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Founding Fathers For Kids

Who Were the Founding Fathers of the United States and What Did They Do for America?

Founding Fathers For Kids
By: Mindy Scirri, Ph.D.
*This post contains affiliate links. Things you buy through our links may earn us a commission.

At various times of the year, we turn our attention to our Founding Fathers: Independence Day, Election Day, Inauguration Day—virtually any day that makes us remember where we started and how we got here as a country. Currently, the Founding Fathers are also on our minds as we re-examine our historical heroes, seeing them through different and/or more critical lenses. How your family views each of our Founding Fathers is up to you, but there is no denying that this group helped to shape the America we live in today.

Who were all the Founding Fathers of the United States? Well, that, too, is controversial. In 1973, the renowned American historian, Richard B. Morris, identified seven Founding Fathers in his book, Seven Who Shaped Our Destiny: The Founding Fathers as Revolutionaries. He listed John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and George Washington. Since then, some have added Samuel Adams, Patrick Henry, John Marshall, George Mason, and others. Others have claimed that “Founding Females”—like Abigail Adams, Dolley Madison, and Mercy Otis Warren—or “Black Founders” like Benjamin Banneker should be celebrated in the same way.

Below you will find lots of free online resources on the Founding Fathers for kids. To get you started, we will focus on the seven originally named by Morris in 1973, but you will find information about others who may be considered Founding Fathers on some of these sites as well. How can you use these resources? Explore with your older children whom they would consider to be Founding Fathers. Discuss the ways different sources present these important historical figures, and debate the controversies surrounding their lives and accomplishments. Make connections between their contributions to America (positive or negative) and the country we have today. Enjoy your time travel back through history! 

Founding Fathers for Kids

John Adams for Kids Benjamin Franklin for Kids Alexander Hamilton
for Kids
John Jay for Kids

Thomas Jefferson for Kids

James Madison for Kids George Washington for Kids Founding Fathers for Kids Lesson Plans & Activities

Founding Fathers for Kids Games

*Although most of the resources listed here are free, those marked with a $ have a cost or require a fee/subscription in order to access the full range of materials.

 

Founding Fathers For Kids

You can learn interesting and fun facts about the Founding Fathers from many online resources. Use these to get a good overview and learn a bit about each of the Founding Fathers. Then, if you want, you can use the additional resources listed below to focus on one or more of the Founding Fathers.

Colonial Hall: Biographies of the Founding Fathers
This site contains over 100 biographies of America’s Founding Fathers, divided into three groups: signers of the Declaration, signers of the Articles of Confederation, and signers of the US Constitution. Another category, “Other Founding Fathers,” is in progress.

Founding Fathers: United States History (Britannica)
This is an overview for your older student that explores the Founding Fathers as a group, as well as the debates surrounding their status as Founding Fathers.

 

 (There are some issues with sound quality on this video, but you may find it worth watching.)

 

Getting to Know the Founding Fathers | National Constitution Center
Read a short overview of the Founding Fathers and learn about the signing and signers of the US Constitution. Check out the links to find other educational resources like an interactive constitution, videos, lesson plans, games, activities, and historical documents.

Our Founding Fathers (Citizens of the United States)
Your older children can learn some fun facts about each of the Founding Fathers here, complete with photos.

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Founding Fathers For Kids

John Adams For Kids

John Adams became the second President of the United States. Find out what he accomplished here:

The American Revolution for Kids – John Adams (Mr. Donn)
Here is a summary of John Adams’s life and career, with additional links to explore. Enjoy!

John Adams (Britannica Kids) $
Younger children can explore a brief biography of John Adams. For your older children, click on the “Students” view to read a detailed overview of Adam’s life and accomplishments. Using either view, click on a tab to find images and videos. Start a free trial or subscribe to get access to the full range of materials, including the option for screen reading of the student view.

 

 

John Adams (KidzSearch)
Allow your older child’s curiosity to drive with this biography chock full of links to related topics!

John Adams Biography (Cool Kid Facts)
Read this simplified biography designed for younger children, complete with interesting images and photos. (Lots of ads on this site, but the content may be worth it!)

John Adams Facts & Worksheets (KidsKonnect) $
Check out this biography of John Adams for older elementary or middle school children. Then join for free to download basic worksheets. Upgrade to a premium membership to access additional materials.

 

  

John Adams Facts for Kids (Kiddle)
Read a biography, find some quick facts, and explore images related to this important historical figure.

President John Adams Biography (Ducksters)
Learn some fun facts about John Adams and read about his life and accomplishments. You can also listen to a recording of the page and take a 10-question quiz about its content.

