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Treasure Hunt!

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Summary

Students will read maps and use a compass rose.

Coin Type(s)

  • Quarter

Coin Program(s)

  • DC and Territory Quarters

Objectives

Students will read maps and use a compass rose.

Major Subject Area Connections

  • Social Studies

Grades

  • Kindergarten
  • First grade

Class Time

Sessions: Two
Session Length: 20-30 minutes
Total Length: 46-90 minutes

Groupings

  • Whole group
  • Pairs
  • Individual work

Background Knowledge

Students should have a basic knowledge of maps.

Terms and Concepts

  • Quarter
  • Obverse (front)
  • Reverse (back)
  • Territory
  • Island
  • Compass rose
  • Cardinal directions
  • Yellow cedar flower
  • Yellow breast bird
  • Tyre palm tree

Materials

  • 1 overhead projector (optional)
  • 1 overhead transparency of each of the following:
    • “U.S. Virgin Islands Quarter Reverse” page
    • “United States and Territories Map”
    • “U.S. Virgin Islands Map”
    • “Which Way Will We Go?” worksheet
    • “This Way to the Treasure!” worksheet
  • Copies of the following:
    • “Which Way Will We Go?” worksheet
    • “This Way to the Treasure!” worksheet
  • 1 class map of the world which includes the U.S. Virgin Islands
  • Chart paper
  • Markers, pencils, crayons (red, blue, yellow and green)
  • Scissors
  • Tape player and blank tape
  • Treasure chest with small, inexpensive stickers or toys

Preparations

  • Make an overhead transparency (or photocopy) of each of the following:
    • “U.S. Virgin Islands Quarter Reverse” page
    • “United States and Territories Map”
    • “U.S. Virgin Islands Map”
    • “Which Way Will We Go?” worksheet
    • “This Way to the Treasure!” worksheet
  • Make copies of each of the following:
    • “Which Way Will We Go?” worksheet (1 per student)
    • “This Way to the Treasure!” worksheet (1 per pair)
  • Have an adult (other than the teacher) tape record the story in Session 2.

Worksheets and Files

Lesson plan, worksheet(s), and rubric (if any) at www.usmint.gov/kids/teachers/lessonPlans/pdf/143.pdf.

Session 1

  1. Describe the District of Columbia and U.S. Territories Quarters Program for background information, if necessary, using the example of your own state’s or territory’s quarter. When defining “US territory” (lowercase “t”) for your students, the United States Mint recognizes and uses the Department of the Interior’s definitions found at www.doi.gov/oia/Islandpages/political_types.htm. Locate the U.S. Virgin Islands on a classroom map. Note its position in relation to your school’s location.
  2. Display the “U.S. Virgin Islands Quarter Reverse” overhead transparency. Tell the students that the back of a coin is called the reverse, and “obverse” is another name for the front. Examine the coin design with the students. Read the inscription “United in Pride and Hope” and discuss with the students what they think it means.  Identify the yellow breast or banana quit bird as the official bird of the U.S. Virgin Islands, the yellow cedar or yellow elder flower as the official flower of the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the tree on the beach as a tyre palm. This tree is native to the U.S. Virgin Islands.
  3. Focus the students’ attention on the outlines of the islands. Tell the students that there are three main islands that make up the U.S. Virgin Islands. The islands are called St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Croix (CROY) (the largest). Display the “United States and Territories Map” overhead transparency and locate the U.S. Virgin Islands on it.
  4. Tell the students they will be going on a treasure hunt in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Ask the students what they think they need to bring with them while they hunt for treasure. Tell the students all treasure hunters need a map, and before the students can go on a treasure hunt, they need to know how to read a map.
  5. Display the “United States and Territories Map” overhead transparency. Point to the compass rose. Ask the students if they can tell you what it is. Tell the students the compass rose is a circle with arrows that point north, south, east, and west, the cardinal directions, on a map (or a compass). On chart paper, write the words “compass rose” and the definition.
  6. Tell the students the letters around the center represent the cardinal directions: north, south, east, and west. On the chart paper, draw a compass rose and add the cardinal directions. Tell the students to think of a baseball diamond to help them locate the cardinal directions: south is home plate; east is first base; north is second base; and west is third base. As a class, label the classroom’s cardinal directions.
  7. Return to the displayed “United States and Territories Map” overhead transparency.  Locate Washington, DC for the students and identify it as the starting point for the treasure hunt. Ask the students questions that will familiarize them with determining a cardinal direction. For example, ask the students in which direction they would go to get to the North Pole from Washington, DC. Then ask the students in which cardinal direction they would go to get to places like the Atlantic Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, and Florida.
  8. Display the “Which Way Will We Go?” overhead transparency. Read the directions to the students.
  9. Distribute a “Which Way Will We Go?” worksheet to each student. Allow an appropriate amount of time for the students to complete the worksheet.
  10. Display the student worksheets in the classroom.

