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Teacher Feature

Hold That Thought


Using the example of the 1923 Monroe Doctrine Centennial commemorative half dollar, students will research and learn about the importance and meaning of honoring historic documents and policy statements on coins.


After reading the October 2006 Coin of the Month page, ask the students to discuss and summarize the information in small groups.  Explain to the students that historic documents and policy statements are referenced on coins.  Display images of two other examples:  The Constitution Bicentennial commemorative silver dollar (1987) and the Connecticut quarter (the Connecticut Charter and Charter Oak).

Create a K-W-L chart and record student responses in the "K" section of the chart.  As a class, complete the "W" section of the chart.

Allow the students time to research information about these historical documents through available texts and bookmarked Internet sites.  The students should understand the meaning and significance of the documents in American history as well as why they were chosen to be honored on our coins.  Invite the students to share their findings with the class and complete the "L" part of the chart.  As a class review the completed K-W-L chart.  Have the students create a poster that includes facts and images that summarize the importance of honoring historic documents and policy statements on coins.


Have the students choose another important document or policy in history that they think should be represented on a coin.  Have them design the obverse and reverse images and decide on the monetary value of the coin.


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

Gather and use information for research purposes:  Students will locate materials to assist in research for their essay.

Social Studies Standards

Power, Authority, and Governance:  Students will read about the Monroe Doctrine and other historic documents and policy statements to understand how they are significant to our history.

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