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Looks Aren’t Everything

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Summary

Students will observe the physical attributes, specifically the size, height, weight, and length of a quarter. Students will also explore the function of a quarter.

Coin Type(s)

  • Cent
  • Nickel
  • Dime
  • Quarter

Coin Program(s)

  • 50 State Quarters

Objectives

  • Students will observe the physical attributes, specifically the size, height, weight, and length of a quarter.
  • Students will also explore the function of a quarter.

Major Subject Area Connections

  • Art
  • Math
  • Science

Grades

  • Kindergarten
  • First grade

Class Time

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

Groupings

  • Whole group
  • Small groups
  • Individual work

Background Knowledge

Students should have a basic knowledge of:

  • Height
  • Weight
  • Length
  • Size
  • Coin values

Terms and Concepts

  • Quarter
  • Reverse (back)
  • Spend
  • Save

Materials

  • Chalkboard/chalk or chart paper/markers
  • Chalk or markers
  • Several different state quarters
  • 1 overhead transparency of the “Quarter Comparison” page
  • 1 overhead projector
  • Copies of the “Quarter Comparison” page
  • Lunch trays
  • Pencils
  • Dimes
  • Rulers
  • Staplers
  • Overhead transparencies (or photocopies) of several quarter reverses
  • 1 class map of the United States
  • 1 cent (penny)
  • 1 nickel
  • White construction paper
  • Crayons/colored pencils/markers

Preparations

  • Make one overhead transparency of the “Quarter Comparison” page.
  • Make copies of the “Quarter Comparison” page (1 per student).
  • Prepare group materials. Place the following items on a tray for each group: a ruler, a quarter, a stapler, a pencil, and a dime.
  • Make overhead transparencies (or photocopies) of several state quarter reverses.

Worksheets and Files

Lesson plan, worksheet(s), and rubric (if any) at www.usmint.gov/kids/teachers/lessonPlans/pdf/227.pdf.

Session 1

  1. Brainstorm with your students what they know about quarters. Write student responses down on a piece of chart paper or on the board under the label “What We Know About Quarters.”
  2. Separate the class into four small groups. Have each group sit together.
  3. Distribute to each group a different state quarter. Have each group observe the quarters. Ask students to discuss the attributes of quarters. Write down student responses on the same piece of chart paper or on the board. Collect the state quarters.
  4. Introduce the next activity by explaining to the students that they will be gaining even more knowledge of quarters by comparing them to other objects.
  5. Model how students will navigate through the activity by completing the first example on the overhead transparency of the “Quarter Comparison” page.
  6. Distribute one “Quarter Comparison” page to each student and one tray of materials to each group.
  7. Read each comparison aloud and instruct students to work together in their groups to come up with the answers they write down on the “Quarter Comparison” page.
  8. Check student comprehension by using the “Quarter Comparison” transparency. Invite students to come up to the overhead projector one at a time and circle the answer they recorded for each example on their “Quarter Comparison” page. Challenge students to justify how they know that their answer is correct.
  9. Redistribute the various state quarters from earlier in the lesson. Direct your students’ attention to the reverses of the quarters.
  10. Ask students to share what their quarter reverse looks like. Point out that these quarter reverses are different. Encourage students to discuss why they think that might be.

