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Coin Motion

Printable view


Students will recognize coins and their values and count coin groups.

Coin Type(s)

  • Cent
  • Nickel
  • Dime
  • Quarter

Coin Program(s)

  • 50 State Quarters


Students will recognize coins and their values and count coin groups.

Major Subject Area Connections

  • Math

Minor/supporting Subject Area Connections

  • Music
  • Physical Education


  • Kindergarten
  • First grade

Class Time

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


  • Whole group
  • Small groups

Background Knowledge

Students should have a basic knowledge of cents.

Terms and Concepts

  • Addition
  • Coins
  • Penny
  • Nickel
  • Dime
  • Quarter
  • Value
  • Gross motor/locomotor skills


  • 9 posters (or more, if teacher adjusts Steps below)
  • Coins or coin manipulatives consisting of cents (pennies), nickels, dimes, and quarters—enough for each student to get one
  • 4 orange traffic cones (or alternate items)
  • Markers
  • Tape
  • Music (upbeat)


  • Write the numbers one through five on the first five posters. Teachers should adjust these numbers to meet their classrooms needs. For example, the number of posters could increase to ten.
  • On the remaining posters, write the four different coin names (quarter, dime, nickel, and penny), and the coin values (for example, “5¢”). Tape these to the cones.

Worksheets and Files

Lesson plan, worksheet(s), and rubric (if any) at

Session 1

Note: If the classroom does not allow for the physical movement necessary for this lesson, move to another space or adjust the lesson to limit movement in a safe way.

  1. Review the value of the penny, nickel, dime and quarter as a class.
  2. Display the posters (depicting the coin name and/or value for a penny, nickel, dime and quarter) on the traffic cones and place around the room.
  3. Give each student a coin and ask them not to look at it, to hold it in their hands tightly.
  4. Explain to your students that when the music begins they will move around the room using a single locomotor pattern (skipping, sliding, running, jogging, jumping) in a safe manner. When the music stops, ask them to go to the cone that has their coin information on it. For instance, if they have a penny in their hands they will go to the cone that says “Penny 1¢.” Model this behavior.
  5. Start the music, and after a period of time stop the music.
  6. When the music stops, instruct students to look at the coin and walk slowly to the cone that displays that coin’s name and value.
  7. Once all students have gone to a cone, have them reveal their coins to one another to make sure every one is standing by the correct cone. If their coin doesn’t match that of the group’s, assist the students in moving to the correct cone.
  8. Once students have settled, have them count the number of coins in the group.
  9. Go around the room asking each of the four coin groups, “How many (insert coin name) did I hand out?” Check the group’s answer and review with the class the name, value and look of the coin.
  10. Collect the coins and randomly redistribute. Play the music again and continue with another locomotor skill.

Session 2

  1. Give each student a penny. They may look at the coins this time. Explain to your students that when the music begins they will move around the room using a single locomotor pattern (skipping, sliding, running, jogging, jumping) in a safe manner. When the music stops, students will get into groups of a designated number. For example, if the teacher holds up the number 4, the students get into groups of 4.
  2. Start the music, and after a period of time stop the music.
  3. When the music stops, hold up one of the five posters (with numbers one through five written clearly).
    Note: Remember that the number of posters, or the numbers represented on the posters, can be adjusted as each teacher sees fit.
  4. Direct students to get into groups made up of that number. (If there is not an even amount of students have the remaining students join another group.)
  5. Ask the students to find the sum value of the coins in that group.
  6. Go around the room asking each of the groups, “What is the total value of coins in your group?” Check the group’s answer.
  7. Repeat this process several times altering the numbers in the groups to be formed.
  8. Collect the coins and play again using the nickel, the dime, and the quarter in turn.

Differentiated Learning Options

  • To compensate for a lack of space, have students perform their movement in a stationary place.
  • For students who are mobility impaired, choose locomotor skills which are appropriate to their capabilities.
  • For students who may need additional help, add an image of the associated coin to each poster.


Challenge more advanced students to assemble into groups that add up to a designated total. For example, hold up a sign that says 30¢ and have the students try to form groups that are equal to 30¢.

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.CC Counting and Cardinality
Grade(s): Grade K
Cluster: Compare numbers

  • K.CC.6. Identify whether the number of objects in one group is greater than, less than, or equal to the number of objects in another group, eg, by using matching and counting strategies.
  • K.CC.7. Compare two numbers between 1 and 10 presented as written numerals. 

Discipline: Visual Arts and Music
Domain: K-4 Music
Cluster: Standard 8: Understanding relationships between music, the other arts, and disciplines outside the arts
Grade(s): Grades K–4

  • Students identify similarities and differences in the meanings of common terms (e.g., form, line, contrast) used in the various arts
  • Students identify ways in which the principles and subject matter of other disciplines taught in the school are interrelated with those of music (e.g., foreign languages: singing songs in various languages; language arts: using the expressive elements of music in interpretive readings; mathematics: mathematical basis of values of notes, rests, and time signatures; science: vibration of strings, drum heads, or air columns generating sounds used in music; geography: songs associated with various countries or regions)

Discipline: Physical Education
Domain: All Physical Literacy
Cluster: Motor skills
Grade(s): Grades K–4

  • Standard 1: The physically literate individual demonstrates competency in a variety of motor skills and movement patterns.

Discipline: Physical Education
Domain: All Physical Literacy
Cluster: Movement and performance
Grade(s): Grades K–4

  • Standard 2: The physically literate individual applies knowledge of concepts, principles, strategies and tactics related to movement and performance.

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

  • Build new mathematical knowledge through problem solving
  • Solve problems that arise in mathematics and in other contexts
  • Apply and adapt a variety of appropriate strategies to solve problems
  • Monitor and reflect on the process of mathematical problem solving

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