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Places We Live

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Summary

Students will compare rural and urban communities and explore how they may change over time.

Coin Type(s)

  • Quarter

Coin Program(s)

  • 50 State Quarters

Objectives

Students will compare rural and urban communities and explore how they may change over time.

Major Subject Area Connections

  • Social Studies

Minor/supporting Subject Area Connections

  • Language Arts

Grades

  • Second grade
  • Third grade

Class Time

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

Groupings

  • Whole group
  • Individual work

Background Knowledge

Students should have a basic knowledge of preview and prediction skills (reading).

Terms and Concepts

  • Rural
  • Urban
  • Community

Materials

  • 1 overhead projector (optional)
  • 1 overhead transparency (or photocopy) of the Illinois quarter reverse.
  • 1 class map of the United States of America
  • Colored pencils
  • Scissors
  • Copies of the “Rural/Urban Settings” worksheet
  • Copies of the “Anywhere, U.S.A.” worksheet
  • 1 copy of an age-appropriate text that compares rural and urban living, such as:
    • Bernelly and Harriet: The Country Mouse and the City Mouse by Elizabeth Dahlie
    • Milly and Tilly: The Story of a Town Mouse and Country Mouse by Kate Summers
    • I’ll Meet You at the Cucumbers by Lilian Moore
    • Iris and Walter by Elissa Haden Guest
    • City Cats, Country Cats by Barbara Shook Hazen
    • The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton
    • Round Trip by Ann Jonas
    • Harry’s Home by Catherine and Lawrence Anholt
    • Town and Country by Alice Provensen
    • Country Mouse in a Town House by Henrietta
    • Gila Monsters Meet You at the Airport by Marjorie Sharmat

Preparations

  • Make copies of the “Rural/Urban Settings” worksheet (1 per student).
  • Make copies of the “Anywhere, U.S.A.” worksheet (1 per student).
  • Make an overhead transparency (or photocopy) of the Illinois quarter reverse.
  • Locate a text that compares rural and urban settings (see examples under “Materials”).

Worksheets and Files

Lesson plan, worksheet(s), and rubric (if any) at www.usmint.gov/kids/teachers/lessonPlans/pdf/282.pdf.

Session 1

  1. 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 Illinois quarter reverse. On a classroom map, have a pair of students locate Illinois. Note its position in relation to your school’s location.
  2. Point out the Illinois state outline, as well as both the rural and urban scenes. Discuss the words “21st State/Century” and how these two scenes represent the spectrum of living environments that exist in Illinois.
  3. Ask if they know who the man is pictured on the coin. Take suggestions, prompting students to consider how he is dressed and what he is holding, etc.
  4. Share “The Land of Lincoln” motto with the students. Ask if that might give a clue to the identity of the man.
  5. Help students conclude that the man pictured is Abraham Lincoln, former president of the United States of America and that Illinois came to be his home state. When discussing Lincoln, relate his rise to the presidency to how he is depicted on the coin: dressed as a farm hand, setting aside his farm tools in favor of a law book.
    Note: Depending on your students’ background knowledge, you may wish to share a book that explains that although President Lincoln was born in Kentucky and raised in Indiana, Lincoln moved to Illinois at the age of 21 where he studied and later became a lawyer. It is there that he rose to greatness and later was buried. Also describe how Lincoln began as a farm hand and laborer but then became a lawyer and later the President. Also, refer to lesson 1 in the 2003 K–1 packet for other instructional ideas.
  6. Tell students that during Lincoln’s life, he lived in both urban and rural settings. Ask them to explain the definitions of rural and urban and that Illinois has both settings in its borders.
  7. Exemplify one or both of these settings within your own state or community using historical documents and images. Discuss your local community and how it has changed physically and demographically over time (use historical images if possible to supplement this activity). Tie this discussion to students’ personal experiences about life in different settings.

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. Display a class chart divided into two columns labeled “Rural (country)” and “Urban (city)”.
  4. Read the selected text to the class and see if their predictions were correct. As you read, stop occasionally to invite the students to describe each setting, and write their responses on the chart.
  5. Discuss experiences that the students themselves have had in urban and rural settings. How were they similar or different to the experiences of the characters in the story?

