A Change for the Best
Courage comes in many forms. Helen Keller was courageous because although it was extremely difficult for her to reach her goals, she learned to read and write despite her physical limitations.
Whether it's conquering a fear, or learning something new, we set goals for ourselves all the time. After introducing your students to the amazing woman featured on the Alabama quarter, discuss the fact that as a class they have many goals. Ask the students to think of what some of these goals might be. They could range from improving to making friends. Ask your students to think of a time when they've set a personal goal for themselves. Was it difficult or easy for them to achieve?
As a class, brainstorm a list of goals your students have for the year. From the list, instruct each student to select a goal that they would personally like to accomplish. Have each student complete the attached "A Change In Me" worksheet about their aspiration. Once each student has decided upon a goal and how they will go about reaching it, distribute a copy of the "My Own Change" worksheet to each student. On this page, each student will design a quarter reverse that depicts themselves reaching the goal that they have set. Rather than placing a state's name at the top of the coin, each student should write their name. Where a state quarter would list the year that the state joined the union, each student should list the year that they were born. The students should list the current year at the bottom of their coins directly above the motto "E Pluribus Unum." Once your students have completed both worksheets, mount their work on construction paper, and place them on a bulletin board entitled "A Change for the Better."
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:
Language Arts Standards
Demonstrate competence in the general skills and strategies of the writing process: Students will write clear and logical sentences to explain how they will reach their goals.
Social Studies Standards
Individual Development & Identity: Students will reflect introspectively and will determine what personal changes they'd like to make based upon personal interests and developmental goals.