Session 2

  1. Describe the 50 State Quarters® Program for background information, if necessary, using the example of your own state, if available. Then display the transparencies or photocopies of the state quarter reverses. Locate the states on a classroom map. Note their positions in relation to your school’s location.
  2. Discuss with your students why they might know more about quarters now than when they started the lesson. Introduce the idea that quarters are not just something that we look at. Ask students what else we might need to know about quarters. Guide students to respond that they need to know how quarters are used. Introduce the idea that there is a lot to know about quarters and that today, they are becoming quarter experts.
  3. Ask your students where quarters are found. Remind students that there are no right or wrong answers. Guide students to share responses such as: a pocket, a piggy bank, a purse, a wallet, a candy machine, etc.
  4. Ask students to discuss the worth of a quarter. Show students a cent, a nickel, and a dime. Ask the students if they know the value of these coins. Ask the students which coin is worth the most? If necessary, explain that a quarter is worth more than all of the coins you have just shown them.
  5. Ask students what they can do with quarters. Remind students that there are no right or wrong answers. Guide students to give responses such as: spend, save, flip, borrow, give away, look at, compare, etc. Write down student responses on the chart paper or on the board.
  6. Distribute a piece of white construction paper to each student.
  7. Instruct students to draw a picture of what they would do with a quarter. Challenge students to write a phrase or sentence (using inventive spelling) underneath their picture that explains it.
  8. Allow an appropriate amount of time for students to complete this activity.
  9. Invite each student to share their drawing with the class and to explain it using their phrase or sentence.

Differentiated Learning Options

Provide students with measuring tools, such as nonstandard units and bucket scales.

Enrichments/Extensions

Have students perform similar comparison activities with the cent, nickel, dime, and quarter.

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.

Discipline: Math
Domain: K.MD Measurement and Data
Grade(s): Grade K
Cluster: Describe and compare measurable attributes
Standards:

  • K.MD.1. Describe measurable attributes of objects, such as length or weight.
    • Describe several measurable attributes of a single object

Discipline: Math
Domain: 1.MD Measurement and Data
Grade(s): Grade K
Cluster: Measure lengths indirectly and by iterating length units
Standards:

  • 1.MD.1. Order three objects by length; compare the lengths of two objects indirectly by using a third object.
  • 1.MD.2. Express the length of an object as a whole number of length units, by laying multiple copies of a shorter object (the length unit) end to end; understand that the length measurement of an object is the number of same-size length units that span it with no gaps or overlaps. Limit to contexts where the object being measured is spanned by a whole number of length units with no gaps or overlaps.

Discipline: Visual Arts and Music
Domain: K-4 Visual Arts
Cluster: Standard 6: Making connections between visual arts and other disciplines
Grade(s): Grades K–4
Standards:

  • Students understand and use similarities and differences between characteristics of the visual arts and other arts disciplines
  • Students identify connections between the visual arts and other disciplines in the curriculum

Discipline: Science
Domain: K-4 Content Standards
Cluster: Science in Personal and Social Perspectives
Grade(s): Grades K–4
Standards:

  • Personal health
  • Characteristics and changes in populations
  • Types of resources
  • Changes in environments
  • Science and technology in local challenges

Discipline: Mathematics
Domain: K-2 Measurement
Cluster: Apply appropriate techniques, tools, and formulas to determine measurements.
Grade(s): Grades K–4
Standards:

In K through grade 2 all students should

  • measure with multiple copies of units of the same size, such as paper clips laid end to end;
  • use repetition of a single unit to measure something larger than the unit, for instance, measuring the length of a room with a single meterstick;
  • use tools to measure; and
  • develop common referents for measures to make comparisons and estimates.

Discipline: Mathematics
Domain: K-2 Measurement
Cluster: Understand measurable attributes of objects and the units, systems, and processes of measurement.
Grade(s): Grades K–4
Standards:

In K through grade 2 all students should

  • recognize the attributes of length, volume, weight, area, and time;
  • compare and order objects according to these attributes;
  • understand how to measure using nonstandard and standard units; and
  • select an appropriate unit and tool for the attribute being measured.

Discipline: Mathematics
Domain: All Communication
Cluster: Instructional programs from kindergarten through grade 12 should enable all students to
Grade(s): Grades K–4
Standards:

  • organize and consolidate their mathematical thinking through communication 
  • communicate their mathematical thinking coherently and clearly to peers, teachers, and others;
  • analyze and evaluate the mathematical thinking and strategies of others; and
  • use the language of mathematics to express mathematical ideas precisely.