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By George, I Think We Have It!

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Summary

Students will identify George Washington and his contributions to the United States. Students will understand the main ideas of the Revolutionary War. Students will understand the basic concept of voting.

Coin Type(s)

  • Quarter

Coin Program(s)

  • Bicentennial coins

Objectives

  • Students will identify George Washington and his contributions to the United States.
  • Students will understand the main ideas of the Revolutionary War.
  • Students will understand the basic concept of voting.

Major Subject Area Connections

  • Language Arts
  • Social Studies

Grades

  • Second grade
  • Third grade

Class Time

Sessions: Two
Session Length: 30-45 minutes
Total Length: 46-90 minutes

Groupings

  • Whole group
  • Individual work

Background Knowledge

Students should have a basic knowledge of:

  • Coins
  • United States of America
  • President

Terms and Concepts

  • Obverse (front)
  • Reverse (back)
  • Government
  • Colonists
  • Revolutionary War
  • Declaration of Independence
  • Vote
  • Ballot

Materials

  • 1 overhead projector
  • 1 overhead transparency of each of following:
    • “Bicentennial Quarter Obverse” page
    • “Bicentennial Quarter Reverse” page
    • “Outline Map of the United States”
  • Copies of the following worksheets:
    • “Ballots”
    • “I Voted!”
  • Chart paper
  • Markers
  • Locate a text that gives information about the American Revolution, such as:
    • If You Lived At The Time Of The American Revolution by Kay Moore
    • American Revolution (Eyewitness Books) by DK Publishing
    • Heroes and Heroines of the American Revolution by Peter F. Copeland
  • Gather texts for the class library that give information about George Washington, such as:
    • A Picture Book of George Washington by David A. Adler
    • The Story of George Washington by Patricia Pingry
    • George Washington: Farmer, Soldier, President by Pamela Hill Nettleton
    • When Washington Crossed the Delaware by Lynne Cheney
  • Crayons or colored pencils
  • Ballot Box
  • Globe (optional)

Preparations

  • Make copies of the following:
    • “Ballots” page (1 sheet per 6 students)
    • “I Voted!” worksheet (1 per student)
  • Make an overhead transparency of each of the following:
    • “Bicentennial Quarter Obverse” page
    • “Bicentennial Quarter Reverse” page
    • “Outline Map of the United States”
  •  Locate a text that gives information about the American Revolution (see examples under“Materials”).
  • Locate texts that give information about George Washington to add to the classroom library (see examples under “Materials”).
  • Think of four issues on which the students can vote. Prepare tally forms by listing the four issues on four pieces of chart above T-charts with columns labeled “yes” and “no.”
  • Cut the ballots from the “Ballots” page for students to use in Session 2.
  • Create a simple ballot box out of a shoebox or cardboard box.

Worksheets and Files

Lesson plan, worksheet(s), and rubric (if any) at www.usmint.gov/kids/teachers/lessonPlans/pdf/269.pdf.

