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Why is Roosevelt on the Dime?

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Students will use a variety of reference resources to research the life of Franklin Roosevelt. From this research, they will determine why his image was chosen to appear on the dime.

Coin Type(s)

  • Dime

Coin Program(s)

  • Generic


  • Students will learn about our 32nd President, Franklin Roosevelt.
  • Students will research and conjecture why Roosevelt’s image is on our dime.
  • Students will write and support their own opinion about why Roosevelt is on our dime.

Major Subject Area Connections

  • Social Studies

Minor/supporting Subject Area Connections

  • Language Arts


  • Third grade
  • Fourth grade
  • Fifth grade

Class Time

Sessions: One
Session Length: 45 minutes
Total Length: 46-90 minutes


  • Whole group
  • Small groups
  • Individual work

Terms and Concepts

  • Dime
  • Great Depression
  • Polio
  • Roosevelt



Bookmark appropriate Web sites

  1. Ask the students to name all the U.S. circulating coins. Next, ask them who is on each coin. Discuss with the students why we put images of people on our coins.
  2. Tell students they are going to focus on the dime. They will research the life of Franklin Roosevelt and possible reasons why he was picked to be on the dime.
  3. Divide the students into groups of four to research the life of Franklin Roosevelt. They should use the bookmarked sites as well as other text-based resources to research the life of Franklin Roosevelt. Guide the students towards resources that discuss Roosevelt’s connection to the March of Dimes. The students should take notes about the important events in Roosevelt’s life.
  4. After the students share and discuss their findings within their groups, have them answer the following questions in writing:
    • What do you most admire about Franklin Roosevelt?
    • What are 3 new things you learned about Franklin Roosevelt?
    • Why do you think Franklin Roosevelt’s image is on our dime? What evidence did you find to support this opinion?
There are no modification options for this lesson plan.

Use the students' responses to the final questions as well as the mechanics of their writing, the accuracy of their content, and how they supported their opinion to evaluate whether they have met the lesson objectives.

There are no related resources for this lesson plan.

This lesson plan is not associated with any Common Core Standards.

Discipline: Social Studies
Domain: All Thematic Standards
Cluster: People, Places, and Environment
Grade(s): Grades K–12

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