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For Readers Age 9 - 12
Grades 4th - 8th

The 39 Clues book 1: The maze of bones - Suggested Activities
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Suggested Activities

Ben Franklin: We could spend a month on fun Ben Franklin stuff, but then Ben Franklin was that interesting! Where to begin?

Explore history with Ben Franklin: Introduce students to Ben Franklin and his many accomplishments by having them explore this site, as well as, this site.

Franklin was well known for Poor Richardís Almanac and the Franklin Gallery. Likely the one thing readers will remember about Ben Franklin, however, is his Letter to the Royal Academy of Farting, written in 1781. This was referred to in the book on page #95 and is believed to have been written to the Royal Academy of Brussels but not submitted to them!

More on Franklin can be found at:

The Library Company of Philadelphia on pg. 88.

Independence Hall in Philadelphia  and sponsored bio of Ben as well as lots of neat activities and information at their U.S. History website.

And donít overlook his numerous inventions!

Other ideas: A few other trinkets from the story that families or class might enjoy investigating together:

  • Paris, France

  • Chapter 12 Ile-St. Louis check it out! (

  • Ch. 16 catacombs! the year 1785 and St.-Pierre de Montmartre (p. 185)

  • Ch. 14. brings out a grenade and battery: check into the making of these for fun science experiments

  • Ch. 18 Franklin flew over Charles River with Kite (p. 205). Did it really happen, and how was it possible?

  • Ch. 19 p. 218 Mozart KV617 chamber music written for armonicas, an instrument to investigate. Perhaps this could lead to the science of music being studied too!

Finally, an adorable site of full of books for younger ages given to us by the New York public library system. Enter the site free through the library at Then choose tumblebooks. From the Tumblebooks site, choose readables and use the search function to find Blast to the past: Ben Frankliní fame. This site provides audio with their books, which then simulates reading out loud in a classroom. A great tool to help kids improve reading skills too!

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