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I’ll Meet You in the Middle

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Summary

Students will demonstrate understanding of cause and effect. Students will understand customary units of measurement to find length. Students will calculate perimeter.

Coin Type(s)

  • Quarter

Coin Program(s)

  • 50 State Quarters

Objectives

  • Students will demonstrate understanding of cause and effect.
  • Students will understand customary units of measurement to find length.
  • Students will calculate perimeter.

Major Subject Area Connections

  • Math
  • Social Studies

Grades

  • Second grade
  • Third grade

Class Time

Sessions: Three
Session Length: 30-45 minutes
Total Length: 91-120 minutes

Groupings

  • Whole group
  • Pairs
  • Individual work

Background Knowledge

Students should have a basic knowledge of:

  • Transportation
  • Inches
  • Cause and effect
  • Measurement
  • Feet
  • Perimeter
  • Measuring to the nearest inch
  • Length
  • Rectangle

Terms and Concepts

  • Obverse (front)
  • Reverse (back)
  • Transcontinental Railroad
  • Yards

Materials

  • 1 overhead projector
  • 1 overhead transparency (or photocopy) of the "Utah Quarter Reverse" page
  • 1 overhead transparency of the "How Does it Measure Up?" worksheet
  • 1 class map of the United States
  • 1 class map of the World
  • Locate a copy of a text that provides basic information about the Transcontinental Railroad, such as:
    • The Transcontinental Railroad: A Primary Source History of America’s FirstCoast-To-Coast Railroad by Gillian Houghton
    • The Transcontinental Railroad by Linda Thompson
    • The Transcontinental Railroad by James P. Burger
    • The Transcontinental Railroad 1862–69 by Frank B. Latham
    • The Transcontinental Railroad In American History by R. Conrad Stein
  • Copies of the following:
    • "Cause and Effect" worksheet
    • "How Does it Measure Up?" worksheet
    • "All the Way Around and Down the Middle" worksheet
  • Chart paper
  • Markers
  • Pencils
  • Rulers
  • Yard sticks

Preparations

  • Make copies of the following:
    • "Cause and Effect" worksheet (1 per student)
    • "How Does it Measure Up?" worksheet (1 per student)
    • "All the Way Around and Down the Middle" worksheet (1 per student)
  • Make an overhead transparency of the following:
    • "Utah Quarter Reverse" page
    • "How Does it Measure Up?" worksheet
  • Locate texts that relate to basic historical information about the Transcontinental Railroad (see examples under "Materials").
  • Gather yardsticks for the activity in Session 3 (1 per student).
  • Place a piece of masking tape on the floor the length of your classroom for Session 3.
  • Measure the perimeter and distance down the center of your classroom in yards foraccuracy of responses in Session 3.

Worksheets and Files

Lesson plan, worksheet(s), and rubric (if any) at www.usmint.gov/kids/teachers/lessonPlans/pdf/262.pdf.

