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Design a Coin

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Money Lesson

Return to Were In the Money: Lessons for Teaching About Money

Subjects

Arts & Humanities
  • Language Arts
  • Visual Arts
Educational Technology
  • History
    • State History

Grades

  • K-2
  • 3-5
  • 6-8
  • 9-12
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Brief Description

Students research a state, then design a quarter for it. Use dough or foil to create the coin!

Objectives

Students will
  • study state quarters that have already been issued.
  • learn about those states.
  • apply principles/concepts as they design coins for states whose coins have not been issued.
  • use dough and/or foil to create their coins (instructions provided).

Keywords

coin, money, quarter, state, capital, nickname, mint, president, foil, dough, plaster, currency

Materials Needed[shopmaterials]

Lesson Plan

In this lesson, students learn about state quarters that have already been issued by the U.S. Mint. They then design a quarter for a state that has not yet had a quarter issued.

Before the Lesson
Before the lesson, collect a handful of quarters that are part of the 50 State Quarters Program.

Through 2002, 20 state quarters have been minted. Five more quarters will be issued in each successive year, 2003 to 2006. The coins are being issued in the sequence in which the states became part of the United States; each coin is issued on the date of the states anniversary. See the 10-year schedule.

To start the lesson, share the quarters you have collected. Point out that each state coin has a different image on it. (If a coin has already been issued for your state, you might want to talk about that coin first.) Discuss the images. Ask students to suggest why each image might have been selected to appear on a states coin. Write students responses to that question on a chalkboard or chart.

After establishing that each state coin has an image of an important person, place, or thing related to that state, you might introduce students to the The Coins Are Coming page on the U.S. Mints kids Web site, H.I.P Pocket Change. If students have access to computers, they might look at the page and its linked pages, which include details about each of the 20 coins issued between 1999-2002 and about the coins that will be issued in 2003. After students have had time to browse the pages, talk about new things they learned.

You might create a special work sheet for students to complete in a computer learning center in your classroom or in the computer lab. The worksheet should provide a chart for students to complete. The chart might include spaces for information about all 25 coins that have been issued (through 2003) or it might include spaces for information about only 5 to 10 of the coins you or the students select to learn about. All the columns on the chart can be filled in using information on the The Coins Are Coming Web page and its linked state pages. The columns of the chart might include any or all of the following:
  • State Name
  • State Nickname
  • State Capital
  • Statehood Date
  • Coin Description


The Coin Description area of the chart should provide the most space for students to write in; in that space they record at least two statements about the images on each state coin.

After students are familiar with the coins and how they represent the states, assign each student a state for which a coin has yet to be issued. Provide each student with a copy of the Design a Coin work sheet. Have students research the state they have been assigned and design a coin they think would be an appropriate representation of that state. (Very young students might design a coin for their own state.) Students should also write a paragraph that explains why they selected the images they included on their coins.

To learn about their assigned states, students might use encyclopedias and other library resources. If students have computer access, the following Internet resources should be helpful. Appropriate grade levels for each resource are indicated in parentheses.

Extension Activities
  • Have students use plaster of Paris or one of these play-dough recipes to make a "coin."
    How to Make the Best Play Dough Ever
    Cooked Play Dough Recipes
    Home-Made Playdough for Children
    Play Dough Options
    (An alternate recipe available from KidsCanMakeIt.com.) Students use the dough to fill the cap of a large plastic container; containers for whipped cream, soft margarine, and yogurt might work for this activity. When the dough is still soft, or when the plaster is dry, have students use a stick with a dull point (wooden skewers used in cooking work well) to carve into the dough/plaster the image they created for their state coin.
  • After the dough coins are completed, give each student a sheet of aluminum foil large enough to cover her/his coin. Students can use their fingers or a cotton ball pressed between their fingers to rub on the foil to create relief images of their coins. Display the students silver coins on a bulletin board.
  • You might elect to have students create the foil relief coins only. Students should place paper under the foil as they draw (engrave) their coin design into the foil with a toothpick, blunt pencil, pen cap, skewer, or other tool that is not too sharp.
  • Find more 50 States Quarters: Lesson Plans and other coin-related lessons on the U.S. Mints Web site.

Assessment

Student coins should include at least three state-related symbols. The paragraphs they write about their coins should offer a solid reason for including each image on the coin. Students might vote for the three coin designs that best represent their assigned states.

Lesson Plan Source

Education World

Submitted By

Gary Hopkins

National Standards

FINE ARTS: Visual Arts

    GRADES K - 4
    NA-VA.K-4.1 Understanding and Applying Media, Techniques, and Processes
    NA-VA.K-4.3 Choosing and Evaluating A Range of Subject Matter, Symbols, and Ideas
    NA-VA.K-4.5 Reflecting Upon and Assessing the Characteristics and Merits of Their Work and the Work of Others
    NA-VA.K-4.6 Making Connections Between Visual Arts and Other Disciplines
    GRADES 5 - 8
    NA-VA.5-8.1 Understanding and Applying Media, Techniques, and Processes
    NA-VA.5-8.3 Choosing and Evaluating A Range of Subject Matter, Symbols, and Ideas
    NA-VA.5-8.5 Reflecting Upon and Assessing the Characteristics and Merits of Their Work and the Work of Others
    NA-VA.5-8.6 Making Connections Between Visual Arts and Other Disciplines
    GRADES 9 - 12
    NA-VA.9-12.1 Understanding and Applying Media, Techniques, and Processes
    NA-VA.9-12.3 Choosing and Evaluating A Range of Subject Matter, Symbols, and Ideas
    NA-VA.9-12.5 Reflecting Upon and Assessing the Characteristics and Merits of Their Work and the Work of Others
    NA-VA.9-12.6 Making Connections Between Visual Arts and Other Disciplines
LANGUAGE ARTS: English SOCIAL SCIENCES: Economics SOCIAL SCIENCES: Geography TECHNOLOGY

Return to this weeks Lesson Planning article, Were In the Money!.

See more math lessons and resources in the following Education World archives:

Originally published 02/07/2003
Last updated 02/28/2010

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