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Symbols in My Eyes

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Summary

Students will understand the importance and use of symbols.

Coin Type(s)

  • Quarter

Coin Program(s)

  • 50 State Quarters

Objectives

Students will understand the importance and use of symbols.

Major Subject Area Connections

  • Language Arts
  • Social Studies

Grades

  • Kindergarten
  • First grade

Class Time

Sessions: Two
Session Length: 20-30 minutes
Total Length: 46-90 minutes

Groupings

  • Whole group
  • Individual work

Background Knowledge

Students should have a basic knowledge of symbols of the United States of America.

Terms and Concepts

  • Quarter
  • Reverse (back)
  • Scissor-tailed flycatcher
  • Obverse (front)
  • Symbols
  • Indian blanket

Materials

  • 1 overhead projector (optional)
  • 1 overhead transparency (or photocopy) of the "Oklahoma Quarter Reverse" page
  • 1 overhead transparency of the "Class Coin" worksheet
  • "Class Coin" worksheet
  • "Oklahoma Quarter Reverse" page (optional)
  • 1 class map of the United States
  • 1 copy of a text that gives information about symbols. For example:
    • I Read Symbols by Tana Hoban
    • U.S. Symbols by Ann-Marie Kishel
    • S is for Sooner by Devin Scillian
    • Oklahoma Facts and Symbols (The States and Their Symbols) by Karen Bush Gibson
  • Chart paper
  • Markers
  • Drawing paper
  • Pencils
  • Crayons

Preparations

  •  Make an overhead transparency (or photocopy) of each of the following:
    • "Oklahoma Quarter Reverse" page
    • "Class Coin" worksheet
  • Make copies of each of the following:
    • "Oklahoma Quarter Reverse" page (1 per student) (optional)
    • "Class Coin" worksheet (1 per student)
  • Locate a text that gives information about symbols (see examples under "Materials").

Worksheets and Files

Lesson plan, worksheet(s), and rubric (if any) at www.usmint.gov/kids/teachers/lessonPlans/pdf/198.pdf.

Session 1

  1. Discuss the term "symbol" with the students. Tell the students that a symbol is something that represents or stands for another thing. Write the definition at the top of a piece of chart paper.
  2. Ask the students to give some examples of symbols and record their responses on the chart paper. Student responses may include a red octagon for a stop sign or a book for a library.
  3. Introduce the students to the selected text on symbols. Preview the text and illustrations and allow the students to generate observations about symbols.
  4. Read the text aloud. During the reading, attend to any unfamiliar vocabulary and discuss symbols again and what symbols they noticed in the text. List the responses on the chart paper.
  5. After the reading, discuss symbols that represent the United States of America (forexample: bald eagle, American flag, Statue of Liberty). Record these on the chart paper and label them.
  6. Distribute a piece of drawing paper to each student. Direct the students to draw some symbols that represent the United States of America.
  7. Share the drawings with the class and display them in the classroom.

Session 2

  1. Review the previous session and discussion on symbols.
  2. Describe the 50 State Quarters® Program for background information, if necessary, using the example of your own state, if available. Then display the transparency or photocopy of the Oklahoma quarter reverse, mentioning that an image must be special to be on a quarter. Locate Oklahoma on a classroom map. Note its position in relation to your school’s location.
  3. Tell the students that the back of a coin is also called the reverse, and "obverse" is another name for the front of a coin. With the students, examine the design on the Oklahoma quarter. Look at the images on the coin. Discuss that the bird is called the scissor-tailed flycatcher, the state bird of Oklahoma and the flowers are the Indian blanket, the state wildflower. Show them the date at the top of the coin and tell them that is the date Oklahoma became part of the United States.
  4. Ask the students why these symbols may have been chosen to be used on the coin. Tell the students that the symbols represent Oklahoma because they are the state bird and wildflower. Introduce to the students (or remind them of) their own state bird and wildflower.
  5. Review the symbols collected on the previous session’s chart paper.
  6. Discuss some examples of symbols that could represent the class. List them on chart paper.
  7. Distribute a "Class Coin" worksheet to each student. Explain to the students that they are to pick at least three symbols that represent the class and draw them on the coin. Model this activity using the list on the chart paper.
  8. After allowing time for the students to finish the coin worksheet, share the coins with the class.
  9. Review the various symbols and what they stand for.

Differentiated Learning Options

  • Allow students to work in pairs.
  • Have students use texts at various reading levels for their research materials.
  • Allow students to use clip art for the class coin.
  • Allow students to use a scribe rather than write the description.

