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Teacher Feature

Extraordinary Compilations


Students will understand why people have various types of collections.  Students will interpret the class collection information.  Students will use details about the Morgan Dollar to understand what collection characteristics it may have.


People love to collect things-all kinds of things.  As a class, discuss and record on chart paper the types of things people like to collect.  Some examples of collections and reasons why they're collected may include:

  • Souvenirs, so people can remember places, people, or special events.
  • Key rings, to see how many different designs they can find.
  • Tools, to trace the way making them has changed over the years.
  • Bottles, to enjoy the beauty of different shapes and colors.

Invite the students to bring in and share their own collections with the class.  Encourage the students to share details about their collections.  What or who inspired them to start collecting?  What special pieces are they currently in search of and why?  Where do they look for their special pieces?

Have the students create a bar graph to show the types of collections all the students in the class have.  Have the students write a summary paragraph of their findings.

Use the overhead transparency to create a bar graph and have the students check their data against it.

As a class, discuss some possible characteristics of collections.  Record the student responses on chart paper.  Students may point out that:

  • Collections are started based on popularity (baseball cards).
  • An item in a collection may be attractive (rocks or marbles).
  • Collections may reflect a specific time period (toys from the 1800s).
  • The design or date sequence may influence type of collection (coins).
  • An item may be rare with a story behind (postage stamps).

Use coins as an example and discuss possible reasons people like to collect coins.  Ideas can include:

  • Coins can be souvenirs-both of the event they show and of how you got the coins.
  • Coins come in many designs and metals.
  • The way coins are made has changed over the years.
  • To learn about history.
  • To learn about foreign lands.
  • An interest in art, science, animals, or other theme.
  • Learning about one type of coin.
  • To display and share with others.
  • For the challenge of completing a collection.
  • As an investment in our culture.
  • To enjoy belonging to a coin club or meeting fellow collectors from around the world.
  • For the excitement of finding rare coins in your pockets!

After reading the August 2006 Coin of the Month page, discuss the key ideas about the Morgan Dollar.  Use the chart paper as a reference and ask the students what collection characteristics the Morgan Dollar may have.

Make a "Connection"

For additional information about coin collecting to share with students, use Inspector Collector's Coin Course as a resource to learn more about the "why and who" of collecting.


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

Use of grammatical and mechanical conventions in written compositions :  Students will write a summary paragraph of their findings.

Mathematics Standards

Data Analysis and Probability :  Students will create and interpret the results of a bar graph about the students' collections.

Social Studies Standards

Production, Distribution and Consumption :  Students will understand how people organize for the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services such as silver and coins.

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