Session 3

  1. Pass out to each student the “Rural/Urban Settings” worksheet. Have students complete the Venn diagram by building on the class chart and story discussion.
  2. Give each student an “Anywhere, U.S.A.” worksheet, a pair of scissors and colored pencils or crayons. Instruct students to imagine that they are visiting a rural or urban area for the first time, having lived in the opposite setting all their lives.
  3. Instruct each student to write a postcard message for a family member or friend describing imaginary experiences that might occur in their chosen environment.
  4. Have students cut out the postcard on their worksheet. On the front of the postcard, students should illustrate the setting that they wrote about to their family member or friend.
  5. Display each student’s work in the classroom.

Differentiated Learning Options

  • Have students illustrate differences they found in the urban and rural settings described in the book.
  • Have students group a collection of postcards according to urban and rural qualities pictured.
  • Invite students who have recently moved into your community to write letters, or give presentations to the class describing their former community. Encourage students to share pictures with the class as well.

Enrichments/Extensions

  • Have students plot a trip across their state or area of the country, researching the urban or rural qualities of towns that they plan to visit along the way.
  • Find pen pals that live in a different type of setting. Encourage students to share their letters with the class.
  • If possible, take students on a field trip to a local farm and/or a location within a city to help students see the similarities and differences between rural and urban settings.
  • Create a classroom center where students can cut out pictures from magazines that depict rural and urban settings. Have students then group these images on a class chart or bulletin board according to their appropriate category.
  • Incorporate an additional literature selection into this activity about the life of Abraham Lincoln, such as:
    • A Picture Book of Abraham Lincoln by David Adler
    • Abraham Lincoln by Ingri and Edgar D’Aulaire
    • Abe Lincoln’s Hat by Martha Brenner
    • Meet Abraham Lincoln by Patricia A. Pingry
    • Young Abraham Lincoln: Log Cabin President by Andrew Woods

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: RL.3 Reading: Literature
Grade(s): Grade 3
Cluster: Craft and Structure
Standards:

  • RL.3.4. Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, distinguishing literal from nonliteral language.
  • RL.3.5. Refer to parts of stories, dramas, and poems when writing or speaking about a text, using terms such as chapter, scene, and stanza; describe how each successive part builds on earlier sections.
  • RL.3.6. Distinguish their own point of view from that of the narrator or those of the characters.

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

  • RL.3.1. Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.
  • RL.3.2. Recount stories, including fables, folktales, and myths from diverse cultures; determine the central message, lesson, or moral and explain how it is conveyed through key details in the text.
  • RL.3.3. Describe characters in a story (e.g., their traits, motivations, or feelings) and explain how their actions contribute to the sequence of events.

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

  • RL.2.4. Describe how words and phrases (e.g., regular beats, alliteration, rhymes, repeated lines) supply rhythm and meaning in a story, poem, or song.
  • RL.2.5. Describe the overall structure of a story, including describing how the beginning introduces the story and the ending concludes the action.
  • RL.2.6. Acknowledge differences in the points of view of characters, including by speaking in a different voice for each character when reading dialogue aloud.

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

  • RL.2.7. Use information gained from the illustrations and words in a print or digital text to demonstrate understanding of its characters, setting, or plot.
  • RL.2.8. not applicable to literature.
  • RL.2.9. Compare and contrast two or more versions of the same story (e.g., Cinderella stories) by different authors or from different cultures.

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

  • RL.2.1. Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text.
  • RL.2.2. Recount stories, including fables and folktales from diverse cultures, and determine their central message, lesson, or moral.
  • RL.2.3. Describe how characters in a story respond to major events and challenges.

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

  • RL.3.7. Explain how specific aspects of a text’s illustrations contribute to what is conveyed by the words in a story (e.g., create mood, emphasize aspects of a character or setting).
  • RL.3.8. not applicable to literature.
  • RL.3.9. Compare and contrast the themes, settings, and plots of stories written by the same author about the same or similar characters (e.g., in books from a series).

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: L.2 Language
Grade(s): Grade 3
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 3
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 3
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: 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.