Session 1

  1. Display the “Bicentennial Quarter Obverse” overhead transparency. Ask the students what they know about the image. Make sure that the students understand the following:
    • The image is the obverse (front) of a quarter.
    • A quarter is worth 25 cents and four quarters equal one dollar.
    • The name of our country, “The United States of America,” is stamped at the top of the quarter.
    • The man on the quarter is George Washington, who was our country’s first president.
  2. Ask the students what else they know about the image. If necessary, explain that George Washington was the leader of the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. Washington believed that it was important that the people of the United States be able to express their knowledge and opinions in the way their government leads the nation. A “government” is a group of people in charge of ruling a country, state, or city. One example of how people express their views or “have a voice” in the government is by voting.
  3. Introduce the students to the selected text about the American Revolution. As a group, preview the text and illustrations to generate observations about what is occurring at different points in the text. Read the text or excerpts of the text to the class and attend to any unfamiliar vocabulary.
  4. Record key points of the text on a piece of chart paper. Be sure the students understand the following:
    • The colonists and Great Britain tried to settle their disagreements, but eventually, a war broke out and the colonies needed someone to lead the Continental Army against the British Army.
    • Colonial leaders chose George Washington to lead the Continental Army, the army of the colonies.
    • The war between the colonies and Great Britain is called the Revolutionary War.
    • When George Washington and the other colonists fought in the Revolutionary War, they were fighting to make the colonies a separate country where people could vote and have their own government and laws.
  5. Display the “United States Outline Map” overhead transparency. Tell the students that the first thirteen states were formed from the thirteen colonies after the Revolutionary War and that the states decided to come together as one single country called the United States of America. Point out the location of the 13 states on the map. Tell the students that, over time, more states were added to the United States and now there are 50 states. Highlight the location of your state and Washington, DC, the nation’s capital city, on the map.
  6. Display the “Bicentennial Quarter Reverse” overhead transparency. Discuss the details of the image and have the students give reasons why they think it may have been chosen. If necessary, explain to the students that the 13 stars represent the original 13 colonies and the soldier is playing a drum, which was used to help the soldiers all march together.
  7. Tell the students that this design is from the reverse (back) of a special quarter that was made for one year to commemorate the 200-year anniversary of the colonists’ independence from Great Britain, which we celebrate each July 4th. It was on July 4, 1776, that the Declaration of Independence was signed. Images chosen for coins like this often tell a story or remind people of a big idea.
  8. Remind the students that, after the Revolutionary War, George Washington was a hero to the people in the new United States of America. One of the reasons he fought was because he believed that people should have a voice in making the laws that govern them. One of the ways that Americans affect laws is by voting for their leaders and voting on issues. Tell the students that, when people vote in the United States, each person’s vote is equal to everyone else’s vote.

Session 2

  1. Display the chart paper and review the main ideas from Session 1.
  2. As a class, discuss the concept of voting. Tell the students that a “vote” is a way for a person to express their choice. The expression can be a raised hand, a spoken word, or a marked ballot. Sometimes voting is done in secret so that no one knows how anyone else voted; at other times, the votes are “open” for everyone to see.
  3. Tell the students that the class will vote on four different things. Show the students the first T-chart issue (see “Preparations”) and read the issue to the students. Have the students vote on the issue by raising their hands, record the votes using hash marks, and write the total number of marks at the bottom of each column. As a class, review which option received the most votes and possible reasons why. Show the students a second T-chart and repeat the procedure.
  4. Ask the students whether this type of voting was an example of an “open” or “secret” vote. The students should conclude that it was open voting because all the students could see how all the other students voted. Tell the students that one good thing about a secret vote—like marking ballots, which are later counted by a team—is that people can vote based on what they truly believe, not on the way other people want them to vote. Discuss with the students the benefits of each type of voting and examples of situations when each may be used.
  5. Distribute two ballots to each student and reveal the ballot box. Tell the students that a ballot is a piece of paper on which a person can cast a secret vote. The students will place their ballot in the ballot box so no one knows who each vote belongs to. Show a third T-chart to the students and read the issue aloud. Allow time for the students to mark their ballot and place it in the box. Appoint a team to open the ballot box and count the votes. Have them record the numbers on the T-chart. Review with the students which option received the most votes. Show the students the fourth T-chart and repeat the procedure.
  6. Briefly review the voting activity with the students. Discuss the process and how the two processes were different from each other. Talk about why voting is important to the people of the United States.
  7. Distribute one “I Voted” worksheet to each student. Review the directions with the students.
  8. Have the students complete the worksheet individually. Ask student volunteers to read their responses to the class. Collect the worksheet.

Differentiated Learning Options

  • Allow the students to work in pairs when completing the lesson’s activities.
  • Provide books on tape.
  • Allow students to dictate their journal entries to a scribe.

Enrichments/Extensions

  • Tell the students that George Washington also oversaw the design and building of the White House. Explain to the students that the original stone that was used over 200 years ago to build the White House is still in place today. Lead students on an exploration of the White House, past and present.
  • When George Washington died in 1799, he was described as “First in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen.” Explain in a journal entry why people would say this about George Washington.

Use the students’ classroom participation and their responses on the worksheets to evaluate the extent to which the students meet the lesson objectives.