Unit Study Supplement: John Adams, US 2nd President (Time4Learning)
Learn some fast facts about John Adams, study the timeline of his life, and discover interesting facts about his personal, political, and historical accomplishments. Also enjoy some hands-on activity suggestions for elementary, middle, and high school students, as well as a spelling list and a list of more links to deepen learning.

US Presidents | John Adams (National Geographic Kids)
For your middle or high school children… Get some fast facts and then read the full biography. End with some fun facts that show John Adams’ personality!

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Founding Fathers For Kids

Benjamin Franklin For Kids

Known mostly for his kite experiment, Benjamin Franklin was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. Find out why here:

The American Revolution for Kids – Benjamin Franklin (Mr. Donn)
Here is a summary of Benjamin Franklin’s life and career, with additional links to explore. Enjoy!

Benjamin Franklin | The Franklin Institute
Explore this website to learn about the man, the memorial, the inventions, and more. See artistic depictions and original scientific instruments; learn about Ben Franklin history, myths, and folklore; or check out the “For Fun” section to discover fun facts and activities.

Benjamin Franklin (Britannica Kids) $
Younger children can explore a brief biography of Benjamin Franklin. For your older children, click on the “Students” view to read a detailed overview of Franklin’s life and accomplishments. Using either view, click on a tab to find images and videos. Start a free trial or subscribe to get access to the full range of materials, including the option for screen reading of the student view.

Benjamin Franklin (History for Kids)
Read this biography of Benjamin Franklin, and then enjoy some fast facts about the Founding Father. Finish with some questions about the content.

 

 

Benjamin Franklin (KidzSearch)
Allow your older child’s curiosity to drive with this biography chock full of links to related topics!

Benjamin Franklin (Time for Kids)
Here is an article on Benjamin Franklin, designed for kids in grades 3-4.

Benjamin Franklin Biography (Ducksters)
Learn some fun facts about Benjamin Franklin and read about his life and accomplishments. You can also listen to a recording of the page and take a 10-question quiz about its content.

 

 

Benjamin Franklin Facts & Worksheets (KidsKonnect) $
Check out this biography of Benjamin Franklin for older elementary or middle school children. Then join for free to download basic worksheets. Upgrade to a premium membership to access additional materials.

Benjamin Franklin Facts for Kids (Kiddle)
Read a biography, find some quick facts, and explore images related to this important historical figure.

Benjamin Franklin Facts for Kids – All about Benjamin Franklin (KidzFeed)
Learn about Benjamin Franklin in this FAQ-style post, complete with images and videos. Read the question and then the answer. See if you know the answers before you read them!

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Founding Fathers For Kids

Alexander Hamilton For Kids

Best known nowadays for the musical based on his life story, here are some sites to find out more about the main author of the Federalist Papers and the first United States Secretary of the Treasury:

Alexander Hamilton (Britannica Kids) $
Younger children can explore a brief biography of Alexander Hamilton. For your older children, click on the “Students” view to read a detailed overview of Hamilton’s life and accomplishments. Using either view, click on a tab to find images and videos. Start a free trial or subscribe to get access to the full range of materials, including the option for screen reading of the student view.

Alexander Hamilton (KidzSearch)
Allow your older child’s curiosity to drive with this biography chock full of links to related topics!

 

  

Alexander Hamilton (Time for Kids)
Here is an article on Alexander Hamilton, designed for kids in grades 3-4.

Alexander Hamilton (National Geographic Kids)
For your middle or high school children… Get some fast facts and then read the full biography. End with some fun facts that show Alexander Hamilton’s personality!

Alexander Hamilton Biography (Ducksters)
Learn some fun facts about Alexander Hamilton and read about his life and accomplishments. You can also listen to a recording of the page and take a 10-question quiz about its content.

 

  

Alexander Hamilton Facts & Worksheets (KidsKonnect) $
Check out this biography of Alexander Hamilton for older elementary or middle school children. Then join for free to download basic worksheets. Upgrade to a premium membership to access additional materials.

Alexander Hamilton Facts for Kids (Kiddle)
Read a biography, find some quick facts, and explore images related to this important historical figure.

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Founding Fathers For Kids

John Jay For Kids

As a Founding Father, John Jay served as a politician and statesman, revolutionary, diplomat, and Supreme Court Justice. Find out more here:

John Jay (Britannica Kids) $
For your older children…. Read a detailed overview of Hamilton’s life and accomplishments. Then click on a tab to find images and videos. Start a free trial or subscribe to get access to the full range of materials, including the option for screen reading of the student view.

John Jay (KidzSearch)
Allow your older child’s curiosity to drive with this biography chock full of links to related topics!

 

 

John Jay (Your Dictionary)
Have your older children read this detailed overview of the life and career of John Jay.

John Jay Facts for Kids (Kiddle)
Read a biography, find some quick facts, and explore images related to this important historical figure.

