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What’s in a Name?

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Summary

Students will examine state names that are derived from American Indian words and phrases. They will effectively communicate ideas through the use of clear descriptive writing.

Coin Type(s)

  • Quarter

Coin Program(s)

  • 50 State Quarters

Objectives

Students will examine state names that are derived from American Indian words and phrases. They will effectively communicate ideas through the use of clear descriptive writing.

Major Subject Area Connections

  • Language Arts
  • Social Studies

Minor/supporting Subject Area Connections

  • Art

Grades

  • Second grade
  • Third grade

Class Time

Sessions: One
Session Length: 30-45 minutes
Total Length: 0-45 minutes

Groupings

  • Whole group
  • Individual work

Background Knowledge

Students should have a basic knowledge of:

  • American Indians
  • Written language

Terms and Concepts

  • Quarter
  • Reverse (back)
  • Descriptive writing

Materials

  • 1 overhead projector (optional)
  • Minnesota Quarter Reverse page
  • 1 class map of the United States
  • Index cards
  • 1 brown paper bag
  • Writing paper
  • 1 pen
  • An assortment of classroom items such as ruler, chalk, pencil
  • Descriptive Coin page
  • Crayons
  • Chart paper/markers

Preparations

  • Make copies of the “Descriptive Coin” page (1 per student).
  • Make an overhead transparency (or photocopy) of the “Minnesota Quarter Reverse” page.
  • Gather at least six classroom items (such as ruler, chalk, pencil) for the students to describe.

Worksheets and Files

Lesson plan, worksheet(s), and rubric (if any) at www.usmint.gov/kids/teachers/lessonPlans/pdf/271.pdf.

  1. 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 Minnesota quarter reverse. Locate Minnesota on a classroom map. Note its position in relation to your school’s location.
  2. With the students, examine the coin’s reverse. Have the students point out the elements of this design, including the outline of the state of Minnesota, the pine trees, the water, the bird (loon), the individuals fishing, and the words “Land of 10,000 Lakes.”
  3. As a class, discuss what the students can infer about the state of Minnesota by looking at this coin. They should be able to note that the state has many lakes and that people participate in outdoor activities, including fishing.
  4. Direct the students to look closely at the name “Minnesota.”
  5. Explain that the name of the state doesn’t come from an English word. Ask the studentswhere they think this state’s name may have come from. Ask the students to consider who may have lived in this part of the country when it became part of the United States. If necessary, explain that this word comes from an American Indian word.
  6. Explain that many of our state names come from American Indian words or phrases, and usually these phrases are very descriptive. Ask students what it means to say something is descriptive; the students should understand that descriptive writing is written to help the reader see, hear, smell, taste, and feel the concept.
  7.  Explain that the name “Minnesota” comes from Native American words that mean “Skytinted water.” Show students a map of the United States and have them point out Minnesota.  Have the students consider the meaning of “sky-tinted water.”
  8. Have students expand on the “descriptions” using examples with sensory information. Write responses on chart paper.
  9. Explain that the name “Michigan” comes from a word meaning “great water,” “Wyoming” means “large prairie place,” and Wisconsin means “grassy place.” These names give a good description of the state’s landscape. Have the students infer information about these states.
  10. Explain to the students that they are going to use descriptive language like the American Indians used to describe classroom items.
  11. Hold up a pen and explain that the word “pen” doesn’t tell you what this item does. Ask the students to come up with some more descriptive names for this item. An idea could include “ink-spitting writing tool.”
  12. Repeat this activity with a different item found in the classroom, such as chalk, a map, or a book. Record student descriptions on chart paper.
  13. Introduce a class game called “verbal charades.” Distribute five index cards to each student.
  14. Show the students an item and direct them to write the English word for this item on an index card. Underneath the English word, the students should write a descriptive phrase for this item.
  15. Repeat this activity with four more items. Direct the students to write the English word and a descriptive phrase for each item on a different card.
  16. Collect the index cards and place them into a paper bag.
  17. Pull an index card from the bag and read the descriptive phrase to the students. Direct the students to guess what the item is.
  18. Repeat this with the rest of the index cards.
  19. Distribute a “Descriptive Coin” page to each student. Direct the students to write their name at the top of the page.
  20. At the bottom of the page, the students should write a descriptive phrase about themselves.
  21. In the center of the coin outline, allow the students to draw a self-portrait.

Differentiated Learning Options

Let students with special needs dictate their descriptions of the classroom items, rather than writing them independently.

Enrichments/Extensions

Encourage your students to explore the history and traditions of the Sioux Indians, who were responsible for the name “Minnesota.”

Use the worksheets and class participation to assess whether the students have met the lesson objectives.

