might have said, 'Huzzah!'"

Blaine McCormick, author, Ben Franklin: America’s Original Entrepreneur
"You're never too young to learn about Ben Franklin, and Carmella Van Vleet gives you a great introduction. My own children grabbed the book away from me as soon as a copy arrived. I only wish my library would have had this book when I was a child."

From the Back Cover


With over 25 hands-on building projects and activities, Amazing Ben Franklin Inventions You Can Build Yourself introduces readers ages 9 and up to the life and times of one of America’s greatest thinkers. From his groundbreaking scientific discoveries and inventions to his career as a writer, printer, and politician, Amazing Ben Franklin Inventions gives young readers a comprehensive look at the man who gave us the lightning rod, the armonica, bifocals, the post office, the first public library, "Poor Richard’s Almanac," and so much more.

Amazing Ben Franklin Inventions provides detailed step-by-step instructions, diagrams, and templates for creating each project. Historical facts and anecdotes, biographies, and fascinating trivia support the fun projects and teach readers about the courage, creativity, and determination of Ben Franklin. The text and projects in this book provide readers and teachers an interdisciplinary framework through which to understand Ben Franklin and his environment growing up in a young America. Furthermore, Amazing Ben Franklin Inventions meets Common Core State Standards for reading informational text. Guided Reading Levels and Lexile measurements indicate grade level and text complexity.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Series: Build It Yourself
  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Nomad Press (September 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0977129470
  • ISBN-13: 978-0977129478
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.3 x 9.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #353,105 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Carmella Van Vleet is a former teacher who now writes for kids and adults full-time. Her latest book, ELIZA BING IS (NOT) A BIG, FAT QUITTER (Holiday House, March 2014) is a Junior Library Guild selection. You can learn more about her books at www.carmellavanvleet.com.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie Reed on October 9, 2007
Format: Paperback
Ben Franklin's creativity and ingenuity has always amazed me. His fingerprints are all over American history. He was a statesman, an inventor, an author, and a scientist. Now we can get to know Ben and recreate some of his greatest triumphs with Amazing Ben Franklin Inventions You Can Build Yourself.

The inventions are either replicas of actual Ben inventions or they represent a concept of an invention or contribution. The projects range from making a Feather Pen (five minutes) to making a Long Arm for objects out of reach (35 minutes plus drying time for glue). Projects which require adult supervision are clearly marked. Other projects include a Solar-Powered Oven and a Street Light (powered by a flashlight).

As creative and entertaining as the projects are, this is more than a classroom project book. Ben's personality shines through, whether he's powering himself across a pond with kite power at age ten, or proposing as an adult that the streets of Philadelphia be paved with bricks to ease travel and keep the city cleaner. The author includes a glossary, a timeline of Ben's life, and dozens of his Poor Richard sayings. The book is a pleasure to read, thanks to Van Vleet's lively writing and her careful research. Bonus--some Almanac-style fonts and many pictures.

So whether you want to get crafty or whether you just want to rediscover Ben Franklin, Amazing Ben Franklin Inventions You Can Build Yourself is an excellent choice.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By E. Ryan on December 7, 2007
Format: Paperback
Being a teacher of gifted and high achieving students, I'm always on the look out for ways to tie Social Studies and Science together. My class loves hands-on projects, so I thought this might be a good fit for us. Boy, was I right! The projects are easy to follow, the steps and supplies are well planned, and most importantly, the kids LOVED the projects. Wave bottles were a major hit, and we'll be making Bubble Bath next.

The historic details about Ben's life were not only great additions to the descriptions of his inventions, but there were lots of quirky details about him that my kids loved (although they're going to skip the air baths!).

I'll definitely pick up more of Ms. Van Vleet's project-based books to use with my class!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By L. M. Stanley on November 24, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I purchased this book for Hanukkah for my 12 year old grandson. He is a science lover and adores experimenting. The book incorporates English usage as well as history so it is a multi-learning experience. That's always good. I think other than for buying supplies and being on hand, these are experiments that he can do by himself.
I'll need to do another review after he works with the book.
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