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All About Nicknames

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Summary

Students will understand nicknames and their origins. Students will understand the characteristics of a topographical map.

Coin Type(s)

  • Quarter

Coin Program(s)

  • 50 State Quarters

Objectives

  • Students will understand nicknames and their origins.
  • Students will understand the characteristics of a topographical map.

Major Subject Area Connections

  • Art
  • Language Arts
  • Social Studies

Grades

  • Kindergarten
  • First grade

Class Time

Sessions: Three
Session Length: 20-30 minutes
Total Length: 91-120 minutes

Groupings

  • Whole group
  • Individual work

Background Knowledge

Students should have a basic knowledge of:

  • Family
  • Characteristics
  • American Indians
  • Numbers
  • Symbols

Terms and Concepts

  • Quarter
  • Reverse (back)
  • Topographical map
  • Obverse (front)
  • Zia Sun symbol
  • Nickname

Materials

  • 1 overhead projector (optional)
  • 1 overhead transparency (or photocopy) of the "New Mexico Quarter Reverse" page
  • 1 overhead transparency of the "Introducing…" worksheet
  • "New Mexico Quarter Reverse" page
  • "Introducing…" worksheet
  • 1 class map of the United States
  • 1 copy of a text that gives information about nicknames. For example:
    • Franklin’s Nickname by Sharon Jennings
    • Brian Banana Duck Sunshine Yellow by Chris McKimmie
    • Wee Jimmy by DJ Sharp
    • Princess Baby by Karen Katz
  • 1 copy of a text that gives information about New Mexico. For example:
    • New Mexico Alphabet: Land of Enchantment by Jan Mike
    • E is for Enchantment: A New Mexico Alphabet by Helen Foster James
    • New Mexico by Cynthia Walker
    • New Mexico (From Sea to Shining Sea) by Therese DeAngelis
  • Chart paper
  • Markers, pencils, crayons

Preparations

  • Make an overhead transparency (or photocopy) of each of the following:
    • "New Mexico Quarter Reverse" page
    • "Introducing…" worksheet
  • Make copies of each of the following:
    • New Mexico Quarter Reverse" page (1 per student)
    • "Introducing…" worksheet (1 per student)
  • Locate a text that gives information about New Mexico (see examples under "Materials").
  • Locate a text that gives information about nicknames (see examples under "Materials").
  • On chart paper, make a large circle and divide in into four equal sections for Sessions 2 and 3.

Worksheets and Files

Lesson plan, worksheet(s), and rubric (if any) at www.usmint.gov/kids/teachers/lessonPlans/pdf/199.pdf.

