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Pioneers in Space

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Summary

Students will learn the meaning of the word “pioneer” and will be introduced to some aviation pioneers who came from Ohio. The students will also preview and listen to an age-appropriate text relating to the design of the Ohio quarter reverse.

Coin Type(s)

  • Quarter

Coin Program(s)

  • 50 State Quarters

Objectives

  • Students will learn the meaning of the word “pioneer” and will be introduced to some aviation pioneers who came from Ohio.
  • The students will also preview and listen to an age-appropriate text relating to the design of the Ohio quarter reverse.

Major Subject Area Connections

  • Language Arts
  • Science
  • Social Studies

Grades

  • Kindergarten
  • First grade

Class Time

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

Groupings

  • Whole group

Background Knowledge

The students should have basic knowledge of:

  • Air and space travel
  • Preview and prediction skills (reading)

Terms and Concepts

  • Pioneer
  • Symbol
  • Quarter
  • Reverse (back)

Materials

  • 1 large brightly colored box
  • 1 sign reading “Mystery Box”
  • Box contents relating to aviation and space travel (such as pictures of air or spacecraft, toy planes or spacecraft, or airline tickets) as well as an Ohio quarter
  • 1 overhead projector (optional)
  • 1 overhead transparency (or photocopy) of the Ohio quarter reverse
  • 1 copy of an age appropriate text that relates to space travel, such as:
    • Touchdown Mars! An ABC Adventure by Peggy Wethered
    • Zoom! Zoom! I’m Off to the Moon by Dan Yaccarino
    • Me and My Place in Space by Joan Sweeney
    • Space Race by Jerry Zimmer
    • Curious George Gets a Medal by H.A. Rey
  • Picture-story paper
  • Crayons
  • Pencils

Preparations

  • Make an overhead transparency (or photocopy) of the Ohio quarter reverse.
  • Locate a text that relates to space travel (see suggestions under “Materials”).
  • Make copies of the “Pioneers in Space” picture-story paper (1 piece per student).

Worksheets and Files

Lesson plan, worksheet(s), and rubric (if any) at www.usmint.gov/kids/teachers/lessonPlans/pdf/235.pdf.

Session 1

  1. Place in plain view of the students a box labeled “Mystery Box.” Examine the box periodically throughout the morning. When students ask you what’s in it, respond with “You’ll have to wait and see.”
  2. When you’re ready to begin the lesson, bring the box to the front of the classroom and ask the students if they noticed the box during the day. What made them curious? Tell the students that they can look into the box, but first ask “Who would look in this box if they thought it might have something spooky in it? Who would look in this box if they thought it might have something dangerous in it?”
  3. Introduce the Ohio quarter by taking it out of the Mystery Box. Tell them that this coin highlights some people who were curious about the unknown, just like they were with the Mystery Box.
  4. 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 the Ohio quarter reverse.
  5. As a class, discuss the symbols on the coin’s reverse. Ask the students what type of things they think interested the people on the quarter. (They should guess that these people were interested in exploring ideas relating to flight.) Explain that these people knew that flight and space travel were dangerous, things that no one had ever done before, but they were brave and still wanted to learn all they could about these topics.
  6. Give the students a brief explanation of the accomplishments of the famous aviation pioneers from Ohio: the Wright brothers (developed and flew the first working airplane), John Glenn (the first American to travel around the Earth in a space craft), and Neil Armstrong (the first man to walk on the moon). Support this step with visuals (items related to aviation and space travel).

Session 2

  1. Introduce the students to the selected text.
  2. As a group, preview the text and illustrations to generate predictions about the story.
  3. Read the selected text to the class and see if their predictions were correct.
  4. After reading the story, discuss journeys that the students themselves have taken. What did they need to pack for the trip? What did they want to pack? Was there anything they wanted to bring that they were not able to bring?
  5. After discussing needs versus wants when preparing for space travel, distribute the “Pioneers in Space” picture-story paper. Ask the students to write and illustrate a response to the question “What would you pack for a trip into space?”

Differentiated Learning Options

Take students on a teacher-guided virtual field trip to outer space. Be sure to prompt students to offer information learned as they act out their journey.

