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Rename that State!

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Summary

Students will research and identify a particular state’s name origin, resources, and important landmarks.

Coin Type(s)

  • Quarter

Coin Program(s)

  • 50 State Quarters

Objectives

  • Students will research and identify a particular state’s name origin, resources, and important landmarks.

Major Subject Area Connections

  • Art
  • Language Arts
  • Social Studies

Grades

  • Fourth grade
  • Fifth grade
  • Sixth grade

Class Time

Sessions: Three
Session Length: 45-60 minutes
Total Length: 121-150 minutes

Groupings

  • Whole group
  • Small groups
  • Individual work

Background Knowledge

The Students should have a basic knowledge of:

  • The fifty states
  • Internet research
  • Citations
  • Landmarks
  • Natural resources

Terms and Concepts

  • Obverse (front)
  • Reverse (back)

Materials

  • 1 overhead projector (optional)
  • 1 overhead transparency of each of the following:
    • Image of your home state’s quarter
    • “Did You Know?” worksheet
    • “Hello from…” worksheet
    • “Rename That State” rubric
  • Copies of following:
    • “Did You Know?” worksheet
    • “Hello from…” worksheet
    • “Rename that State” rubric
    • Images of quarter reverses of various states
  • 1 class map of the United States
  • Various texts that give information about the 50 states. For example:
    • Don’t Know Much About the 50 States (Don’t Know Much) by Kenneth C.  Davis
    • Fabulous Facts About the 50 States by Wilma Ross
    • National Geographic:  Our Fifty States by Mark H.  Bockenhauer
  • Chart Paper
  • Notebook paper
  • Computers with Internet access
  • Scissors
  • Markers or colored pencils
  • Fishing line or yarn
  • Construction paper

Preparations

  • Make an overhead transparency (or photocopy) of each of the following:
    • Image of your home state’s quarter
    • “Did You Know?” worksheet
    • “Did You Know?” worksheet completed
    • “Hello from…” worksheet
    • “Hello from…” worksheet completed
    • “Rename That State” rubric
  • Make copies of each of the following:
    • “Did You Know?” worksheet (1per student)
    • “Hello from…”  worksheet (1 per student)
    • “Rename That State” rubric (1 per student)
    • Images of quarter reverses of various states (1 per student)
  • Gather texts that give information about the fifty states (see examples under “Materials”).
  • Arrange to use the school computer lab for one session.
  • Bookmark Internet sites that contain information about the fifty states.
  • Look up the meaning of your home state’s name. Also look up different facts about your home state including its landmarks, natural resources, and items it produces.

Worksheets and Files

Lesson plan, worksheet(s), and rubric (if any) at www.usmint.gov/kids/teachers/lessonPlans/pdf/311.pdf.

Sessions 1 and 2

  1. Describe the 50 State Quarters® Program for background information, if necessary, using the example of your home state, if available.  Display the transparency or photocopy of your home state’s quarter.  Locate your home state on a classroom map.  Note its position in relation to the rest of the United States.
  2. On chart paper, write the name of your home state and the meaning or origin of your home state’s name.  Discuss with the students why or how they think your home state acquired its name.  Record the students’ answers on chart paper.
  3. Examine the image of your home state’s quarter. Ask the students to identify the key images represented on the quarter. Ask students why they think these images were chosen for the quarter.  Record student answers on chart paper.
  4. Ask the students if there are any additional important or unique things about their home state, such as landmarks, natural resources, or items it produces.  Record student answers on chart paper.
  5. Divide the students into small groups.  Have the groups use the class information to brainstorm a new name for their home state based on what they feel is important or unique about the state.  Have the groups record their ideas on a piece of notebook paper.
  6. Ask the students to share their new ideas about renaming the state.  Record new names for the state on the chart paper.  Discuss the students’ new state names and how they came up with them.
  7. Distribute the “Did You Know?” worksheets.  Explain to the students that each of them will be researching a different state to rename. The students will use the worksheets to help them with their research and their renaming.  Display the trans­parency of the completed “Did You Know?” worksheet that you prepared.
  8. Assign the students a state to research.  Make sure that each state is assigned only once in each class.  Distribute to each student an image of the quarter for the state that was assigned to him or her.  Explain that the students will be given time for their research and will be able to use the computer lab as well as books.  Review the citations portion of the “Did You Know?” worksheet in detail. Answer any student questions about the worksheet.
  9. Take the students to the computer lab and allow them time to research.
  10. Review the “Did You Know?” worksheets with the students and answer any questions.
  11. Display the transparency of the “Hello from...” worksheet.  Distribute a “Hello from…” worksheet to each student and review the instructions. Explain that the worksheet will serve as a template for the post card they will create.  Encourage the students to be creative and use different forms of art media (markers, paints, news- paper/magazine clippings, etc.).  Explain that their postcard will have the new name of the state they researched as well as depictions of what is important to that particu­lar state.  Encourage the students to refer to the state’s quarter for ideas of images that represent the state.
  12. Display the transparency of the “Hello from...” worksheet that you prepared. Answer any questions.
  13. Distribute and review the “Rename That State” rubric with students.  Explain that they will present their findings to the class after they have researched and renamed their state.
  14. Have students use their research to complete their postcards at home.

Session 3

  1. Have students share their postcards and researched facts by presenting their finished projects to the class. Allow classmates to ask questions at the end of each presenta­tion.
  2. Fill in a rubric for each student as they present their postcard and facts.
  3. Collect the completed “Did You Know?” worksheets and postcards and display them.

Differentiated Learning Options

  • Allow students to work in pairs.
  • Allow students to hand-write their reports or use a scribe rather than use the computer.

Enrichments/Extensions

  • Have students label a class-sized map of the United States with their new state names.
  • Have students research the history and founding of their school.  Have students use this information to rename their school.

Use the students’ class participation, worksheets, and rubric to evaluate whether the students 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: 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: 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: 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: 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.

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

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