Benjamin Franklin's Inventions: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Shoshana Yarin

Shoshana has taught all grades with an emphasis in science and has a master's degree in science.

Did you ever wonder where things come from or who first had an idea? Well, several inventions and ideas came from Benjamin Franklin. Over 200 years ago, he invented several things that are still in use today like a lightning rod to save your house and a special kind of eyeglasses to help people see.

The Inventor Benjamin Franklin

What's the first thing you see when you hear the name Benjamin Franklin? Maybe you've seen the picture of him with a kite, a string and a key. Ben Franklin is a very famous man for many reasons. He not only played a role in the 1700's as a Founding Father of the United States, but he was also a writer and an inventor. An inventor designs and creates new things for people to use. Mr. Franklin invented many things that we still use today. His ideas range from science and health to maps, music and more.

Franklin discovers electricity

The Lightning Rod

Ben Franklin's famous picture with the kite represents when he watched lightening flash across the sky and his curious mind wanted to know about that energy. What he discovered is that electricity flows like a fluid and never goes away. What happens when things get struck by lightning? They burn!

Since Benjamin Franklin was always trying to create things that would better people's lives, he created the lighting rod. The lightning rod is a metal rod that sits on top of your house with a wire going to the ground so that the electricity from a lightning strike can flow to the ground and become harmless saving the house. Now when you see the picture of Benjamin and the kite you can remember that he discovered and invented a way to save your house from lightning.

Eyeglasses for Near and Far

Maybe you've noticed someone who wears eyeglasses low on their nose so they can see over the top. Another creative and helpful invention of Ben Franklin's was a pair of eye glasses that were split into two lenses so people could see far and near. Because they allow people to focus in two different ways they are called bifocals. You might still see a pair of glasses like that today with a split in the middle.

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