This week in class our discussion focused on Chapters 5 through 9, where Ben (or was it Amos?) performs the famous kite experiment and proves that lightning is in fact - electricity!
We took this opportunity to do a little experimenting ourselves. Students learned that electricity is a form of energy caused by charged electrons in an atom. They learned the difference between static electricity (an unmoving, build-up of charged electrons) and current electricity (the steady flow of electrons along a path).
Students then used batteries and aluminum foil strips to create a closed circuit of electricity to light a bulb. See if they can repeat this successfully at home! It took several tries, making sure the circuits were complete and set up properly, with the aluminum foil strips in contact with the positive and negative ends of the battery. We then spent a few minutes playing with Snap Circuits - an engaging, educational toy that allows you to build electrical circuits to light bulbs, trigger alarms and signals, and a whole host of other fun, creative experiments with electricity. You can find out more about Snap Circuit sets HERE.
We also enjoyed reading and hearing each others fables, which the students had prepared at home last week. They did a great job of creatively writing pieces that illustrate some of Benjamin Franklin's famous maxims from the book, including "Waste not, want not" and "Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise."
Next week in class we will wrap up our discussion of Ben and Me with a Readers Theater production that summarizes Ben's life and accomplishments. See you all there!