There are no related resources for this lesson plan.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: SL.2 Speaking and Listening
Grade(s): Grade 2
Cluster: Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas
Standards:

  • SL.2.4. Tell a story or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking audibly in coherent sentences.
  • SL.2.5. Create audio recordings of stories or poems; add drawings or other visual displays to stories or recounts of experiences when appropriate to clarify ideas, thoughts, and feelings.
  • SL.2.6. Produce complete sentences when appropriate to task and situation in order to provide requested detail or clarification. (See grade 2 Language standards 1 and 3 for specific expectations.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.2 Writing
Grade(s): Grade 2
Cluster: Text Types and Purposes
Standards:

  • W.2.1. Write opinion pieces in which they introduce the topic or book they are writing about, state an opinion, supply reasons that support the opinion, use linking words (e.g., because, and, also) to connect opinion and reasons, and provide a concluding statement or section.
  • W.2.2. Write informative/explanatory texts in which they introduce a topic, use facts and definitions to develop points, and provide a concluding statement or section.
  • W.2.3. Write narratives in which they recount a well-elaborated event or short sequence of events, include details to describe actions, thoughts, and feelings, use temporal words to signal event order, and provide a sense of closure.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: L.2 Language
Grade(s): Grade 2
Cluster: Conventions of Standard English
Standards:

  • L.2.1. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
    • Use collective nouns (e.g., group).
    • Form and use frequently occurring irregular plural nouns (e.g., feet, children, teeth, mice, fish).
    • Use reflexive pronouns (e.g., myself, ourselves)
    • Form and use the past tense of frequently occurring irregular verbs (e.g., sat, hid, told).
    • Use adjectives and adverbs, and choose between them depending on what is to be modified.
    • Produce, expand, and rearrange complete simple and compound sentences (e.g., The boy watched the movie; The little boy watched the movie; The action movie was watched by the little boy).
  • L.2.2. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
    • Capitalize holidays, product names, and geographic names.
    • Use commas in greetings and closings of letters.
    • Use an apostrophe to form contractions and frequently occurring possessives.
    • Generalize learned spelling patterns when writing words (e.g., cage --> badge; boy --> boil).
    • Consult reference materials, including beginning dictionaries, as needed to check and correct spellings.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: L.3 Language
Grade(s): Grade 2
Cluster: Conventions of Standard English
Standards:

  • L.3.1. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
    • Explain the function of nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs in general and their functions in particular sentences.
    • Form and use regular and irregular plural nouns.
    • Use abstract nouns (e.g., childhood).
    • Form and use regular and irregular verbs.
    • Form and use the simple (e.g., I walked; I walk; I will walk) verb tenses.
    • Ensure subject-verb and pronoun-antecedent agreement.
    • Form and use comparative and superlative adjectives and adverbs, and choose between them depending on what is to be modified.
    • Use coordinating and subordinating conjunctions.
    • Produce simple, compound, and complex sentences.
  • L.3.2. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
    • Capitalize appropriate words in titles.
    • Use commas in addresses.
    • Use commas and quotation marks in dialogue.
    • Form and use possessives.
    • Use conventional spelling for high-frequency and other studied words and for adding suffixes to base words (e.g., sitting, smiled, cries, happiness).
    • Use spelling patterns and generalizations (e.g., word families, position-based spellings, syllable patterns, ending rules, meaningful word parts) in writing words.
    • Consult reference materials, including beginning dictionaries, as needed to check and correct spellings.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.2 Writing
Grade(s): Grade 2
Cluster: Research to Build and Present Knowledge
Standards:

  • W.2.7. Participate in shared research and writing projects (e.g., read a number of books on a single topic to produce a report; record science observations).
  • W.2.8. Recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.
  • W.2.9. begins in grade 4.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.2 Writing
Grade(s): Grade 2
Cluster: Production and Distribution of Writing
Standards:

  • W.2.4. begins in grade 3.
  • W.2.5. With guidance and support from adults and peers, focus on a topic and strengthen writing as needed by revising and editing.
  • W.2.6. With guidance and support from adults, use a variety of digital tools to produce and publish writing, including in collaboration with peers.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.3 Writing
Grade(s): Grade 2
Cluster: Production and Distribution of Writing
Standards:

  • W.3.4. With guidance and support from adults, produce writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task and purpose. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 1–3.)
  • W.3.5. With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, and editing. (Editing for conventions should demonstrate command of Language standards 1-3 up to and including grade 3.)
  • W.3.6. With guidance and support from adults, use technology to produce and publish writing (using keyboarding skills) as well as to interact and collaborate with others.

This lesson plan is not associated with any National Standards.