A Project of Moral Perfection: Benjamin Franklin’s List of Virtues and Purpose45 min
As you read, imagine you are the protagonist.
- What challenges are you facing?
- What fears or concerns might you have?
- What may prevent you from acting in the way you ought?
- What was Benjamin Franklin’s identity?
- What was Franklin’s purpose in developing his plan for moral perfection?
- How did Franklin attempt to achieve moral perfection? Did he succeed? Why or why not?
- How did Benjamin Franklin’s purposeful life help to advance freedom for himself as well as for others?
Discuss the following questions with your students.
- What is the historical context of the narrative?
- What historical circumstances presented a challenge to the protagonist?
- How and why did the individual exhibit a moral and/or civic virtue in facing and overcoming the challenge?
- How did the exercise of the virtue benefit civil society?
- How might exercise of the virtue benefit the protagonist?
- What might the exercise of the virtue cost the protagonist?
- Would you react the same under similar circumstances? Why or why not?
- How can you act similarly in your own life? What obstacles must you overcome in order to do so?
- Students will analyze Benjamin Franklin’s attempts to be virtuous in his life.
- Students will examine how Franklin was purposeful in the way that he lived.
- Students will apply their knowledge about purpose to their own lives.