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Teacher Feature

Teacher Feature

Time to Honor


In honor of the Marine Corps 230th Anniversary Silver Dollar, students will read and learn about the accomplishments of John Paul Jones and the Continental Marines.  Students will understand the importance of famous quotes and mottos.


After reading the July 2005, Coin of the Month page, discuss with students the importance of the roles played by John Paul Jones and the Continental Marines during the Revolutionary War.

Have the students research the significance of the following quotes and mottos associated with the Marines and John Paul Jones:

  • "Semper Fidelis" (Latin)
  • "Don't Tread on Me"
  • "I have not yet begun to fight"

Ask the students about the meaning of the mottos and quotes.  Why do they think these were so important?  Discuss other quotes or mottos by famous people in history with the students.  Discuss the function of well known quotes and mottos in creating a national culture.

Have students use Web sites about John Paul Jones such as:

Have students use Web sites about the Continental Marines, such as:

Have students read a book about John Paul Jones such as:

  • I Have Not Yet Begun to Fight: A Story about John Paul Jones by Elaine Marie Alphin
  • Victory at Sea: John Paul Jones and the Continental Navy by Scott P. Waldman
  • John Paul Jones: Hero of the Seas by Keith Brandt, Susan Elizabeth Swan
  • John Paul Jones: Sailor, Hero, Father of the American Navy by Evan Thomas


Direct the students research various state mottos such as California (Eureka!), West Virginia (Mountaineers Are Always Free), and New Jersey (Liberty and Prosperity).  Invite them to choose a state and research the background of the motto.  Have the students write a paragraph explaining the significance of the state's motto.


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:

Social Studies Standards

Individuals, Groups, and Institutions:  Students will learn about the significance of the Marine Corps and the role it played in the American Revolution.

People, Places, and Environment:  Students will learn about John Paul Jones and the part he played in the American Revolution.

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