Enrichments/Extensions

  • Have students create a coin to represent the United States of America using various symbols.
  • Have students research their home state. Have students create a new coin design for their state using state symbols.
  • Have students create a class book in which they create a symbol to represent themselves or their family. Have them use drawings and include a sentence or two about why the symbol was chosen.
  • Take anecdotal notes about the students’ participation in class discussions.
  • Evaluate the students’ worksheets for understanding of the lesson objectives.
There are no related resources for this lesson plan.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: L.K Language
Grade(s): Grade K
Cluster: Conventions of Standard English
Standards:

  • L.K.1. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
    • Print many upper- and lowercase letters.
    • Use frequently occurring nouns and verbs.
    • Form regular plural nouns orally by adding /s/ or /es/ (e.g., dog, dogs; wish, wishes).
    • Understand and use question words (interrogatives) (e.g., who, what, where, when, why, how).
    • Use the most frequently occurring prepositions (e.g., to, from, in, out, on, off, for, of, by, with).
    • Produce and expand complete sentences in shared language activities.
  • L.K.2. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
    • Capitalize the first word in a sentence and the pronoun I.
    • Recognize and name end punctuation.
    • Write a letter or letters for most consonant and short-vowel sounds (phonemes).
    • Spell simple words phonetically, drawing on knowledge of sound-letter relationships.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: L.1 Language
Grade(s): Grade K
Cluster: Conventions of Standard English
Standards:

  • L.1.1. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
    • Print all upper- and lowercase letters.
    • Use common, proper, and possessive nouns.
    • Use singular and plural nouns with matching verbs in basic sentences (e.g., He hops; We hop).
    • Use personal, possessive, and indefinite pronouns (e.g., I, me, my; they, them, their, anyone, everything).
    • Use verbs to convey a sense of past, present, and future (e.g., Yesterday I walked home; Today I walk home; Tomorrow I will walk home).
    • Use frequently occurring adjectives.
    • Use frequently occurring conjunctions (e.g., and, but, or, so, because).
    • Use determiners (e.g., articles, demonstratives).
    • Use frequently occurring prepositions (e.g., during, beyond, toward).
    • Produce and expand complete simple and compound declarative, interrogative, imperative, and exclamatory sentences in response to prompts.
  • L.1.2. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
    • Capitalize dates and names of people.
    • Use end punctuation for sentences.
    • Use commas in dates and to separate single words in a series.
    • Use conventional spelling for words with common spelling patterns and for frequently occurring irregular words.
    • Spell untaught words phonetically, drawing on phonemic awareness and spelling conventions.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.1 Reading: Literature
Grade(s): Grade K
Cluster: Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
Standards:

  • RL.1.7. Use illustrations and details in a story to describe its characters, setting, or events.
  • RL.1.8. Not applicable to literature.
  • RL.1.9. Compare and contrast the adventures and experiences of characters in stories.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.1 Reading: Literature
Grade(s): Grade K
Cluster: Key Ideas and Details
Standards:

  • RL.1.1. Ask and answer questions about key details in a text.
  • RL.1.2. Retell stories, including key details, and demonstrate understanding of their central message or lesson.
  • RL.1.3. Describe characters, settings, and major events in a story, using key details.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.K Reading: Literature
Grade(s): Grade K
Cluster: Craft and Structure
Standards:

  • RL.K.4. Ask and answer questions about unknown words in a text.
  • RL.K.5. Recognize common types of texts (e.g., storybooks, poems).
  • RL.K.6. With prompting and support, name the author and illustrator of a story and define the role of each in telling the story.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.K Reading: Literature
Grade(s): Grade K
Cluster: Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
Standards:

  • RL.K.7. With prompting and support, describe the relationship between illustrations and the story in which they appear (e.g., what moment in a story an illustration depicts).  
  • RL.K.8. not applicable to literature.
  • RL.K.9. With prompting and support, compare and contrast the adventures and experiences of characters in familiar stories.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.1 Writing
Grade(s): Grade K
Cluster: Text Types and Purposes
Standards:

  • W.1.1. Write opinion pieces in which they introduce the topic or name the book they are writing about, state an opinion, supply a reason for the opinion, and provide some sense of closure.
  • W.1.2. Write informative/explanatory texts in which they name a topic, supply some facts about the topic, and provide some sense of closure.
  • W.1.3. Write narratives in which they recount two or more appropriately sequenced events, include some details regarding what happened, use temporal words to signal event order, and provide some sense of closure.

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

  • Students read a wide range of literature from many periods in many genres to build an understanding of the many dimensions (e.g., philosophical, ethical, aesthetic) of human experience.