 

  

What You Should Know about Forgotten Founding Father John Jay (PBS)
Just outside the inner circle of Founding Fathers, John Jay is less known. Learn about his accomplishments in this reading for older children.

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Founding Fathers For Kids

Thomas Jefferson For Kids

Learn more about this Founding Father—the third President of the United States, and author of the Declaration of Independence—here:

The American Revolution for Kids – Thomas Jefferson (Mr. Donn)
Here is a summary of Thomas Jefferson’s life and career, with additional links to explore. Enjoy!

Thomas Jefferson (Britannica Kids) $
Younger children can explore a brief biography of Thomas Jefferson. For your older children, click on the “Students” view to read a detailed overview of Jefferson’s life and accomplishments. Using either view, click on a tab to find images and videos. Start a free trial or subscribe to get access to the full range of materials, including the option for screen reading of the student view.

Thomas Jefferson (KidzSearch)
Allow your older child’s curiosity to drive with this biography chock full of links to related topics!

 

 

Thomas Jefferson (Time for Kids)
Here is an article on Thomas Jefferson, designed for kids in grades 3-4.

Thomas Jefferson Biography (Cool Kid Facts)
Read this simplified biography designed for younger children, complete with interesting images and photos. (Lots of ads on this site, but the content may be worth it!)

Thomas Jefferson Biography (Ducksters)
Learn some fun facts about Thomas Jefferson and read about his life and accomplishments. You can also listen to a recording of the page and take a 10-question quiz about its content.

Thomas Jefferson Facts & Worksheets (KidsKonnect) $
Check out this biography of Thomas Jefferson for older elementary or middle school children. Then join for free to download basic worksheets. Upgrade to a premium membership to access additional materials.

 

 

Thomas Jefferson Facts for Kids (Kiddle)
Read a biography, find some quick facts, and explore images related to this important historical figure.

Thomas Jefferson’s Dream (History for Kids)
Read this biography of Thomas Jefferson, and then enjoy some fast facts about the Founding Father. Finish with some questions about the content.

Unit Study Supplement: Thomas Jefferson, US 3rd President (Time4Learning)
Learn some fast facts about Thomas Jefferson, study the timeline of his life, and discover interesting facts about his personal, political, and historical accomplishments. Also enjoy some hands-on activity suggestions for elementary, middle, and high school students, as well as a spelling list and a list of more links to deepen learning.

US Presidents | Thomas Jefferson (National Geographic Kids)
For your middle or high school children… Get some fast facts and then read the full biography. End with some fun facts that show Thomas Jefferson’s personality!

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Founding Fathers For Kids

James Madison For Kids

Who was this fourth President of the United States? Find out more about this Founding Father here:

James Madison (Britannica Kids) $
Younger children can explore a brief biography of James Madison. For your older children, click on the “Students” view to read a detailed overview of Madison’s life and accomplishments. Using either view, click on a tab to find images and videos. Start a free trial or subscribe to get access to the full range of materials, including the option for screen reading of the student view.

James Madison (KidzSearch)
Allow your older child’s curiosity to drive with this biography chock full of links to related topics!

 

 

James Madison Biography (Cool Kid Facts)
Read this simplified biography designed for younger children, complete with interesting images and photos. (Lots of ads on this site, but the content may be worth it!)

James Madison Facts & Worksheets (KidsKonnect) $
Check out this biography of James Madison for older elementary or middle school children. Then join for free to download basic worksheets. Upgrade to a premium membership to access additional materials.

James Madison Facts for Kids (Kiddle)
Read a biography, find some quick facts, and explore images related to this important historical figure.

 

         

President James Madison Biography (Ducksters)
Learn some fun facts about James Madison and read about his life and accomplishments. You can also listen to a recording of the page and take a 10-question quiz about its content.

US Presidents | James Madison (National Geographic Kids)
For your middle or high school children… Get some fast facts and then read the full biography. End with some fun facts that show James Madison’s personality!

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Founding Fathers For Kids

George Washington For Kids

George Washington eventually became the first President of the United States. Learn more about this “Foundingest Father” of the Founding Fathers here:

The American Revolution for Kids – George Washington (Mr. Donn)
Here is a summary of George Washington’s life and career, with additional links to explore. Enjoy!

George Washington (Britannica Kids) $
Younger children can explore a brief biography of George Washington. For your older children, click on the “Students” view to read a detailed overview of Washington’s life and accomplishments. Using either view, click on a tab to find images and videos. Start a free trial or subscribe to get access to the full range of materials, including the option for screen reading of the student view.

George Washington (KidzSearch)
Allow your older child’s curiosity to drive with this biography chock full of links to related topics!

