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Let’s Learn About the United States

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Summary

Students will explore the 50 State Quarters to learn about each state.

Coin Type(s)

  • Quarter

Coin Program(s)

  • 50 State Quarters

Objectives

  • Students will become familiar with the names of the states and will learn about some special features of each state.
  • Students will recognize the reverse images of the various quarters and be able to identify the coins by state name.

Major Subject Area Connections

  • Social Studies

Grades

  • Kindergarten
  • First grade
  • Second grade

Class Time

Sessions: One
Session Length: 20-30 minutes
Total Length: 0-45 minutes

Groupings

  • Whole group

Terms and Concepts

  • Coins
  • Quarter
  • State
  • Symbols
  • U.S. Coins

Materials

  • Internet and printing accessibility
  • Coloring pages from "Cents of Color" on the U.S. Mint's H.I.P. Pocket Change™ Web site at http://www.usmint.gov/kids/index.cfm?Filecontents=/kids/games/index.cfm
  • Age-appropriate information about each state, cut and pasted onto the coloring page for that state's quarter
  • Books about the United States

  • Big map of the United States with spots to add the 50 State Quarters

Preparations

Prior to begining this lesson, print the appropriate state quarter coloring page from the U.S. Mint's H.I.P. Pocket Change™ Web site, for each of your students.

  1. The teacher will introduce a coin of the week (a new state quarter each week) by holding up the enlarged pictures found on the U.S. Mint's H.I.P. Pocket Change™ "Coloring Pages" page.
  2. If the coin has been put in circulation, the teacher will show the coin and place it in the giant U.S. State Map.
  3. Have your students examine the images on the quarter’s reverse and then share what they think the state is famous for.
  4. Ask if any of your students have ever visited the state. Have them tell why they visited that state and what they did.
  5. Then taking books out on the states that have pictures, share with the children some of the special features of each state.

Differentiated Learning Options

Have the students color the coloring pages as they're discussed each week.  File the returned pages, then bind each child’s book of states at the end of the school year and they will have a lasting memory of the states and a book they can add to through their elementary school years.

Enrichments/Extensions

  • Students may look for that coin at home and bring it in to share with the class.
  • To further discussion about each state, at the end of each week, let your students know what the following week’s “Coin of the Week” will be.  If any of your students have visited that state, encourage those students to bring souvenirs that they may have from their trip (photographs, pamphlets, etc.).

Every week, review the information that the students learned in the past week. What was the state quarter they looked at? What did they learn about the state?

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