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Past and Present

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Summary

Students will be able to identify George Washington and the current president. Students will be able to distinguish between events in the past and the present.

Coin Type(s)

  • Quarter

Coin Program(s)

  • 50 State Quarters

Objectives

  • Students will be able to identify George Washington and the current president.
  • Students will be able to distinguish between events in the past and the present.

Major Subject Area Connections

  • Language Arts
  • Social Studies

Grades

  • Kindergarten
  • First grade

Class Time

Sessions: Three
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 the presidency.

Terms and Concepts

  • Quarter
  • Reverse (back)
  • Obverse
  • President
  • Present
  • Past

Materials

Preparations

  • Make copies of the “Past and Present” page (1 per student).
  • Make an overhead transparency of the following:
    • An image of your state’s quarter reverse (if available)
    • An image of the quarter obverse
    • “Past and Present” page
  • Locate an age-appropriate text relating to George Washington (see examples under “Materials”).
  • Locate a picture of George Washington (see examples under “Materials”).
  • Locate a picture of the current president.
  • Locate an age-appropriate text relating to the current president.

Worksheets and Files

Lesson plan, worksheet(s), and rubric (if any) at www.usmint.gov/kids/teachers/lessonPlans/pdf/221.pdf.

Session 1

  1. Describe the 50 State Quarters® Program for background information, if necessary, using the example of your own state, if available. Then display the transparency or photocopy of a your state’s quarter reverse.
  2. Display an overhead transparency of a quarter obverse and ask the students to identify what they see. Students should respond that they see the front (obverse) of a quarter.
  3. Have students identify what is on the quarter. The students should respond that there are words, numbers, and a picture on the quarter.
  4. Have students guess who is pictured on the quarter. If necessary, explain to the students that the figure on the quarter is George Washington. Ask the students what they know about George Washington. Write student responses on chart paper.
  5. Explain to the students that they will be learning more about George Washington.
  6. Introduce the selected text. Ask students to generate predictions about what is occurring during different parts of the text.
  7. Read the text aloud to the group. During the reading, attend to any unfamiliar vocabulary.
  8. Ask the students what they learned about George Washington. Add student responses to the chart paper. Responses may include that George Washington helped this land become a country and that he was the first president of the United States.
  9. Explain to the students that George Washington lived a long time ago, before any of the students were born.
  10. Introduce the idea that things that happened a long time ago happened in the “past.” Explain to the students that they will be learning more about this concept in the following sessions.

Session 2

  1. Display the overhead transparency of the quarter obverse. Have students recall who is pictured on this coin.
  2. Ask the students to share what they remember about George Washington from the story. If necessary, review the chart paper from the previous session.
  3. Display a picture of George Washington and the current president. Ask students what these two people have in common. Students should respond that both of these people are presidents of the United States.
  4. Explain to the students that they will be learning more about the current president.
  5. Introduce the selected text. Ask the students to generate some predictions about what is occurring during different parts of the text.
  6. Read the text aloud to the group. During the reading, attend to any unfamiliar vocabulary.
  7. Ask the students what they learned. Write student responses on chart paper.
  8. Explain to the students that things happening today are in the present. Have students generate a list of activities they’ve done today. Responses may include brushing their teeth, riding the bus to school, eating lunch, etc. Explain that these activities happen in the present.
  9. Lead a class discussion on the difference between the present and the past.
  10. On the board, write the words “present” and “past” next to each other.
  11. Show pictures of Washington and the current president. Have students identify which person is president now. When students respond correctly, tape the picture of the current president under the word “present.”
  12. Then, have students identify which person was president in the past. When students correctly identify Washington’s picture, tape his picture under the word “past.”
  13. Explain to students that they will be further exploring the idea of present and past in the coming session.

Session 3

  1. Review the terms “past” and “present,” showing the presidential portraits from the previous session.
  2. Write the words “a long time ago” in the “past” column on the chart on the chalkboard from the previous session. Explain to the students that these words tell you that something happened in the past. Have the students identify other words that indicate something happened in the past. Guide the students to respond that words like “yesterday,” “last year,” “last week,” and “before” indicate that something happened in the past.
  3. Write the word “now” in the “present” column. Explain to the students that this word tells you that something is happening in the present. Have students identify other words that indicate something is happening in the present. Guide the students to respond that words like “today,” “now,” and “currently” indicate that something is happening in the present.
  4. Explain to the students that they will explore this idea further by completing the “Past and Present” worksheet. Distribute one handout to each student.
  5. Read the first sentence aloud to the students. Explain that they will decide whether the statement is about something happening in the present or in the past. If the statement is happening in the present, the students will circle the word “present.” If the statement is happening in the past, the students will circle the word “past.”
  6. Allow an appropriate amount of time for the students to complete the activity. When they have finished, direct the students to check their work with a partner.
  7. Review the activity using an overhead transparency of the “Past and Present” page. Read each sentence aloud and have the students identify which word they circled. If necessary, have the students correct their work.

Differentiated Learning Options

For students new to the United States, read an age-appropriate introduction to the presidency, such as:

  • I Want To Be President (Sesame Street) by Michaela Muntean and Tom Brannon
  • Hail To The Chief: The American Presidency by Don Robb and Alan Witschonke
  • The President: America’s Leader (Good Citizenship Library) by Mary Oates Johnson

Enrichments/Extensions

  • Extend this activity to include the future. Students can create timelines of their lives and include a section of the timeline that includes what they think their future will be like.
  • Select a picture of another president (such as Teddy Roosevelt) and add this person to the comparison. Students will explore the idea of the past in terms of a long time ago and a long, long time ago.

Use the worksheets and class participation 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.

This lesson plan is not associated with any National Standards.