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A Financial Flower Garden

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Students will expand their knowledge of whole number computation by solving problems involving multiplication and division. Students will also use online technology in addition to other reference materials to research their projects.

Coin Type(s)

  • Quarter

Coin Program(s)

  • 50 State Quarters


  • Students will expand their knowledge of whole number computation by solving problems involving multiplication and division.
  • Students will also use online technology in addition to other reference materials to research their projects.

Major Subject Area Connections

  • Math
  • Technology

Minor/supporting Subject Area Connections

  • Art
  • Social Studies


  • Fourth grade
  • Fifth grade
  • Sixth grade

Class Time

Sessions: Two
Session Length: 30-45 minutes
Total Length: 46-90 minutes


  • Whole group
  • Small groups
  • Individual work

Background Knowledge

Students should have basic knowledge of:

  • Estimation
  • Multiplication
  • Division
  • Conducting Internet research

Terms and Concepts

  • State flowers
  • Interpreting data
  • Cost


  • 1 overhead projector (optional)
  • 1 overhead transparency (or photocopy) of the Mississippi quarter reverse
  • State Flower worksheet
  • Seed catalogs or online resources for buying flower seeds
  • Colored pencils and/or crayons
  • Drawing paper
  • Calculators (optional)


  • Review lesson.
  • Make copies of the “State Flowers Results” worksheet (1 per student).
  • Do online research on state flowers and bookmark or print off online seed information for students to use.

Worksheets and Files

Lesson plan, worksheet(s), and rubric (if any) at

Session 1

  1. Describe the 50 State Quarters® Program for background information, if necessary, using the example of your own state if available. Then display an overhead transparency or photocopy of the Mississippi quarter reverse.
  2. Explain to the students that the design was specially chosen to represent the state of Mississippi. Using the state facts information provided in this packet, discuss how the magnolia is prominent throughout the south, then share the state nickname (“The Magnolia State”), state flower, and state tree in order to impress on students why the design on the quarter reverse is appropriate to the state of Mississippi.
  3. Tell students that all states have state flowers and ask if students know what flower was chosen to represent their home state. (If the home state is Mississippi, give general examples of other states’ flowers.)
  4. Have each student choose a state and the corresponding state flower. To research various states and the corresponding state flower, use the school library (or, if possible, take your students into a computer lab with an Internet connection. Bookmark appropriate Internet sites to guide student research). 
    Note: Although the Mississippi state flower comes from a tree, for this activity, only state flowers that grow from seeds should be chosen. Instruct students to verify this fact through research. This choice will be the basis of further work, so you may want to give them a list of states to research, or approve their choices before moving forward. Some state flowers come from flowering trees or shrubs, so they would not make good choices for this lesson plan.
  5. When the state and flower choices have been finalized, challenge the students to find out how much it would cost to buy one packet of that type of flower seeds as well as how many seeds come in a packet. Again, the Internet or seed catalogs may be used to research this information. Review any math strategies they will need to employ, including estimation.
  6. Based on these findings, have students complete the top portion of the “State Flowers” worksheet. Be sure to point out, where noted, that students should estimate their answer before they calculate it (whether using scratch paper or calculators).
  7. Check research, worksheet, and scratch work (if applicable) for accuracy.

Session 2

  1. Have students form State Flower groups (no more than seven to a group). Using their initial state flower results, have the group complete the last set of questions on the worksheet.
  2. Check the worksheets for accuracy.

Differentiated Learning Options

  • Have students create a table to record their information as they locate it in order to
  • become familiar with the development of organizational charts.
  • Invite students to determine different fractions or percentages represented within the group.
  • Have cooperative groups plan the style of garden they could create using the selected flowers. Students will diagram the layout of their garden based on the numberor size of the selected plants.


  • Have students illustrate and color the state flower of their choosing. Staple these pictures to the State Flower Results worksheet and display on a bulletin board.
  • Have students choose eight to ten flowers (from the class display of state flower pictures) that would make a nice flower bed. Have students calculate how much money they would need to buy a packet of each type of flower. Plan and plant such a garden.
  • Explore why flowers are more appropriate for certain states and climates rather than others.

Check research, worksheet, and scratch work (if applicable) for accuracy.

There are no related resources for this lesson plan.

This lesson plan is not associated with any Common Core Standards.

Discipline: Mathematics
Domain: All Problem Solving
Cluster: Instructional programs from kindergarten through grade 12 should enable all students to
Grade(s): Grades K–12

  • Build new mathematical knowledge through problem solving
  • Solve problems that arise in mathematics and in other contexts
  • Apply and adapt a variety of appropriate strategies to solve problems
  • Monitor and reflect on the process of mathematical problem solving

Discipline: Mathematics
Domain: 3-5 Number and Operations
Cluster: Compute fluently and make reasonable estimates.
Grade(s): Grades K–12

In grades 3–5 all students should

  • develop fluency with basic number combinations for multiplication and division and use these combinations to mentally compute related problems, such as 30 × 50;
  • develop fluency in adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing whole numbers;
  • develop and use strategies to estimate the results of whole-number computations and to judge the reasonableness of such results;
  • develop and use strategies to estimate computations involving fractions and decimals in situations relevant to students' experience;
  • use visual models, benchmarks, and equivalent forms to add and subtract commonly used fractions and decimals; and
  • select appropriate methods and tools for computing with whole numbers from among mental computation, estimation, calculators, and paper and pencil according to the context and nature of the computation and use the selected method or tools.

Discipline: Mathematics
Domain: 3-5 Number and Operations
Cluster: Understand meanings of operations and how they relate to one another.
Grade(s): Grades K–12

In grades 3–5 all students should

  • understand various meanings of multiplication and division;
  • understand the effects of multiplying and dividing whole numbers;
  • identify and use relationships between operations, such as division as the inverse of multiplication, to solve problems; and
  • understand and use properties of operations, such as the distributivity of multiplication over addition.

Discipline: Mathematics
Domain: 3-5 Number and Operations
Cluster: Understand numbers, ways of representing numbers, relationships among numbers, and number systems.
Grade(s): Grades K–12

In grades 3–5 all students should

  • understand the place-value structure of the base-ten number system and be able to represent and compare whole numbers and decimals;
  • recognize equivalent representations for the same number and generate them by decomposing and composing numbers;
  • develop understanding of fractions as parts of unit wholes, as parts of a collection, as locations on number lines, and as divisions of whole numbers;
  • use models, benchmarks, and equivalent forms to judge the size of fractions;
  • recognize and generate equivalent forms of commonly used fractions, decimals, and percents;
  • explore numbers less than 0 by extending the number line and through familiar applications; and
  • describe classes of numbers according to characteristics such as the nature of their factors.

Discipline: Technology
Domain: All Research and Information Fluency
Cluster: Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information.
Grade(s): Grades K–12

  • Plan strategies to guide inquiry
  • Locate, organize, analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and ethically use information from a variety of sources and media
  • Evaluate and select information sources and digital tools based on the appropriateness to specific tasks
  • Process data and report results

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: All Language Arts Standards
Cluster: Research
Grade(s): Grades K–12

  • Students conduct research on issues and interests by generating ideas and questions, and by posing problems. They gather, evaluate, and synthesize data from a variety of sources (e.g., print and nonprint texts, artifacts, people) to communicate their discoveries in ways that suit their purpose and audience.