Session 1

  1. Introduce students to the selected text about the Transcontinental Railroad. As a group, preview the text and illustrations to generate observations about what is occurring at different points in the book. Read the selected text to the class and attend to any unfamiliar vocabulary.
  2. Ask the students to give key facts about the Transcontinental Railroad. Record the student responses on chart paper. Responses should include that there were two companies that built the railroads and connected the tracks, it was a very dangerous project, and it took many workers and a lot of time to complete.
  3. Describe the 50 State Quarters® Program for background information, if necessary, using the example of your own state, if available. Display the "Utah Quarter Reverse" overhead transparency. Locate Utah on a classroom map. Note its position in relation to your school’s location.
  4. With the students, examine the design on this coin’s reverse. Tell the students that the back of the coin is also called the reverse, and "obverse" is another name for the front of a coin. Have the students identify the images included in this coin design, including the trains and the golden spike.
  5. Read the coin inscription to the students. Show them the date at the top of the coin and tell them that is the date Utah became a state. Discuss the "Crossroads of the West" phrasing on the coin. Tell them that crossroads are where two roads cross or intersect. Ask the students to think of examples of crossroads in the hallways of the school or on roads near the school.
  6. Ask the students why they think the image on the coin might be important to Utah, and accept all responses. Lead a class discussion regarding the images and tell the students that the image of the trains and the words "Crossroads of the West" are part of a special event that took place in Utah on May 10, 1869. At Promontory Point, Utah, two sets of railroads tracks met to make the first railroad to cross the United States from the East Coast to the West. The large spike shown on the coin is the "golden spike" which is a symbol of the final spike to be struck into the tracks.
  7. As a class, have the students brainstorm reasons why people in the past may have wanted and needed the Transcontinental Railroad. Record the students’ responses on a new piece of chart paper. Tell the students they will look at the list again in another session.
  8. Write the words "cause" and "effect" in two columns on the board or on a piece of chart paper. Tell the students "cause" is why something happens and "effect" is what happens. Add the definitions to the chart paper. Provide the students with an example of cause and effect such as "it is raining during recess time so they can’t go outside." Ask the students to identify the cause and the effect in the example. Record raining under the "cause" column and staying inside or no recess under the "effect" column.
  9. Provide three other examples to the class and write the cause and effect of each example under the appropriate column.
  10. Distribute a "Cause and Effect" worksheet to each student. Review the directions and have the students work in pairs to complete the worksheet.
  11. Allow students sufficient time to complete the worksheet. As a class, review the answers and add examples of cause and effect from the worksheet to the chart.
  12. Collect the students’ worksheets.

Session 2

  1. Review the material covered in the previous session. Ask the students to think about the cause and effect of the Transcontinental Railroad.
  2. Add Transcontinental Railroad to the "Cause" column of the chart. Discuss what effects of completing the Transcontinental Railroad were and add them to the "Effects" column on the chart. Possible answers would include a faster route and more people traveling to and living in the west.
  3. Discuss modes of transportation with the students. Brainstorm ways we travel today and discuss how efficient and time saving it is for us. Remind the students that 1869 was a long time ago and many things we have today were not available then. Discuss modes of transportation of that time period with the students. Examples should include boats and wagons for carrying people and supplies.
  4. Use a map of the world as a visual aid and explain to the students that the boats and wagons took a long time and people were looking for a faster way to get across the country. The idea was that a train going across the entire country would be faster and connect the East and West Coasts.
  5. Display the "How Does it Measure Up?" overhead transparency. Discuss the directions and information with the students. Review with the students the definition of length (the measurement of the longest side of an object). List the customary units of length on chart paper. (1 foot =12 inches, 1 yard=36 inches, 1 mile= 1,760 yards or 5,280 feet.) Discusswhen it is appropriate to use each unit of length (mile vs. inch).
  6. Distribute the "How Does it Measure Up?" worksheet to each student. Explain to the students that they will use a ruler to measure objects in the classroom. Review measuring objects to the nearest inch with the students. Divide the class into pairs and distribute a ruler to each student. Give the students a list of objects to measure in the classroom.
  7. Allow a sufficient amount of time for the students to measure the objects and record their findings on the worksheet.
  8. As a class, review the answers and collect the students’ worksheets.

