Coins In Space!
As shown on the Ohio quarter, this state has quite a special history of flight! The Wright brothers, Neil Armstrong, and John Glenn all came from this "Birthplace of Aviation Pioneers."
On March 1, 2002 the crew of the Space Shuttle Columbia traveled into space carrying brand new Ohio State Quarters! Use this idea as a jumping off point for a creative writing activity with your students.
Direct your students to write an imaginative story in which one of these quarters somehow escapes from the space shuttle and ends up in the hands of an alien. As a class, brainstorm several ideas for this writing assignment, including different ideas for how the quarter might have slipped out of the shuttle, and also what the alien would learn about our country (and in particular this land called "Ohio") by looking at this coin.
After this pre-writing stage, have your students follow the standard writing process of draft writing, revising, editing, and then finally publishing their stories along with an illustration. Display these stories for the whole school to see by creating a bulletin board using black or blue background paper, and placing yellow stars around the stories. The board's title could be "Coins in Space!"
The project described above reflects some of the national standards of learning as defined by the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS), the National Council for Teachers of English (NCTE), and the International Society for Technology in Education. These standards are listed below:
Demonstrate competence in the general skills and strategies of the writing process: The students have the occasion to further explore the writing process by drafting and revising their own work. Through the writing and revision process, a teacher can evaluate his/her students' areas of difficulties, and can tailor future activities to strengthen these skills.
Use grammatical and mechanical conventions in written compositions: By following the writing process, students will gain practice at applying the grammatical and mechanical practices used with standard English.