The Great States Race
Students will research state information and write the answers to questions for a racetrack game. This game will consist of questions relating to the 50 State Quarters® Program and other states, particularly Indiana.
- 50 State Quarters
- Students will research state information and write the answers to questions for a racetrack game. This game will consist of questions relating to the 50 State Quarters® Program and other states.
Major Subject Area Connections
- Language Arts
- Social Studies
- Second grade
- Third grade
Session Length: 30-45 minutes
Total Length: 91-120 minutes
- Whole group
- Small groups
Students should have basic knowledge of:
- Use of reference resources
- Writing answers in complete sentences
Terms and Concepts
- Reverse (back)
- 1 toy race car
- 1 class map of the United States of America
- 1 overhead projector (optional)
- 1 overhead transparency (or photocopy) of the Indiana quarter reverse
- Enlarged copies of the game board
- Question cards
- Blank question cards
- Dice (1 die for every group of four students)
- Copies of the “Luck of the Draw” cards
- Sets of four different state quarters (1 set for each group)
- Copies of the “Reproducible Coin Sheet” (optional)
- An assortment of grade appropriate coin and state reference resources
- Access to computers with Internet capabilities (bookmark www.usmint.gov/kids).
- Make enlarged copies of the game board (1 per group of four students)
- Make copies of question cards (1 complete set per group)
- Make copies of “Luck of the Draw” cards (2 sheets per group)
- Make copies of the “Reproducible Coin Sheets” (pages 49 and 50) (1 of each sheet per group)
- Gather grade appropriate coin and state reference resources for classroom use
- Make an overhead transparency (or photocopy) of the Indiana quarter reverse.
Worksheets and Files
Lesson plan, worksheet(s), and rubric (if any) at www.usmint.gov/kids/teachers/lessonPlans/pdf/291.pdf.
- Hold up a toy race car and explain that your next activity has something to do with cars like this and the number 500. Explain that you’ll be continuing your study of the state quarters with the Indiana quarter.
- 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 Indiana quarter reverse. As a class, locate Indiana on the class map.
- Discuss the coin’s symbols. Responses should include the mention of race cars and the Indianapolis 500.
Note: Teacher may need some prior knowledge of the Indy 500.
- Introduce the students to the “Great State Race” game, which looks like a race track. Explain that the students will create this game about the 50 State Quarters® Program as a class.
- Create a K-W-L chart to examine what students know and want to know about the 50 State Quarters Program. Leave the learn column empty until after the students have conducted their research.
- Break students into groups of four. Distribute 1 copy of the “Great States Race” questions to each group. Direct the students to use the K-W-L chart and other classroom and Internet resources to answer all the questions listed. (A good re- source would be the State Quarter Information from the 1999-2000, 2001, and 2002 lesson plans.) Each group’s recorder must use complete sentences and proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation.
- Once the students have finished answering the “Great States Race” questions, assign each group 2 “class questions” from the “W” column of the chart. Instruct the groups to research their questions, again making use of classroom resources.
- Review each group’s questions and answers.
- Once all grammar, spelling, and punctuation have been corrected, instruct the groups to write their “class questions” and answers in the blank “Great States Race” question cards, using their clearest handwriting.
- Fill in the L column as a class. Discuss the answers to the questions as well as the ways in which students conducted their research.
Before session 3: Photocopy each of the “class questions” written during session 2 (each group will need a complete set of these cards). If possible, laminate and separate all question and “Luck of the Draw” cards.
- Break students into groups of four. Distribute the game boards to each group. As a class, review the rules of the game as they are written on the game board. Model a round of game play for your class.
- Give each group a “Great States Race” game board, a complete set of “class question” cards mixed with the group’s “Great States Race” question cards, a set of “Luck of the Draw” cards, a die, and four different state quarters.
- Each student will select a state’s quarter as their piece, and will play the game according to the rules.
Differentiated Learning Options
Limit study of 50 State Quarters® Program to selected states that correspond to your current curriculum.
- Students could research their home state and also Indiana. Based on their research, they could form comparative questions to add as “stumpers” to their deck of question cards, such as “Which state has a larger population, Indiana or Wyoming?”
- Students could research other similar car races in America. They could locate the states where each race is conducted and mark this on a personal map.
Use the worksheets and class participation to assess whether the students have met the lesson objectives.
This lesson plan is not associated with any Common Core Standards.
This lesson plan is not associated with any National Standards.