Session 3

  1. Review the content from the previous sessions.
  2. Tell the students that they will be completing another measurement activity in this session. Slowly walk around the perimeter of the classroom. Ask the students what the measure of the outside of an area is called. If necessary, tell them "perimeter." On the board, write the formula for the perimeter of a rectangle and explain to them it’s the measure of the length plus the length plus the width plus the width. On a piece of chart paper, write the term "perimeter," the definition and the formula.
  3. Walk on the straight line through the center of your classroom. Remind the students this isthe length of the room. Ask the students what unit of length would be best to measure the perimeter and length of the classroom. Students should respond "yard."
  4. Have the students predict which distance is the longest. Have the students predict which one would take longer to walk.
  5. Divide the students into pairs. Distribute a yard stick to each student. Discuss the yardstick with the students, reminding them that a yard is equal to 36 inches. Demonstrate how to use the yard stick and measure to the nearest yard by measuring an object in the classroom and recording the results on the chart paper.
  6. Distribute an "All the Way Around and Down the Middle" worksheet to each student. Review the directions and tell them this is their recording sheet. Tell the students they will be working with their partner to measure the perimeter and length of the classroom to the nearest yard.
  7. Divide the class in half. Half of the students begin this activity in each of the four corners of the room and the other half measures the room down the middle.
  8. Allow the students a sufficient amount of time to complete the activity.
  9. Review the data the students gathered. Record the findings on the chart paper and, using the formula, find the perimeter as a class. Compare the two pieces of data.
  10. Choose two students and tell the class that one student will walk the perimeter and the other will walk down the center. Have the class explain which student will complete their walk faster and why. Have one walk the perimeter of the room while the other walks through the center. Discuss the results.
  11. Collect the student’s worksheets.
  12. Display the chart paper from Session 1 and revisit the students’ ideas about the reasons people in the past may have wanted a Transcontinental Railroad. Discuss with the students how the perimeter activity relates to the creation of the Transcontinental Railroad.

Differentiated Learning Options

  • Allow students to work in small groups for the measurement portion of the lesson.
  • Provide one set of measurements for students for the "All the Way Around and Down the Middle" worksheet.

Enrichments/Extensions

  • Have students create a map highlighting the path and key cities along the Transcontinental Railroad.
  • Have students research and write a report about one of the railroad lines involved in the Transcontinental Railroad.
  • Have student "time" three students, one walking the perimeter, and the other two walking from the wall to the center of the room where they’ll meet like the railroads did. Have the students compare the time difference.
  • Have students look at a compass rose and label the room with the primary and intermediate directions.
  • Take anecdotal notes about the students’ participation in class discussions.
  • Review the students’ worksheets to evaluate whether they have met the lesson’s objectives.
There are no related resources for this lesson plan.

Discipline: Math
Domain: 2.MD Measurement and Data
Grade(s): Grade 2
Cluster: Measure and estimate lengths in standard units
Standards:

  • 2.MD.1. Measure the length of an object by selecting and using appropriate tools such as rulers, yardsticks, meter sticks and measuring tapes.
  • 2.MD.2. Measure the length of an object twice, using length units of different lengths for the two measurements; describe how the two measurements relate to the size of the unit chosen.
  • 2.MD.3. Estimate lengths using units of inches, feet, centimeters, and meters.
  • 2.MD.4. Measure to determine how much longer one object is than another, expressing the length difference in terms of a standard length unit.

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

  • 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

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: Mathematics
Domain: 3-5 Measurement
Cluster: Apply appropriate techniques, tools, and formulas to determine measurements.
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

In grades 3–5 all students should

  • develop strategies for estimating the perimeters, areas, and volumes of irregular shapes;
  • select and apply appropriate standard units and tools to measure length, area, volume, weight, time, temperature, and the size of angles;
  • select and use benchmarks to estimate measurements;
  • develop, understand, and use formulas to find the area of rectangles and related triangles and parallelograms; and
  • develop strategies to determine the surface areas and volumes of rectangular solids.

Discipline: Mathematics
Domain: 3-5 Measurement
Cluster: Understand measurable attributes of objects and the units, systems, and processes of measurement.
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

In grades 3–5 all students should

  • understand such attributes as length, area, weight, volume, and size of angle and select the appropriate type of unit for measuring each attribute;
  • understand the need for measuring with standard units and become familiar with standard units in the customary and metric systems;
  • carry out simple unit conversions, such as from centimeters to meters, within a system of measurement;
  • understand that measurements are approximations and how differences in units affect precision; and
  • explore what happens to measurements of a two-dimensional shape such as its perimeter and area when the shape is changed in some way.

Discipline: Mathematics
Domain: K-2 Measurement
Cluster: Apply appropriate techniques, tools, and formulas to determine measurements.
Grade(s): Grades K–12
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–12
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–12
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.   

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