Franklin vs. Roberts: Experiences as an Apprentice

Home Education Unit Plans Educating the Youth of Pennsylvania: Apprentices in the Age of Franklin Franklin vs. Roberts: Experiences as an Apprentice

Franklin vs. Roberts: Experiences as an Apprentice

Essential Questions

How can the story of another Pennsylvanian, past or present, influence your life?


  • Students will be able to appreciate the differences in experiences among apprentices.
  • Students will be able to recall, analyze, and synthesize historical information to formulate a position.
  • Students will be able to interpret primary source material using critical-thinking skills.

Suggested Instructional Procedures

(Note: This activity utilizes ideas discussed in the previous activity)

Download and photocopy the excerpt from Benjamin Franklin’s Autobiography and Jonathan Roberts’s journal.

1. Class work-
Divide the class into two big groups. Half the class will receive the photocopy packet of Benjamin Franklin’s Autobiography and the other half, Jonathan Roberts’s journal. Allow students within the halves to work together to read through their assigned piece. When completed, bring class back together. Divide class (mixing the original halves) into small groups for jigsaw activity.

2. Worksheet-
Download, photocopy, and distribute the worksheet to each student. Ask students to compare and contrast the experiences of both Franklin and Roberts, completing the worksheet and listing any additional areas they can identify as comparisons.

3. Review & Close-
Review the completed worksheets as a class. Close with asking the students to draw conclusions about the individual experiences of Franklin and Roberts, and the extent to which the apprentice system did, or did not affect their future careers according to Franklin and Roberts.


  • See lesson 1 of this unit