Reflection: Real World Applications The Impossibility of Perfection: Franklin's Speckled Axe & Jefferson's Declaration of Independence - Section 2: Examining Imperfection: The Speckled Axe


Student discussion of perfection and imperfection could probably have continued longer than I thought it would, in all classes, there was a portion who was willing to discuss perfection and imperfection. This discussion gives students an opportunity to bring up their religious beliefs as well, for many of them, only divinity is perfect, and people cannot be. The students who make this connection often have an "ah-ha!" moment, as they "get" why Franklin would keep trying, even if he cannot be perfect. 

We also took a moment to joke about Franklin's comment, "a benevolent man should allow a few faults in himself, to keep his friends in countenance." I explained this as an example of Franklin's wit, since we do not see a lot of that in this selection autobiography, as he's basically saying, "accept your flaws so your friends won't be jealous of you." In one class, a group of students began brainstorming modern ways to put this, but after a few, I asked them to stop until we addressed aphorisms in a few days. 

  Seeking Perfection: Is It Possible for Humankind?
  Real World Applications: Seeking Perfection: Is It Possible for Humankind?
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The Impossibility of Perfection: Franklin's Speckled Axe & Jefferson's Declaration of Independence

Unit 3: Literacy: Rhetorical Devices and Revolutionary Thinking of the Enligtenment
Lesson 3 of 12

Objective: SWBAT analyze how Jefferson unfolds his arguments and establishes claims against England and for independence by examining the structure of argument in "The Declaration of Independence."

Big Idea: "We hold these truths to be self-evident," students will need to explain and justify their own arguments. The Declaration of Independence models crafting strong arguments, persuasive appeals, and rhetorical devices for students.

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writing the declaration of independence 1776
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