There are no related resources for this lesson plan.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: L.2 Language
Grade(s): Grade 2
Cluster: Conventions of Standard English
Standards:

  • L.2.1. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
    • Use collective nouns (e.g., group).
    • Form and use frequently occurring irregular plural nouns (e.g., feet, children, teeth, mice, fish).
    • Use reflexive pronouns (e.g., myself, ourselves)
    • Form and use the past tense of frequently occurring irregular verbs (e.g., sat, hid, told).
    • Use adjectives and adverbs, and choose between them depending on what is to be modified.
    • Produce, expand, and rearrange complete simple and compound sentences (e.g., The boy watched the movie; The little boy watched the movie; The action movie was watched by the little boy).
  • L.2.2. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
    • Capitalize holidays, product names, and geographic names.
    • Use commas in greetings and closings of letters.
    • Use an apostrophe to form contractions and frequently occurring possessives.
    • Generalize learned spelling patterns when writing words (e.g., cage --> badge; boy --> boil).
    • Consult reference materials, including beginning dictionaries, as needed to check and correct spellings.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: L.3 Language
Grade(s): Grade 2
Cluster: Conventions of Standard English
Standards:

  • L.3.1. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
    • Explain the function of nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs in general and their functions in particular sentences.
    • Form and use regular and irregular plural nouns.
    • Use abstract nouns (e.g., childhood).
    • Form and use regular and irregular verbs.
    • Form and use the simple (e.g., I walked; I walk; I will walk) verb tenses.
    • Ensure subject-verb and pronoun-antecedent agreement.
    • Form and use comparative and superlative adjectives and adverbs, and choose between them depending on what is to be modified.
    • Use coordinating and subordinating conjunctions.
    • Produce simple, compound, and complex sentences.
  • L.3.2. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
    • Capitalize appropriate words in titles.
    • Use commas in addresses.
    • Use commas and quotation marks in dialogue.
    • Form and use possessives.
    • Use conventional spelling for high-frequency and other studied words and for adding suffixes to base words (e.g., sitting, smiled, cries, happiness).
    • Use spelling patterns and generalizations (e.g., word families, position-based spellings, syllable patterns, ending rules, meaningful word parts) in writing words.
    • Consult reference materials, including beginning dictionaries, as needed to check and correct spellings.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: SL.2 Speaking and Listening
Grade(s): Grade 2
Cluster: Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas
Standards:

  • SL.2.4. Tell a story or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking audibly in coherent sentences.
  • SL.2.5. Create audio recordings of stories or poems; add drawings or other visual displays to stories or recounts of experiences when appropriate to clarify ideas, thoughts, and feelings.
  • SL.2.6. Produce complete sentences when appropriate to task and situation in order to provide requested detail or clarification. (See grade 2 Language standards 1 and 3 for specific expectations.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: SL.3 Speaking and Listening
Grade(s): Grade 2
Cluster: Comprehension and Collaboration
Standards:

  • SL.3.1. Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 3 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
    • Come to discussions prepared, having read or studied required material; explicitly draw on that preparation and other information known about the topic to explore ideas under discussion.
    • Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g., gaining the floor in respectful ways, listening to others with care, speaking one at a time about the topics and texts under discussion).
    • Ask questions to check understanding of information presented, stay on topic, and link their comments to the remarks of others.
    • Explain their own ideas and understanding in light of the discussion.
  • SL.3.2. Determine the main ideas and supporting details of a text read aloud or information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
  • SL.3.3. Ask and answer questions about information from a speaker, offering appropriate elaboration and detail.
  • SL.3.4. Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace.
  • SL.3.5. Create engaging audio recordings of stories or poems that demonstrate fluid reading at an understandable pace; add visual displays when appropriate to emphasize or enhance certain facts or details.
  • SL.3.6. Speak in complete sentences when appropriate to task and situation in order to provide requested detail or clarification. (See grade 3 Language standards 1 and 3 here for specific expectations.) 

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.2 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade 2
Cluster: Key Ideas and Details
Standards:

  • RI.2.1. Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text.
  • RI.2.2. Identify the main topic of a multi-paragraph text as well as the focus of specific paragraphs within the text.
  • RI.2.3. Describe the connection between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text. 

