Select the links provided below to access materials for each piece in this unit of study.

Colonial America

The Autobiography and The Crisis

Ben Franklin Film

Writing Skills

Aphorism Presentation Instructions

Aphorism Presentation Rubric

Thomas Paine Power Point Presentation

Thomas Paine Power Point note sheet

The Crisis (side 1)

The Crisis (side 2)

The Crisis Anticipatory Set

Quick Write

Methods of Persuasion


Don't forget your freedom of speech and expression in your writing!

Directions for Ad project

Sample Commercial 1

Sample Commercial 2

Sample Commercial 3

Original 13


The Autobiography by: Benjamin Franklin

Ben Franklin

Benjamin Franklin was not only one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He was a leading writer, publisher, inventor, diplomat, scientist, and philosopher. He is well-known for his experiments with electricity and lightning, and publishing. He served as Postmaster General under the Continental Congress, and later became a prominent abolitionist. He is credited with inventing the lightning rod, the Franklin Stove, and bifocals.

A year after Benjamin Franklin's death, his autobiography, entitled "Memoires De La Vie Privee," was published in Paris in March of 1791. The first English translation, "The Private Life of the Late Benjamin Franklin, LL.D. Originally Written By Himself, And Now Translated From The French," was published in London in 1793.

The Crisis Essays by: Thomas Paine

Thomas Paine

"These are the times that try men's souls." This simple quotation from Founding Father Thomas Paine's The Crisis not only describes the beginnings of the American Revolution, but also the life of Paine himself. Throughout most of his life, his writings inspired passion, but also brought him great criticism. He communicated the ideas of the Revolution to common farmers as easily as to intellectuals, creating prose that stirred the hearts of the fledgling United States. He had a grand vision for society: he was staunchly anti-slavery, and he was one of the first to advocate a world peace organization and social security for the poor and elderly. But his radical views on religion would destroy his success, and by the end of his life, only a handful of people attended his funeral.