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Coin Count & Classification

Subjects

Money Lesson

Return to We’re In the Money: Lessons for Teaching About Money

Arts & Humanities

  • Language Arts

Educational Technology

Mathematics

  • Applied Math
  • Arithmetic
  • Statistics

Grades

  • K-2
  • 3-5
  • 6-8
  • 9-12
  • Advanced

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Brief Description

Students make a prediction about how 100 pennies will sort by decade or year and then test their predictions.

Objectives

Students will

  • make predictions and test their predictions.
  • create charts and/or graphs to illustrate data collected.

Keywords

money, coin, penny, currency, data, spreadsheet, Excel, Lincoln, graph, chart, predict

Materials Needed[shopmaterials]

  • pennies (at least 10 per student; see lesson plan for more information)
  • materials for creating graphs/charts
  • spreadsheet and/or graphing software and computer access (optional)

Lesson Plan

Before the Lesson
The day before doing this activity, ask students to bring pennies to school the following day. Students can bring in as many pennies as they can scavenge at home. The pennies will be used for an activity and returned the following day.

Option: Students can even get in some letter-writing practice; the day before the lesson, you might have them write letters to their parents explaining why they should bring in pennies the following day.

The next day, as students arrive at school, provide each student with a small plastic sandwich bag or another container in which to place their coins. Ask students to count the number of pennies in their containers and record that number so students take home the same number of pennies they brought in.

The Activity
Students do the first part of this activity on their own. Combine all students pennies into one container. Distribute pennies to students. Give each student the same number of pennies. Younger students might get 10-25 pennies; older students might be given 25-50 pennies.

First, instruct students to arrange their pennies into groups by date. They should arrange their pennies into groups of pennies minted

  • from the year 2000 to the current year,
  • in the 1990s,
  • in the 1980s,
  • and so on.

Have students record the number of pennies they have for each decade. [Note: If you teach very young students, you might skip the next step of the activity.] They then will arrange each decades pennies by year and record how many pennies they have for each year.

Have students create a chart showing the results of their penny survey.

You might create a work sheet on which students can collect their data.

Next, arrange students into pairs and have each pair combine their pennies and create a chart to show the combined results.

Then join pairs of students into groups of four, have them combine their data and create a chart to show the new results.

Technology Tip: If students are familiar with computer spreadsheet programs, they might record their data using one of those programs.

After students have displayed their data on a chart, invite each group to share their data. Students can create charts to show each groups totals by decade and/or by year. Then each student can add the group totals to determine the whole-class totals.

Extension Activities

  • Before you begin, explain the activity to students. When they know what is involved, ask them to make a prediction/hypothesis about what they will learn from counting and classifying the coins. Have them write their predictions by decade. When the activity is done, determine which students predictions most closely match his or her actual tallies.
  • Discuss what the data suggests about pennies in circulation in the United States. Work together (or let students work in small groups) to write a few generalizations about the data.
  • Students might use a graphing software program or the free, easy-to-use online Create a Graph tool to create bar graphs showing how the coins were distributed by decade and/or year.
  • Students might repeat this activity on another day with a different set of pennies to see how the two batches of data compare. Were the results similar to or different from the results of the first activity?

Assessment

Students write a paragraph summarizing the data they collected. That summary paragraph should include at least five factual statements about the data.

Lesson Plan Source

Education World

Submitted By

Gary Hopkins

National Standards

LANGUAGE ARTS: English

    GRADES K - 12
    Communication Skills
    Evaluating Data
    Developing Research Skills
    Applying Language Skills

MATHEMATICS: Number and Operations


  • GRADES Pre-K - 2
  • Understand Numbers, Ways of Representing Numbers, Relationships Among Numbers, and Number Systems
    Compute Fluently and Make Reasonable Estimates

  • GRADES 3 - 5
  • Understand Numbers, Ways of Representing Numbers, Relationships Among Numbers, and Number Systems
    Compute Fluently and Make Reasonable Estimates
    GRADES 6 - 8
    Understand Numbers, Ways of Representing Numbers, Relationships Among Numbers, and Number Systems
    Compute Fluently and Make Reasonable Estimates
    GRADES 9 - 12
    Understand Numbers, Ways of Representing Numbers, Relationships Among Numbers, and Number Systems
    Compute Fluently and Make Reasonable Estimates

MATHEMATICS: Data Analysis and Probability


  • GRADES Pre-K - 2
  • Formulate Questions That Can Be Addressed With Data and Collect, Organize, and Display Relevant Data to Answer
    Develop and Evaluate Inferences and Predictions That Are Based on Data

  • GRADES 3 - 5
  • Formulate Questions That Can Be Addressed With Data and Collect, Organize, and Display Relevant Data to Answer
    Develop and Evaluate Inferences and Predictions That Are Based on Data
    GRADES 6 - 8
    Formulate Questions That Can Be Addressed With Data and Collect, Organize, and Display Relevant Data to Answer
    Develop and Evaluate Inferences and Predictions That Are Based on Data
    GRADES 9 - 12
    Formulate Questions That Can Be Addressed With Data and Collect, Organize, and Display Relevant Data to Answer
    Develop and Evaluate Inferences and Predictions That Are Based on Data

MATHEMATICS: Communications

    GRADES Pre-K - 12
    Organize and Consolidate Their Mathematical Thinking Through Communication
    Communicate Their Mathematical Thinking Coherently and Clearly to Peers, Teachers, and Others

MATHEMATICS: Representation

    GRADES Pre-K - 12
    Create and Use Representations to Organize, Record, and Communicate Mathematical Ideas
    Use Representations to Model and Interpret Physical, Social, and Mathematical Phenomena

SOCIAL SCIENCES: Economics

    GRADES K - 4
    Money
    GRADES 5 - 8
    Money
    GRADES 5 - 8
    Money

TECHNOLOGY

    GRADES K - 12
    Basic Operations and Concepts
    Technology Productivity tools
    Technology Communications tools

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

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

02/07/2003

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