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.2 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade 2
Cluster: Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
Standards:

  • RI.2.7. Explain how specific images (e.g., a diagram showing how a machine works) contribute to and clarify a text.
  • RI.2.8. Describe how reasons support specific points the author makes in a text.
  • RI.2.9. Compare and contrast the most important points presented by two texts on the same topic.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.2 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade 2
Cluster: Craft and Structure
Standards:

  • RI.2.4. Determine the meaning of words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 2 topic or subject area.
  • RI.2.5. Know and use various text features (e.g., captions, bold print, subheadings, glossaries, indexes, electronic menus, icons) to locate key facts or information in a text efficiently.
  • RI.2.6. Identify the main purpose of a text, including what the author wants to answer, explain, or describe.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.3 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade 2
Cluster: Craft and Structure
Standards:

  • RI.3.4. Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 3 topic or subject area.
  • RI.3.5. Use text features and search tools (e.g., key words, sidebars, hyperlinks) to locate information relevant to a given topic efficiently.
  • RI.3.6. Distinguish their own point of view from that of the author of a text.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.3 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade 2
Cluster: Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
Standards:

  • RI.3.7. Use information gained from illustrations (e.g., maps, photographs) and the words in a text to demonstrate understanding of the text (e.g., where, when, why, and how key events occur).
  • RI.3.8. Describe the logical connection between particular sentences and paragraphs in a text (e.g., comparison, cause/effect, first/second/third in a sequence).
  • RI.3.9. Compare and contrast the most important points and key details presented in two texts on the same topic.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.3 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade 2
Cluster: Key Ideas and Details
Standards:

  • RI.3.1. Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.
  • RI.3.2. Determine the main idea of a text; recount the key details and explain how they support the main idea.
  • RI.3.3. Describe the relationship between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text, using language that pertains to time, sequence, and cause/effect.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.2 Writing
Grade(s): Grade 2
Cluster: Research to Build and Present Knowledge
Standards:

  • W.2.7. Participate in shared research and writing projects (e.g., read a number of books on a single topic to produce a report; record science observations).
  • W.2.8. Recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.
  • W.2.9. begins in grade 4.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.3 Writing
Grade(s): Grade 2
Cluster: Research to Build and Present Knowledge
Standards:

  • W.3.7. Conduct short research projects that build knowledge about a topic.
  • W.3.8. Recall information from experiences or gather information from print and digital sources; take brief notes on sources and sort evidence into provided categories.
  • W.3.9. begins in grade 4.

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: Language Arts
Domain: All Language Arts Standards
Cluster: Use of Spoken, Written, and Visual Language
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

  • Students use spoken, written, and visual language to accomplish their own purposes (e.g., for learning, enjoyment, persuasion, and the exchange of information).

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

  • Students conduct research on issues and interests by generating ideas and questions, and by posing problems. They gather, evaluate, and synthesize data from a variety of sources (e.g., print and nonprint texts, artifacts, people) to communicate their discoveries in ways that suit their purpose and audience. 

Discipline: Social Studies
Domain: All Thematic Standards
Cluster: Power, Authority, and Governance
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

Teachers should:

  • enable learners to examine the rights and responsibilities of the individual in relation to their families, their social groups, their community, and their nation; help students to understand the purpose of government and how its powers are acquired, used, and justified
  • provide opportunities for learners to examine issues involving the rights, roles, and status of individuals in relation to the general welfare
  • enable learners to describe the ways nations and organizations respond to forces of unity and diversity affecting order and security
  • have learners explain conditions, actions, and motivations that contribute to conflict and cooperation within and among nations
  • help learners to analyze and explain governmental mechanisms to meet the needs and wants of citizens, regulate territory, manage conflict, and establish order and security
  • have learners identify and describe the basic features of the American political system, and identify representative leaders from various levels and branches of government
  • challenge learners to apply concepts such as power, role, status, justice, democratic values, and influence to the examination of persistent issues and social problems guide learners to explain and evaluate how governments attempt to achieve their stated ideals at home and abroad

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: All Language Arts Standards
Cluster: Applying Strategies to Writing
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

  • Students employ a wide range of strategies as they write and use different writing process elements appropriately to communicate with different audiences for a variety of purposes.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: All Language Arts Standards
Cluster: Applying Strategies to Text
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

  • Students apply a wide range of strategies to comprehend, interpret, evaluate, and appreciate texts. They draw on their prior experience, their interactions with other readers and writers, their knowledge of word meaning and of other texts, their word identification strategies, and their understanding of textual features (e.g., sound–letter correspondence, sentence structure, context, graphics).

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

  • Students adjust their use of spoken, written, and visual language (e.g., conventions, style, vocabulary) to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences and for different purposes.

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