skip navigation
Left Navigation Links

 

Past and Present

Printable view

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.

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: Social Studies
Domain: All Thematic Standards
Cluster: Civic Ideals and Practices
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

Teachers should:

  • assist learners in understanding the origins and continuing influence of key ideals of the democratic republican form of government, such as individual human dignity, liberty, justice, equality, and the rule of law
  • guide learner efforts to identify, analyze, interpret, and evaluate sources and examples of citizens’ rights and responsibilities
  • facilitate learner efforts to locate, access, analyze, organize, synthesize, evaluate, and apply information about selected public issues—identifying, describing, and evaluating multiple points of view and taking reasoned positions on such issues
  • provide opportunities for learners to practice forms of civic discussion and participation consistent with the ideals of citizens in a democratic republic
  • help learners to analyze and evaluate the influence of various forms of citizen action on public policy
  • prepare learners to analyze a variety of public policies and issues from the perspective of formal and informal political actors
  • guide learners as they evaluate the effectiveness of public opinion in influencing and shaping public policy development and decision-making
  • encourage learner efforts to evaluate the degree to which public policies and citizen behaviors reflect or foster the stated ideals of a democratic republican form of government
  • support learner efforts to construct policy statements and action plans to achieve goals related to issues of public concern
  • create opportunities for learner participation in activities to strengthen the “common good,” based upon careful evaluation of possible options for citizen action

Discipline: Social Studies
Domain: All Thematic Standards
Cluster: Individuals, Groups, and Institutions
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

Teachers should:

  • help learners understand the concepts of role, status, and social class and use them in describing the connections and interactions of individuals, groups, and institutions in society
  • help learners analyze groups and evaluate the influences of institutions, people, events, and cultures in both historical and contemporary settings
  • help learners to understand the various forms institutions take, their functions, their relationships to one another and how they develop and change over time
  • assist learners in identifying and analyzing examples of tensions between expressions of individuality and efforts of groups and institutions to promote social conformity
  • help learners to describe and examine belief systems basic to specific traditions and laws in contemporary and historical societies
  • challenge learners to evaluate the role of institutions in furthering both continuity and change
  • guide learner analysis of the extent to which groups and institutions meet individual needs and promote the common good in contemporary and historical settings
  • assist learners as they explain and apply ideas and modes of inquiry drawn from the behavioral sciences in the examination of persistent social issues and problems

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