Session 2

  1. Review the charts and information from the previous session about the U.S. Virgin Islands, the compass rose, and the cardinal directions.
  2. Display the “This Way to the Treasure!” overhead transparency. Review with the students the names of the islands and the compass rose and cardinal directions. Tell the students that, now that they know how to read the compass rose and cardinal directions, it is time to go on the treasure hunt.
  3. Divide the class into pairs. Distribute a “This Way to the Treasure!” worksheet to each pair. Each pair should have a red, blue, yellow, and green crayon to use during the treasure hunt.
  4. Tell the students they will use the compass rose to draw the cardinal directions they use to get to the treasure. On the “This Way to the Treasure!” overhead transparency, mark the cardinal position “North” with a red marker, “South” with a blue marker, “East” with a yellow marker, and “West” with a green marker. Tell the students to mark the compass rose on the “This Way to the Treasure!” worksheet with the same colors for each cardinal position.
  5. Play for the students the story below, which you previously had another adult record.  As you play the recording, pause after each paragraph to allow the pairs time to discuss in which cardinal direction they will go. After the pairs determine the cardinal direction, they should use the corresponding crayon to draw a line to their new position on the map. After all pairs have finished, model the correct direction by drawing the line on the overhead transparency with the correct colored marker.  Announce the activity by saying, “Hop on board the U.S.S. Pride and Hope and help the captain find the missing treasure!”
    • [Recording] “Ahoy there, mateys! This is your captain speaking. We’ve got to search the U.S. Virgin Islands for the missing treasure. The first clue says to take the boat north to the first island we’ll search, St. John. Look for the yellow breast bird. Is the treasure nearby? Draw a line north from the boat to St. John.”
    • [Teacher] Stop the recording and allow the pairs time to discuss the direction. Once the pairs have finished, ask the students in which cardinal direction the island of St. John lies in relation to the boat. After discussing the answer with the students, draw a red line from the boat north to the yellow breast bird on the island of St. John.
    • [Recording] “Arrgh! No sign of the treasure in St. John. Wait… look out! That crazy parrot nearly flew right into you! Luckily, I scared him away just in time. But what’s that paper that the parrot dropped on the ground? It’s a new clue!  The second clue says to go west to St. Thomas. Search the island for the yellow cedar flower. Let’s go see if the flowers are hiding the treasure! Draw a line  west from the island of St. John to the yellow cedar flower on the island of St. Thomas.”
    • [Teacher] Stop the tape player and allow the pairs time to discuss the directions.  Then ask the students in which cardinal direction St. Thomas lies if they are on St. John. After discussing the answer with the students, draw a green line from the bird on St. John west to the yellow cedar flower on St. Thomas.
    • [Recording] “Well, mateys, no treasure on the island of St. Thomas. But what’s  this in my pocket? Well, blow me down! It’s another clue! The third clue says to go south to the island of St. Croix. Search the island for the tallest tyre palm tree. Draw a line south from the yellow cedar flower on St. Thomas to the tyre palm tree on St. Croix. Hurry!”
    • [Teacher] Stop the recording and allow the pairs time to complete the directions.  Once the pairs have finished, ask the students in which cardinal direction the island of St. Croix lies if they are on St. Thomas. After discussing, draw a blue line from the flower on St. Thomas to the tyre palm tree on St. Croix.
    • [Recording] “Congratulations, Mateys! We have found the treasure! Let’s draw an “X” on the map to mark where we found the treasure! But ho, shiver me timbers! Do you hear that wind? We’ve got to get the treasure back on board the U.S.S. Pride and Hope before the tropical storm hits the U.S. Virgin Islands! Quick, draw a line east from the tyre palm tree on St. Croix to the boat.”
    • [Teacher] Stop the recording and allow the pairs time to complete the directions.  Once the pairs have finished, ask the students in which cardinal direction the boat lies if they are on the island of St. Croix. After discussing the answer with the students, draw a yellow line from the tyre palm tree on St. Croix to the boat.
  6. Review the worksheet with the class. After the pairs have completed the worksheet, collect the worksheets and allow the students to pick a treasure from the treasure box.
  7. Display the worksheets in the classroom.

Differentiated Learning Options

Provide pre-cut labels for the students to use on the worksheet.

Enrichments/Extensions

  • Have students create treasure hunting hats to wear is Session 2.
  • Have students illustrate and write about their treasure hunt experience.
  • Have students create their own treasure hunt, including a map with directions using cardinal positions.

Take anecdotal notes and use the students’ class participation and worksheets to evaluate whether the students have met the lesson objectives.

There are no related resources for this lesson plan.

This lesson plan is not associated with any Common Core Standards.

Discipline: Social Studies
Domain: All Thematic Standards
Cluster: People, Places, and Environment
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

Teachers should:

  • Enable learners to use, interpret, and distinguish various representations of Earth such as maps, globes, and photographs, and to use appropriate geographic tools
  • Encourage learners to construct, use, and refine maps and mental maps, calculate distance, scale, area, and density, and organize information about people, places, regions, and environments in a spatial context
  • Help learners to locate, distinguish, and describe the relationships among varying regional and global patterns of physical systems such as landforms, climate, and natural resources, and explain changes in the physical systems
  • Guide learners in exploring characteristics, distribution, and migration of human populations on Earth’s surface
  • Have learners describe how people create places that reflect culture, human needs, current values and ideals, and government policies
  • Provide opportunities for learners to examine, interpret, and analyze interactions of human beings and their physical environments, and to observe and analyze social and economic effects of environmental changes, both positive and negative
  • Challenge learners to consider, compare, and evaluate existing uses of resources and land in communities, regions, countries, and the world
  • Direct learners to explore ways in which Earth’s physical features have changed over time, and describe and assess ways historical events have influenced and been influenced by physical and human geographic features

The Department of the Treasury Seal