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And the Nominee Is…

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Teams of students research commemorative coin honorees and share the reasons for the recognition with the class. Then the teams select individuals they believe deserve to be on a coin, write short essays explaining their selection, and illustrate coin designs.

Coin Type(s)

  • None

Coin Program(s)

  • Commemoratives
  • Generic


Students will develop evaluation, paragraph writing, and art skills.

Major Subject Area Connections

  • Language Arts

Minor/supporting Subject Area Connections

  • Art


  • Third grade
  • Fourth grade
  • Fifth grade

Class Time

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


  • Whole group
  • Small groups
  • Individual work

Terms and Concepts



  • Research books
  • Internet access
  • Paper
  • Art supplies


Select individuals who have been honored on U.S. commemorative coins, as many as you will have groups.

  1. Divide the class into small groups, and assign one of your selected honorees to each group.
  2. Have each group research its commemorative coin honoree and why the person was selected. Then have the groups present their findings.

  3. As a class, brainstorm a list of reasons why people are honored on commemoratives.

  4. Have the groups select a person they believe should be honored with a commemorative coin. Caution them that they will need to be able to cite at least one reason for each team member.

  5. Have each team member write a paragraph supporting his or her reason for choosing the person and draw a coin design that reflects the reason.

  6. Have the teams compile the paragraphs and drawings into a report. In addition, ask them to select their team's most convincing reason.

  7. Have each team present the chosen paragraph and drawing to the whole class.

Technology Extensions

Have each team create a multimedia slide for its honoree, and then combine all the cards into a presentation.

Use a standard writing rubric that includes any criteria set by you or the students to judge the merits of the commemorative coin presentations.

There are no related resources for this lesson plan.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.4 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade 4
Cluster: Key Ideas and Details

  • RI.4.1. Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
  • RI.4.2. Determine the main idea of a text and explain how it is supported by key details; summarize the text.
  • RI.4.3. Explain events, procedures, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text, including what happened and why, based on specific information in the text.

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. 

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: All Language Arts Standards
Cluster: Applying Strategies to Writing
Grade(s): Grades K–12

  • Students employ a wide range of strategies as they write and use different writing process elements appropriately to communicate with different audiences for a variety of purposes.