 

  

George Washington Biography (Cool Kid Facts)
Read this simplified biography designed for younger children, complete with interesting images and photos. (Lots of ads on this site, but the content may be worth it!)

George Washington Facts & Worksheets (KidsKonnect) $
Check out this biography of George Washington for older elementary or middle school children. Then join for free to download basic worksheets. Upgrade to a premium membership to access additional materials.

George Washington Facts for Kids (Kiddle)
Read a biography, find some quick facts, and explore images related to this important historical figure.

 

  

George Washington Facts for Kids – All about George Washington (KidzFeed)
Learn about George Washington in this FAQ-style post, complete with images and videos. Read the question and then the answer. See if you know the answers before you read them!

President George Washington Biography (Ducksters)
Learn some fun facts about George Washington and read about his life and accomplishments. You can also listen to a recording of the page and take a 10-question quiz about its content.

Unit Study Supplement: George Washington, US 1st President (Time4Learning)
Learn some fast facts about George Washington, study the timeline of his life, and discover interesting facts about his personal, political, and historical accomplishments. Also enjoy some hands-on activity suggestions for elementary, middle, and high school students, as well as a spelling list and a list of more links to deepen learning.

US Presidents | George Washington (National Geographic Kids)
For your middle or high school children… Get some fast facts and then read the full biography. End with some fun facts that show George Washington’s personality!

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Founding Fathers for Kids Lesson Plans & Activities

Teaching facts about the Founding Fathers can take a lot of forms. For example, you can explore the resources above at your child’s pace and based on your child’s interest, or you can use more structured lesson plans and activities. Here are some that have been shared by teachers and educational organizations:

The Constitutional Convention: Four Founding Fathers You May Never Have Met (EDSITEment! and the National Endowment for the Humanities)
Designed for grades 6-8, this lesson plan focuses on four lesser known Founding Fathers: Oliver Ellsworth, Alexander Hamilton, William Paterson, and Edmund Randolph. Students examine the motives and biographies of, as well as the plans suggested by, the members of the Constitutional Convention.

Focus on Founding Fathers (Education.com)
Students will learn about the contributions of the Founding Fathers, use a variety of sources to conduct research, and write an informative summary about one of the Founding Fathers. This lesson is designed for fifth grade.

Founding Fathers Lesson Plan (teAchnology)
This is a lesson plan designed for grades 9-10 to help them learn about absolute and relative chronology through sequencing of individuals, events, and time periods. The focus is on four Founding Fathers: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Benjamin Franklin.

Founding Fathers Lesson Plans & Activities (ShareMyLesson)
Join for free access to lesson plans for 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students on the Founding Fathers of America. These lesson plans are by teachers for teachers.

Founding Fathers—Life in a Box Activity (Kansas Historical Society)
Check out this fifth-grade lesson plan that asks students to use primary and other sources to research a Founding Father and then create a set of clues in a box. Join with other homeschool families virtually or through your local co-op or support group to get the most out of this lesson.

Lesson Plans | George Washington’s Mount Vernon
Explore this vast collection of lesson plans on everything from “A Birthday Celebration for George Washington” and “Breaking and Mending the Two-Term Precedent” to “Martha Washington’s Letter about the Presidency” and “The Only Unavoidable Subject of Regret: The Founders’ Failure to End Slavery.” Discover the “Be Washington” interactive experience here or search the lesson plans by grade level, theme (e.g., government, legacy, slavery), type (e.g., lesson plan, activity sheet, primary source set), and “teach with” (e.g., biography, documents, food, music).

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Founding Fathers For Kids Games

You can play with interesting facts about the Founding Fathers, too. Take a look at these games about the Founding Fathers:

  Founding Fathers Boardgame | Jolly Rogers $
A game of the early American republic. Play begins with George Washington in the presidential office, surrounded by his team of Vice President John Adams and the secretaries of state and treasury. Each player controls one of these statesmen as well as several others who will appear, up through the arrival of Abraham Lincoln. Together the players try to solve the issues faced by the young republic – wars, debt, financial panics, the growth of the union, North-South Division, and more. Every four years the most popular politicians from each party square off to see who becomes the next President.

 

Founding Fathers Trivia Quizzes and Games (Sporcle)
Join for free to play online games like the “Founding Fathers Image Quiz” and “Quick Pick: Founding Fathers,” or choose from the many quiz games on the individual Founding Fathers. Lots more to explore!

Who is Your Founding Father? (Mr. Nussbaum)
In this free online game, your child can determine the “Founding Father” by evaluating the accomplishments of Franklin, Hamilton, Jefferson, and Washington, and then moving the players the corresponding number of steps in the game.

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What do you know about the Founding Fathers of the United States? What are your ideas after learning about them? Do you have resources about the Founding Fathers for kids that you can share? Add your comments below….

 

 

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