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Teacher Feature

Teacher Feature

Coin Codes


In honor of the Navajo Code Talkers Medal, have your students crack coin codes!


Note:  Before the lesson, set your printer to landscape orientation.  Then, select and print out the Crack the Code handout and make enough copies for each student in the class.

After reading November 2004's Coin of the Month page with your students, challenge your students to see who can break your code the fastest.  After distributing the Crack the Code! handouts, begin a timer.

When the first student finishes, have the entire class stop working and hold their pencils up in the air.  Then, check the student's answers to see if he/she has broken the code correctly.  If the code reads, "Coins are History In Your Pocket", then he/she is the winner.  If not, have students continue working until one of them correctly breaks the code.


Challenge students to create their own coin codes for a homework assignment.  The next day in class, have students give their codes to other students to be broken.


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:

Mathematics Standards

Problem Solving:  Students will decipher a code and discern a hidden message.

Representation:  Students will create a code by assigning letters to different denominations of coins.

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