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Just For Kids! h.i.p. pocket change
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Coins in U.S. History

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Summary

Students will investigate, appreciate, and deepen their knowledge of U.S. coins and the history associated with these coins. They will also learn about events in U.S. history.

Coin Type(s)

  • Cent
  • Nickel
  • Dime
  • Quarter
  • Half dollar
  • Dollar

Coin Program(s)

  • Lincoln Bicentennial Cents
  • Westward Journey Nickel Series
  • America The Beautiful Quarters
  • DC and Territory Quarters
  • 50 State Quarters
  • Presidential $1 Coin
  • Native American $1 Coin
  • Commemoratives
  • Generic

Objectives

  • Students will investigate, appreciate, and deepen their knowledge of U.S. coins and the history associated with these coins.
  • Students will learn about events in U.S. history.

Major Subject Area Connections

  • Social Studies

Minor/supporting Subject Area Connections

  • Language Arts
  • Technology

Grades

  • Third grade
  • Fourth grade
  • Fifth grade

Class Time

Sessions: One
Session Length: 45 minutes
Total Length: 0-45 minutes

Groupings

  • Whole group
  • Individual work

Terms and Concepts

  • Bicentennial
  • Coins
  • Economics
  • Franklin
  • History
  • Independence
  • Kennedy
  • Money

Materials

  • U.S. Mint's H.I.P. Pocket Change Web site at www.usmint.gov/kids, Coin of the Month section
  • A Guide Book of United States Coins by Yeoman, R.S.

Preparations

The U.S. Mint’s H.I.P. Pocket Change Web site has a section called “Coins of the Month.” Each month, a selected coin is presented along with elements of its history or meaning. For this lesson, you can focus on just a few of the coins that relate to what the students are studying in class or you can use all of the coins in the section. Print off the page for each of the coins you are going to use.

  1. Assign each student his or her own coin. Give them each the print-out of the Coin of the Month page for their coin so they can become an expert on that coin.
  2. Direct the students to take notes and summarize the main points about the coin. They should include the physical characteristics and the history of the coin.
  3. Have each student write his or her findings in a report and also include a sketch of the coin.
  4. Have each student create a timeline with his or her report.
  5. As a class, develop a larger timeline based on each student’s independent work. The class can determine what years need to be included in the timeline. The timeline can be based on when the coins were minted or it can be based on the time period represented on the coin.
  6. Have each student read his or her report to the class and then place the report and sketch at the appropriate place on the class timeline.

Differentiated Learning Options

Have students present their timeline to other classes.

Enrichments/Extensions

Have each student create a list of 5 descriptive clues about their coin. Once each student has read their report to the class, play a game of “Name That Coin” to see what your students have retained.

Evaluate the written report and class presentation for whether the student has met the lesson objectives.

There are no related resources for this lesson plan.

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

Discipline: Social Studies
Domain: All Thematic Standards
Cluster: Culture and Cultural Diversity
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

Teachers should:

  • assist learners to understand and apply the concept of culture as an integrated whole that governs the functions and interactions of language, literature, arts, traditions, beliefs, values, and behavior patterns
  • enable learners to analyze and explain how groups, societies, and cultures address human needs and concerns
  • guide learners as they predict how experiences may be interpreted by people from diverse cultural perspectives and frames of reference
  • encourage learners to compare and analyze societal patterns for transmitting and preserving culture while adapting to environmental and social change
  • enable learners to assess the importance of cultural unity and diversity within and across groups
  • have learners interpret patterns of behavior as reflecting values and attitudes which contribute to or pose obstacles to cross-cultural understanding
  • guide learners in constructing reasoned judgments about specific cultural responses to persistent human issues
  • have learners explain and apply ideas, theories, and modes of inquiry drawn from anthropology and sociology in the examination of persistent issues and social problems

Discipline: Social Studies
Domain: All Thematic Standards
Cluster: Time, Continuity, and Change
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

Teachers should:

  • assist learners to understand that historical knowledge and the concept of time are socially influenced constructions that lead historians to be selective in the questions they seek to answer and the evidence they use
  • help learners apply key concepts such as time, chronology, causality, change, conflict, and complexity to explain, analyze, and show connections among patterns of historical change and continuity
  • enable learners to identify and describe significant historical periods and patterns of change within and across cultures, including but not limited to, the development of ancient cultures and civilizations, the emergence of religious belief systems, the rise of nation-states, and social, economic, and political revolutions
  • guide learners in using such processes of critical historical inquiry to reconstruct and interpret the past, such as using a variety of sources and checking their credibility, validating and weighing evidence for claims, searching for causality, and distinguishing between events and developments that are significant and those that are inconsequential
  • provide learners with opportunities to investigate, interpret, and analyze multiple historical and contemporary viewpoints within and across cultures related to important events, recurring dilemmas, and persistent issues, while employing empathy, skepticism, and critical judgment; and enable learners to apply ideas, theories, and modes of historical inquiry to analyze historical and contemporary developments, and to inform and evaluate actions concerning public policy issues.

Discipline: Social Studies
Domain: All Thematic Standards
Cluster: Individual Development and Identity
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

Teachers should:

  • assist learners in articulating personal connections to time, place, and social/cultural systems
  •  help learners to appreciate and describe the influence of cultures, past and  present, upon the daily lives of individuals
  • assist learners to describe how family, religion, gender, ethnicity, nationality, socioeconomic status, and other group and cultural influences contribute to the development of a sense of self
  • have learners apply concepts, inquiry, methods, and theories in the study of human growth and development, learning, motivation, behavior, perception, and personality
  • guide learners as they analyze the interactions among ethical, ethnic, national, and cultural factors in specific situations
  • help learners to analyze the role of perceptions, attitudes, values, and beliefs in the development of personal identity and their effect upon human behavior
  • have learners compare and evaluate the impact of stereotyping, conformity, acts of altruism, discrimination, and other behaviors on individuals and groups
  • help learners understand how individual perceptions develop, vary, and can lead to conflict
  • assist learners as they work independently and cooperatively within groups and institutions to accomplish goals
  • enable learners to examine factors that contribute to and damage one’s mental health; and analyze issues related to mental health and behavioral disorders in contemporary society

Discipline: Social Studies
Domain: All Thematic Standards
Cluster: Civic Ideals and Practices
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

Teachers should:

  • assist learners in understanding the origins and continuing influence of key ideals of the democratic republican form of government, such as individual human dignity, liberty, justice, equality, and the rule of law
  • guide learner efforts to identify, analyze, interpret, and evaluate sources and examples of citizens’ rights and responsibilities
  • facilitate learner efforts to locate, access, analyze, organize, synthesize, evaluate, and apply information about selected public issues—identifying, describing, and evaluating multiple points of view and taking reasoned positions on such issues
  • provide opportunities for learners to practice forms of civic discussion and participation consistent with the ideals of citizens in a democratic republic
  • help learners to analyze and evaluate the influence of various forms of citizen action on public policy
  • prepare learners to analyze a variety of public policies and issues from the perspective of formal and informal political actors
  • guide learners as they evaluate the effectiveness of public opinion in influencing and shaping public policy development and decision-making
  • encourage learner efforts to evaluate the degree to which public policies and citizen behaviors reflect or foster the stated ideals of a democratic republican form of government
  • support learner efforts to construct policy statements and action plans to achieve goals related to issues of public concern
  • create opportunities for learner participation in activities to strengthen the “common good,” based upon careful evaluation of possible options for citizen action

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