Sessions 1 and 2

  1. Explain to the students that a nickname is a substitute name given to a person or thing, often as a sign of close affection. Some are descriptive names, like Red, Slim, or Lefty. Some are variations of a person’s real name, ones that are easier to spell or pronounce.
  2. Introduce the students to the selected text on nicknames. Preview the text and illustrations and allow the students to generate observations about nicknames.
  3. Read the text aloud. During the reading, attend to any unfamiliar vocabulary.
  4. After the reading, discuss nicknames again and how the character in the text got his or her nickname. List the responses on chart paper.
  5. Ask the students for nicknames that would be appropriate for the class. Provide an example and then discuss other possibilities and their appropriateness (for example, "The Baker’s Dozen" because the class has 13 members).
  6. 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 "New Mexico Quarter Reverse" page, mentioning that an image must be special to be on a quarter. Locate New Mexico on a classroom map. Note its position in relation to your school’s location.
  7. 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 theNew Mexico quarter. Show them the date at the top of the coin and tell them that is the date New Mexico became part of the United States.
  8. Tell the students that the symbol in the middle of the design is called the Zia Sun symbol. Explain to the students that this symbol was created long ago by the Zia people of New Mexico and shows something about their beliefs. The Zia believed that the giver of all good gifts gave gifts to them in groups of four—the four cardinal directions (North, East, South, and West), the four seasons of the year (spring, summer, autumn, winter), the four times of day (morning, noon, evening, and night), and the four phases of life (childhood, youth, adulthood, and old age). As they are discussed, record each of them on the circle chart paper in each of the four sections, labeling them and adding a corresponding picture. This symbol is used in many ways in New Mexico today...on license plates, highway markers, and the state flag, for example.
  9. Tell the students that the map of New Mexico shown on the coin is called a topographical map. A topographical map shows the area’s surface features (for example, hills, rivers, roads, and mountains). New Mexico has such a variety of features that its land ranges from wide deserts to forested, snowcapped mountains.
  10. Point out the words "The Land of Enchantment" on the coin. Tell the students that that phrase is the nickname of New Mexico. Tell the students that the term "enchantment" means a great liking for something wonderful and unusual. Write the term on a piece of chart paper and ask students to give examples of things that give them great delight and record them on the chart paper.
  11. Explain to the students that they are going to investigate how New Mexico got its nickname.
  12. Introduce the students to the selected text on New Mexico. Preview the text and illustrations and allow the students to generate observations about things that can be found in New Mexico that might contribute to its nickname.
  13. Read the text aloud. During the reading, attend to any unfamiliar vocabulary and discuss New Mexico again and what characteristics are mentioned in the text that could relate to its nickname. List the responses on the chart paper. Referring back to the "enchantment" chart paper, encourage students to give examples of the colors seen in New Mexico and discuss how they might be enchanting.
  14. After the reading, discuss the various landforms in New Mexico and what role they play in the nickname. Explain to the students that New Mexico’s history and scenic beauty are what give the state its nickname and make people who visit and live there find it enchanting (delightful).
  15. As a class, act out what some of the landscapes in New Mexico are like (for example, make tall arms for mountains, horizontal arms for plains). Ask the students how the landscapes may be represented on a map (for example, triangles for mountains, curvy lines for rivers).
  16. Distribute a copy of the "New Mexico Quarter Reverse" page to each student. Have them color the page and cut out the coin shape. Encourage the students to color it so that it would reflect the nickname. Refer back to the discussion on the Zia Sun symbol and enchanting colors to encourage them to use different colors.

Session 3

  1. Review the previous session and discussion on nicknames.
  2. Explain to the students that they will be coming up with a nice nickname for their family, just as they did for the class. Remind them that nicknames are usually descriptive. Tell the students they will need to choose a number that is special to their family (for example, three because there are three kids, five because there are five boys) and illustrate that same number of special things that represents their family. Tell them that this number should be important to their family just as the number four is important to the Zia people, and is featured in their Sun symbol withits four groups of four rays.
  3. Display a copy of the "Introducing…" worksheet on the overhead projector. Provide an example for the students using the class nickname from session 1. Model how to illustrate it on the worksheet using a number specific to the class.
  4. Distribute a copy of the "Introducing…" worksheet to each student. Allow the students an appropriate amount of time to complete the worksheet.
  5. Collect the worksheets. Share the with the class and review nicknames and their origins.
  6. Display the worksheets.

Differentiated Learning Options

  • Allow students to work in pairs.
  • Allow students to use a scribe or clip art rather than complete on their own.

Enrichments/Extensions

  • Have students research the Zia Sun symbol and other symbols that were important to the Zia Indians. Have the students create a nickname and a coin for the Zia Indians based on some of the other symbols found in their research.
  • Have students research the geography of New Mexico and of their home state. Have students create a topographical map for their home state and compare it to the one for New Mexico.
  • 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.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: 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: 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. 

Discipline: Visual Arts and Music
Domain: K-4 Visual Arts
Cluster: Standard 6: Making connections between visual arts and other disciplines
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

  • Students understand and use similarities and differences between characteristics of the visual arts and other arts disciplines
  • Students identify connections between the visual arts and other disciplines in the curriculum

Discipline: Visual Arts and Music
Domain: K-4 Visual Arts
Cluster: Standard 1: Understanding and applying media, techniques, and processes
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

  • Students know the differences between materials, techniques, and processes
  • Students describe how different materials, techniques, and processes cause different responses
  • Students use different media, techniques, and processes to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories
  • Students use art materials and tools in a safe and responsible manner