. The Hatmaker's Sign by Retold by Candace Fleming
Reading Level: 5    Read Aloud Level: 4
Topic(s)/Theme(s): be yourself

TeacherView by Katy Smith
Grade(s) taught: 3
Pratt Elementary School
Pratt, WV

The Review
Young Thomas Jefferson was upset because the members of the Continental Congress were changing the statement that he wrote. When Benjamin Franklin heard about Jeffersonís distress, he told the younger man a parable about a hatmaker who wanted a sign for his business. He made all of the changes that were suggested, but finally the signmaker created a sign that was exactly like the one the hatmaker originally made.

The Activities
Developmental Guidance:
Use the parable to show that often we have to change our ideas. It does not make our original ideas wrong nor does it make the changes better. But change does happen, and we must learn how to deal with it appropriately.

Look at other parables or fables and decide what Ďlife lessoní is being taught.

Writing and Research:
Create an accordion book of facts about Benjamin Franklin. For on-line research, you might consider using the following sites:
World Almanac for Kids

Iím A Hero: Ben Franklin

Benís Guide: Benjamin Franklin

Liberty's Kids | PBS Kids
For students who can do more advanced work, use the Libertyís Kids website as a source for enrichment.

Create a timeline or an accordion book about Thomas Jefferson. For on-line research, you might consider using these sites:
World Almanac for Kids

White House for Kids: Biography of Thomas Jefferson

Learn about life in America in the 1700s.
Colonial America
Learn more about Colonial America, especially Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin.

Molly Pitcher
Learn about a heroine from the American Revolution, Molly Pitcher.

From the Web:
Spelling List for The Hatmakerís Sign

Stamp Unit Germantown Academy
Discover a clever 4th grade project at Colonial Stamp Project.

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