Benjamin Franklin 7-8

Write | Discuss | Revise: Benjamin Franklin 7-8 is a content-based writing course for seventh and eighth grade students who are interested in American History. The course meets weekly over Zoom for eight weeks, and each class is seventy-five minutes. There will be four to ten students in each class section.

Each week students read and discuss writings by Benjamin Franklin. Selections include "The Way to Wealth", The Autobiography, Poor Richard’s Almanack, speeches in the Constitutional Convention, writings on slavery, and letters from London, Paris, and Philadelphia. Each class also includes writing instruction. Students practice writing clear sentences, paragraphs, and multi-paragraph essays in the context of writing about Benjamin Franklin.

Students write a one to two-page paper each week. Classes meet on Mondays. Each student meets with the instructor over Zoom for a 10-minute individual writing conference during the week to discuss drafts and plan revisions. Final papers are due before class on Mondays.

Course Text: Benjamin Franklin: Autobiography, Poor Richard, and Later Writings, edited by J.A. Leo Lemay, The Library of America, 1987. (Franklin’s writings are also in the public domain and available for free online.)


Week 1: The Way to Wealth
Week 2: Autobiography 1706-1722
Week 3: Autobiography 1723-1732
Week 4: Poor Richard's Almanack 1733-1743
Week 5: Poor Richard's Almanack 1744-1758
Week 6: London Writings 1758-1775
Week 7: Paris Writings 1776-1785
Week 8: Philadelphia Writings 1785-1790

Instructor: Steven Nossal
Email: steven_nossal@fairfaxcollegiate.com
Download Syllabus

Benjamin Franklin 7-8 Classes

Section Dates Weekdays Start Time Length Fee
1 11/16 - 01/04 Mondays 3:15 PM 75 min $400 Full