Enrichments/Extensions

  • Explain to the students that, in March 2002, the Space Shuttle Columbia traveled into space carrying brand new Ohio quarters. Ask the students to imagine what would happen if one of the quarters escaped from the space ship. Have your students write and draw what they imagine happening to the escaped coin.
  • Share additional stories about space travel or other types of pioneers that are ageappropriate for your students.

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: Language Arts
Domain: L.K Language
Grade(s): Grade K
Cluster: Conventions of Standard English
Standards:

  • L.K.1. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
    • Print many upper- and lowercase letters.
    • Use frequently occurring nouns and verbs.
    • Form regular plural nouns orally by adding /s/ or /es/ (e.g., dog, dogs; wish, wishes).
    • Understand and use question words (interrogatives) (e.g., who, what, where, when, why, how).
    • Use the most frequently occurring prepositions (e.g., to, from, in, out, on, off, for, of, by, with).
    • Produce and expand complete sentences in shared language activities.
  • L.K.2. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
    • Capitalize the first word in a sentence and the pronoun I.
    • Recognize and name end punctuation.
    • Write a letter or letters for most consonant and short-vowel sounds (phonemes).
    • Spell simple words phonetically, drawing on knowledge of sound-letter relationships.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: L.1 Language
Grade(s): Grade K
Cluster: Conventions of Standard English
Standards:

  • L.1.1. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
    • Print all upper- and lowercase letters.
    • Use common, proper, and possessive nouns.
    • Use singular and plural nouns with matching verbs in basic sentences (e.g., He hops; We hop).
    • Use personal, possessive, and indefinite pronouns (e.g., I, me, my; they, them, their, anyone, everything).
    • Use verbs to convey a sense of past, present, and future (e.g., Yesterday I walked home; Today I walk home; Tomorrow I will walk home).
    • Use frequently occurring adjectives.
    • Use frequently occurring conjunctions (e.g., and, but, or, so, because).
    • Use determiners (e.g., articles, demonstratives).
    • Use frequently occurring prepositions (e.g., during, beyond, toward).
    • Produce and expand complete simple and compound declarative, interrogative, imperative, and exclamatory sentences in response to prompts.
  • L.1.2. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
    • Capitalize dates and names of people.
    • Use end punctuation for sentences.
    • Use commas in dates and to separate single words in a series.
    • Use conventional spelling for words with common spelling patterns and for frequently occurring irregular words.
    • Spell untaught words phonetically, drawing on phonemic awareness and spelling conventions.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.K Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade K
Cluster: Craft and Structure
Standards:

  • RI.K.4. With prompting and support, ask and answer questions about unknown words in a text.
  • RI.K.5. Identify the front cover, back cover, and title page of a book.
  • RI.K.6. Name the author and illustrator of a text and define the role of each in presenting the ideas or information in a text.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.K Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade K
Cluster: Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
Standards:

  • RI.K.7. With prompting and support, describe the relationship between illustrations and the text in which they appear (e.g., what person, place, thing, or idea in the text an illustration depicts).
  • RI.K.8. With prompting and support, identify the reasons an author gives to support points in a text.
  • RI.K.9. With prompting and support, identify basic similarities in and differences between two texts on the same topic (e.g., in illustrations, descriptions, or procedures).

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.1 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade K
Cluster: Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
Standards:

  • RI.1.7. Use the illustrations and details in a text to describe its key ideas.
  • RI.1.8. Identify the reasons an author gives to support points in a text.
  • RI.1.9. Identify basic similarities in and differences between two texts on the same topic (e.g., in illustrations, descriptions, or procedures).

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

  • Students read a wide range of literature from many periods in many genres to build an understanding of the many dimensions (e.g., philosophical, ethical, aesthetic) of human experience. 

Discipline: Science
Domain: K-4 Content Standards
Cluster: Earth and Space Science
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

  • Properties of Earth materials
  • Objects in the sky
  • Changes in earth and sky

Discipline: Science
Domain: K-4 Content Standards
Cluster: Science in Personal and Social Perspectives
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

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