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Ben Franklin Half Dollar

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Summary

Students will research Franklin's contributions to American culture and technological progress through his quotes and inventions. They will also analyze research in order to design a coin honoring Ben Franklin’s contributions.

Coin Type(s)

  • Half dollar

Coin Program(s)

  • Generic

Objectives

  • Students will research Benjamin Franklin’s contributions to American culture and technological progress through his quotes and inventions.
  • Students will analyze research in order to design a coin honoring Franklin’s contributions.

Major Subject Area Connections

  • Language Arts

Minor/supporting Subject Area Connections

  • Art
  • Social Studies
  • Technology

Grades

  • Kindergarten
  • First grade
  • Second grade
  • Third grade
  • Fourth grade
  • Fifth grade
  • Sixth grade
  • Seventh grade

Class Time

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

Groupings

  • Whole group
  • Small groups
  • Individual work

Terms and Concepts

  • Ben Franklin half dollar
  • Coins
  • Quotes
  • Research
  • Turkey
  • Writing

Materials

  • Internet access
  • Art Materials: chart paper, markers, white paper, compasses, pencils, colored pencils, black fine line pens
  1. Ask your students to share what they know about Benjamin Franklin. Use a graphic organizer, such as a web, to organize the student's responses. Guide the students to understand that Benjamin Franklin was an inventor, author, statesman, philosopher, scientist, and printer.
  2. Have the students in small groups investigate Franklin's inventions using the Internet, books and other library resources.
  3. Have the students compile a list of at least five of Benjamin Franklin's inventions with a brief written description of each. Have the students rank the inventions in order of importance to American culture and progress. Record the rankings and discuss them as a class.
  4. Have the students search for examples of quotes from Benjamin Franklin. Invite the students to share the quotes with the class. As a class, discuss the meaning of the quotes.
  5. Discuss how these quotes reflect life during Benjamin Franklin's time and how those quotes might be interpreted today. For example, "Mind Your Business" was Franklin's proposal for a national motto and he meant that if each American paid attention to his or her own business, all America would prosper.
  6. Have each of the students select an invention or quote. Invite the students to develop a coin that best represents how Benjamin Franklin contributed to American culture and progress.
  7. Have the students share their coin. They can share it orally or have a checklist of requirements.
  8. As a class, discuss how Benjamin Franklin may have reacted to having his likeness on a coin.

Differentiated Learning Options

  • Have students write a focus statement paragraph, reason paragraph, or conclusion paragraph.
  • Have students dictate their writing to a scribe.

Enrichments/Extensions

  • Have students research how the United States Mint chooses who and what are featured on coins.
  • Have students write newspaper articles from the 1770s announcing a new Benjamin Franklin coin.

Technology Extensions

Have students create a new coin on computer and then write a letter explaining the designs. Have students submit the designs to the United States Mint for consideration.

Use the coins and quotes to assess 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: Language Arts
Domain: All Language Arts Standards
Cluster: Applying Knowledge to Language
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

  • Students apply knowledge of language structure, language conventions (e.g., spelling and punctuation), media techniques, figurative language, and genre to create, critique, and discuss print and nonprint texts.

Discipline: Social Studies
Domain: All Thematic Standards
Cluster: Time, Continuity, and Change
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

Teachers should:

  • assist learners to understand that historical knowledge and the concept of time are socially influenced constructions that lead historians to be selective in the questions they seek to answer and the evidence they use
  • help learners apply key concepts such as time, chronology, causality, change, conflict, and complexity to explain, analyze, and show connections among patterns of historical change and continuity
  • enable learners to identify and describe significant historical periods and patterns of change within and across cultures, including but not limited to, the development of ancient cultures and civilizations, the emergence of religious belief systems, the rise of nation-states, and social, economic, and political revolutions
  • guide learners in using such processes of critical historical inquiry to reconstruct and interpret the past, such as using a variety of sources and checking their credibility, validating and weighing evidence for claims, searching for causality, and distinguishing between events and developments that are significant and those that are inconsequential
  • provide learners with opportunities to investigate, interpret, and analyze multiple historical and contemporary viewpoints within and across cultures related to important events, recurring dilemmas, and persistent issues, while employing empathy, skepticism, and critical judgment; and enable learners to apply ideas, theories, and modes of historical inquiry to analyze historical and contemporary developments, and to inform and evaluate actions concerning public policy issues.

Discipline: Technology
Domain: All Research and Information Fluency
Cluster: Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information.
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

  • Plan strategies to guide inquiry
  • Locate, organize, analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and ethically use information from a variety of sources and media
  • Evaluate and select information sources and digital tools based on the appropriateness to specific tasks
  • Process data and report results

Discipline: Visual Arts and Music
Domain: K-4 Visual Arts
Cluster: Standard 1: Understanding and applying media, techniques, and processes
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

  • Students know the differences between materials, techniques, and processes
  • Students describe how different materials, techniques, and processes cause different responses
  • Students use different media, techniques, and processes to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories
  • Students use art materials and tools in a safe and responsible manner

Discipline: Visual Arts and Music
Domain: 5-8 Visual Arts
Cluster: Standard 1: Understanding and applying media, techniques, and processes
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

  • Students select media, techniques, and processes; analyze what makes them effective or not effective in communicating ideas; and reflect upon the effectiveness of their choices
  • Students intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of their experiences and ideas

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: All Language Arts Standards
Cluster: Research
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

  • Students conduct research on issues and interests by generating ideas and questions, and by posing problems. They gather, evaluate, and synthesize data from a variety of sources (e.g., print and nonprint texts, artifacts, people) to communicate their discoveries in ways that suit their purpose and audience. 

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: All Language Arts Standards
Cluster: Print/Non-print Texts
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

  • Students read a wide range of print and non-print texts to build an understanding of texts, of themselves, and of the cultures of the United States and the world; to acquire new information; to respond to the needs and demands of society and the workplace; and for personal fulfillment. Among these texts are fiction and nonfiction, classic and contemporary works. 

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: All Language Arts Standards
Cluster: Applying Strategies to Writing
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

  • Students employ a wide range of strategies as they write and use different writing process elements appropriately to communicate with different audiences for a variety of purposes.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: All Language Arts Standards
Cluster: Applying Strategies to Text
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

  • Students apply a wide range of strategies to comprehend, interpret, evaluate, and appreciate texts. They draw on their prior experience, their interactions with other readers and writers, their knowledge of word meaning and of other texts, their word identification strategies, and their understanding of textual features (e.g., sound–letter correspondence, sentence structure, context, graphics).

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: All Language Arts Standards
Cluster: Effective Communication
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

  • Students adjust their use of spoken, written, and visual language (e.g., conventions, style, vocabulary) to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences and for different purposes.

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

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