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Fast Facts

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Summary

Students will describe the growth and change in America as related to the Louisiana Purchase and the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

Coin Type(s)

  • Quarter

Coin Program(s)

  • 50 State Quarters

Objectives

Students will describe the growth and change in America as related to the Louisiana Purchase and the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

Major Subject Area Connections

  • Language Arts
  • Social Studies

Minor/supporting Subject Area Connections

  • Math

Grades

  • Fourth grade
  • Fifth grade
  • Sixth grade

Class Time

Sessions: One
Session Length: 45-60 minutes
Total Length: 46-90 minutes

Groupings

  • Small groups
  • Individual work

Background Knowledge

Students should have a basic knowledge of:

  • The formation of the United States of America
  • Map elements and cardinal directions
  • U.S. geography (state names)

Terms and Concepts

  • The Louisiana Purchase
  • The Corps of Discovery

Materials

  • 1 overhead projector (optional)
  • 1 overhead transparency (or photocopy) of the Louisiana quarter reverse
  • The “Fast Facts” worksheet
  • The “Louisiana Questionnaire” worksheet
  • The “Changing America” map
  • Colored pencils
  • Class map or desk maps of the United States of America

Preparations

  • Review the worksheet and map.
  • Make copies of the “Fast Facts” sheet and map (1 per student).
  • Make copies of the “Louisiana Questionnaire” worksheet (1 per student)
  • Make copies of the “Changing America” map (1 per student)

Worksheets and Files

Lesson plan, worksheet(s), and rubric (if any) at www.usmint.gov/kids/teachers/lessonPlans/pdf/344.pdf.

  1. Describe the 50 State Quarters® Program for background information, if necessary, using the example of your own state if available.
  2. Explain to students that the design was specially chosen to represent the state of Louisiana, its history, and its contribution to the United States of America. Display the overhead transparency or photocopy of the Louisiana quarter reverse.
  3. Ask students to brainstorm about the Louisiana quarter design in small groups for five or ten minutes. One student per group should record the group’s findings on chart paper. Ask the students to consider: What pictures appear on the coin and what do you think they might represent? What words appear prominently on the coin and what do you think they mean? Why do you think the pictures and words on the coin were chosen? What things or events might the coin be representing? What might be important about Louisiana?
  4. Have each group share one or two ideas they had during their brainstorming session.  Students will post their charts on the board next to the Louisiana quarter reverse image. Review and expand on the students’ understanding of “pioneer” using the Louisiana quarter reverse as an example.
  5. Share visual aids that illustrate findings of the Corps of Discovery such as pictures of porcupines, elk, passenger pigeons, cranberries, prickly pears, etc. Explain that these items had never been seen by our “Founding Fathers” before the Purchase and exploration of the Louisiana Territory.
  6. Pass out the “Fast Facts” sheet, one per student. Read the information together as a class, stopping to review challenging vocabulary when necessary.
  7. Have the students answer the questions on the “Louisiana Questionnaire” after reading the “Fast Facts” sheet.
  8. As students complete the “Louisiana Questionnaire” worksheet, give each a copy of the “Changing America” map and colored pencils. If necessary, allow the students to complete unfinished work at home.
  9. Check the worksheets and maps for accuracy. Discuss what was learned, referring again to the enlargement of the Louisiana quarter. When appropriate to the curriculum, quiz students to verify their understanding.

Differentiated Learning Options

  • Teachers can create further challenging questions related to this topic. Ideas may include:
    • Why was the Louisiana Territory a “surprise” purchase?
    • How many total states made up the United States after the Louisiana Purchase?
    • Why was the name “Corps of Discovery” chosen?
  • Teachers can opt to have some students research the Louisiana Purchase independently or in small groups, and present their findings to the class.
  • Record the Fast Fact sheet on tape and have students read along with it.

Enrichments/Extensions

  • Have students imagine that they are a reporter in 1803 who has just heard about the Louisiana Purchase. Using the facts that they have learned, ask them to write an article to inform Americans what this purchase might mean to the United States of America. They should also include reasons why America should fund the Corps of Discovery.
  • Have students hypothesize and write about what life would be like if the United States had never acquired the Louisiana Territory.
  • Have students conduct an independent research project on how the state of Louisiana took on its current shape.
  • Check the worksheets and maps for accuracy.
  • Discuss what was learned, referring again to the enlargement of the Louisiana quarter.
  • When appropriate to the curriculum, quiz students to verify their understanding.
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: Time, Continuity, and Change
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

Teachers should:

  • assist learners to understand that historical knowledge and the concept of time are socially influenced constructions that lead historians to be selective in the questions they seek to answer and the evidence they use
  • help learners apply key concepts such as time, chronology, causality, change, conflict, and complexity to explain, analyze, and show connections among patterns of historical change and continuity
  • enable learners to identify and describe significant historical periods and patterns of change within and across cultures, including but not limited to, the development of ancient cultures and civilizations, the emergence of religious belief systems, the rise of nation-states, and social, economic, and political revolutions
  • guide learners in using such processes of critical historical inquiry to reconstruct and interpret the past, such as using a variety of sources and checking their credibility, validating and weighing evidence for claims, searching for causality, and distinguishing between events and developments that are significant and those that are inconsequential
  • provide learners with opportunities to investigate, interpret, and analyze multiple historical and contemporary viewpoints within and across cultures related to important events, recurring dilemmas, and persistent issues, while employing empathy, skepticism, and critical judgment; and enable learners to apply ideas, theories, and modes of historical inquiry to analyze historical and contemporary developments, and to inform and evaluate actions concerning public policy issues.

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: 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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