Benjamin Banneker Fact SheetOne of the most famous eighteenth-century Americans was of African and European descent. Benjamin Banneker was an acclaimed astronomer, mathematician, inventor, scientist, writer, and surveyor. Listed below is some information about his life.
- was born November 9, 1731 in Ellicott's Mills, Maryland.
- had a grandmother named Molly Welsh, who was an English indentured servant.
- had a grandfather who was originally a slave of Molly Welsh, but whom she freed and then married.
- had a mother named Mary &— one of four children.
- had a father who was an African native.
- wrote a dissertation on bees.
- designed and constructed what was probably the first wooden clock made in America.
- attended a Quaker school in Maryland with European American and African American children.
- farmed land ten miles outside Baltimore.
- washed his own clothes, cooked his own meals, and cultivated gardens around his cabin.
- was a "confirmed bachelor" who studied all night, slept all morning, and worked all afternoon.
- wrapped himself in a great cloak at night, lay under a pear tree, and meditated on the revolutions of the heavenly bodies.
- always had standing, in the middle of his cabin, a large table covered with books and papers.
- played the violin.
- was constantly in correspondence with other mathematicians in the United States, exchanging questions and seeking solutions.
- from 1792 to 1802, wrote a series of annual almanacs that were widely read.
- was named to the commission that surveyed the land upon which Washington, D.C., was built.
- proposed that the cabinet have a Secretary of Peace as well as a Secretary of War.
- worked for free public education and an end to capital punishment.
- died on October 9, 1806, in Ellicott's Mills, Maryland.
Return to Benjamin Banneker lesson plan.
Excerpt from Multicultural Activities for the American History Classroom.
Asian-Pacific-American Heritage Month
May is Asian-Pacific-American Heritage Month! Don't overlook this opportunity to study and enjoy activities about the history and culture of Asian-Pacific American communities.
The recent rash of tornadoes in Oklahoma, which killed at least 91 people, may have your students wondering why such natural disasters occur, how they may be affected by them, and what they can do to help.Use these resources to teach the geography of Oklahoma and the Southwestern United States, to explain tornadoes, and to discuss the resulting crises with your class.
Top 10 Galleries
Explore our most popular Top 10 galleries, from Top 10 Behavior Management Tips for the Classroom and Top 10 Classroom Organization Tips from Veteran Teachers to Top 10 Free (& Cheap) Rewards for Students and Top 10 Things Every Teacher Needs in the Classroom. We'll help you get organized and prepared for every classroom situation, holiday, and more! Check out all of our galleries today.
May Calendar of Events
May is full of holidays and events that you can incorporate into your standard curriculum. Our Educators' Calendar outlines activities for each event, including: Backyard Games Week (5/23-29) and Memorial Day (5/27). Plus, celebrate Asian-Pacific-American Heritage Month, Clean Air Month, and Physical Fitness & Sports Month all May long!
Common Core Lessons & Resources
Is your school district adopting the Common Core? Work these new standards into your curriculum with our reading, writing, speaking, social studies, and math lessons and activities. Each piece of content incorporates the Common Core State Standards into the activity or lesson.