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Teacher Feature

Teacher Feature

From Coast to Coast

Overview

Students will learn about the geography of the United States and how to calculate the distance between points on a map using a map scale.  Using the 1795 Half Eagle as a starting point, students will learn more about the historic and present-day locations of the United States Mint.

Activity

After reading the October 2008 Coin of the Month, discuss the unique fact that the Half Eagle ($5) coin is the only denomination that has been struck at every one of the eight branches of the United States Mint—the four that have closed and the four that are at work today.  Record the location of all United State Mint facilities, past and present, as well as their current status (open or closed) on a piece of chart paper.  This information in the table provided below.

Location Status
Philadelphia, PA Open
New Orleans, LA Closed
Dahlonega, GA Closed
Charlotte, NC Closed
Carson City, NV Closed
Denver, CO Open
San Francisco, CA Open
West Point, NY Open

Locate a map outline of the United States that contains a map scale.  Distribute one of these maps to each student.  Using a large classroom map or atlas, have students locate each of the eight United States Mint facilities and mark the location on their individual map.  Once each location has been marked, have the students use the map scale to determine the distance between each of the facilities and complete a table (such as the one below) with the distance in both actual miles and the scale measurement (centimeters, inches, etc).  Have the students record their answers on the  "From Coast to Coast" worksheet.  Review the worksheets with the class.

Extension

Have students visit the "Historic Highlights" timeline to learn more about the United States Min's history and facilities.  As a class, create your own timeline about the historic highlights of your school.  As a class, visit "Inside the United States Mint" to learn more about the United States Mint facilities, take a virtual tour of the Mint, or learn how to visit one of the two United States Mint Facilities that gives tours.

Standards

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

Measurement:  Students will use a map scale and basic multiplication and division skills to convert the distance between two points.

Social Studies Standards

People, Places, and Environment:  Students will use a map of the United States to locate United States Mint facilities, both former and current.



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