Age of Reason

Ben Franklin Quotes – I used these to play a silly game of charades.  It turned out to be very easy.  I would like to add more (including famous) quotes next year.  I don’t think I will do the posters as indicated on this handout, and I cannot recall where I found this source, but I will say it is not my original work.

Common Sense Handout – Thomas Paine – this has excerpts from Common Sense and questions.  I (slightly) adapted it from…  It’s not very exciting and I plan to condense the assignment and include more relevant critical thinking questions in the future.

Other assignments included reading excerpts from Ben Franklin’s Autobiography, Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence, as well as a speech from Patrick Henry out of our textbook.

Age of Reason Test

This is the handout I made.  We only read the Founding Fathers stuff for just over a week, and we did a lot of reading and answering questions.  Since it was a little mundane, I wanted to try to have them be more creative, think outside the box, and make connections.  It’s tough to do, so I asked them to work on it at home and bring a typed copy (with footnotes explaining references) to class the next time we meet.  *This handout goes with the music video.

Quote for “Quote Journal”

11/18/08: “Give me liberty or give me death.”  – Patrick Henry

Students should write a response based on their own opinions regarding this quote.  They should also consider the mentality of the American Revolution.  After responding to the quote, they read the speech by Patrick Henry where he uses these words.

11/12/08:  “The unexamined life is not worth living.” – Socrates

Students will respond to this quote AFTER having read excerpts from Ben Franklin’s Autobiography for homework.  They should consider what Franklin would have believed of the quote, as well as their personal thoughts.  This is also nice because Franklin mentions Socrates in his 13 Virtues, and this gives the students a connection to the name.


The Age of Reason

If you are interested in getting a headstart on your test before Thanksgiving, follow the directions on the handout:

Age of Reason Test.

Thurs/Fri November 20/21 We will finish watching the movie in class.  Your test on Mon/Tues will be short answer (1 paragraph per question) and open book.

  • You will need to show familiarity with all four reading assignments.  Also, be sure that you know the vocabulary.  If you did not finish reading any of these assignments, you must do so over the weekend.

In class assignment A: Tues 11/18   B: Wed 11/19   Read Patrick Henry’s speech, do handout in groups.

In class assignment A: Fri 11/14  B: Mon 11/17  Read the Declaration of Independence and respond to Critical Thinking Questions 1-5 (p. 143).

Thomas Paine Handout, Common Sense

Due A: Fri 11/14     B:Mon 11/17

Benjamin Franklin, Autobiography Homework

Due A: Wed 11/12       B:Thurs 11/13

Read pages 125-135 AND

Answer ALL questions on page 136.


One Response to “Age of Reason”

  1. Katie Wisnosky Says:

    Hi! Love your site. I teach the same classes and we appear to have very similar ideas about our curriculum. I was wondering if you would be willing to share your Age of Reason short answer test that you mention directly above. Also what movie do you have students watch? The Patriot?

    Thanks for creating such a valuable resource for teachers!

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