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A Race though the States

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Summary

Students will research state information and write questions and answers for a racetrack game. This game will consist of questions relating to the 50 State Quarters® Program,the United States (particularly Indiana), and state history.

Coin Type(s)

  • Quarter

Coin Program(s)

  • 50 State Quarters

Objectives

Students will research state information and write questions and answers for a racetrack game. This game will consist of questions relating to the 50 State Quarters® Program,the United States (particularly Indiana), and state history.

Major Subject Area Connections

  • Language Arts
  • Social Studies
  • Technology

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

Background Knowledge

Students should have a basic understanding of:

  • Question words
  • Internet and textual research

Terms and Concepts

  • Quarter
  • Reverse (back)

Materials

  • 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
  • Copies of the enlarged game board
  • Blank question cards
  • Dice (1 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)
  • An assortment of grade appropriate coin and state reference resources
  • Access to computers with Internet access (bookmark the United States Mint H.I.P.Pocket Change™ Web site at www.usmint.gov/kids)

Preparations

  • Make enlarged copies of the game board for every group of four students.
  • Make copies of blank question cards.
  • Make 2 copies of “Luck of the Draw” cards for each group of four students.
  • Gather a large number of grade appropriate coin and state reference resources for classroom use.
  • Make an overhead transparency (or photocopy) of the Indiana quarter reverse.
  • Review the questions created for the 2002 grades 2–3 Indiana lesson plan (“The Great States Race”).
  • 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.

Worksheets and Files

Lesson plan, worksheet(s), and rubric (if any) at www.usmint.gov/kids/teachers/lessonPlans/pdf/345.pdf.

Session 1

  1. Begin by holding up a toy race car and explaining that your next activity has something to do with cars like this and the number 500. Elicit responses from the students about what they think you’ll be discussing. Explain to the class that you’ll be continuing your study of the state quarters by looking at the new Indiana quarter.
  2. Describe the 50 State Quarters® Program for background information, if necessary, using the example of your own state, if available. Then display the overhead transparency or photocopy of the Indiana quarter reverse. As a class, locate Indiana on the class map. Discuss the symbols on the coin.
  3. Discuss and build upon what the students learn about Indiana from the coin. Responses should include race cars and the Indianapolis 500.  Note: This may require some prior knowledge of the Indianapolis 500 for the teacher.
  4. Introduce the students to the “Great States Race” game board, which is set up to look like a racetrack. Explain that, as a class, the students will be helping to create a game about the Indiana quarter as well as the other quarters in this program.
  5. Create a K-W-L chart to examine what students know and want to know about the 50 State Quarters. Leave the learn column empty until after the students have conducted their research.
  6. Assign each child (or pair of children) a question from those developed in the “W” column of the chart and direct the students to use classroom/library/Internet resources to find answers to these questions. If during their research students find interesting facts about the symbols on the state quarters, ask them to make notes of this information.
    Note: Students must be familiar with using reference resources. Also, bookmark Internet sites that would help students with their research.
  7. Have each student write their question and its answer using complete sentences, appropriate grammar, correct spelling, and correct punctuation. Model the types of questions that would be appropriate for this game, using the questions listed in the 2002 grades 2–3 Indiana lesson plans, “The Great States Race.”
  8. Review each student’s question and answer.

Session 2

  1. Once all grammar, spelling, and punctuation have been corrected, distribute a blank “Great State Race” question card to each student and have them clearly write their questions and answers in the appropriate blanks. 
    Note: If students complete this activity early, instruct them to develop a question based on a piece of information mentioned in the K column of the chart.
  2. 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.

Session 3

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.

  1. 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 play for your class.
  2. Distribute the rest of the materials to each group (a copy of the “Great States Race” game board, a set of question cards, a set of “Luck of the Draw” cards, a die, and 4 different state quarters).
  3. Each student will select a state’s quarter as his or her piece, and will play the game according to the rules.

Differentiated Learning Options

Adjust study of 50 State Quarters® Program to states that correspond to current curriculum.

Enrichments/Extensions

  • 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?”
  • After discussing the Indy 500, guide students to examine the length of time it would take to complete this race at different rates of speed.
  • Invite interested students to research and write reports about the Indianapolis 500 race or other similar car races in America.

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.

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

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: All Language Arts Standards
Cluster: Applying Knowledge to Language
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

  • Students apply knowledge of language structure, language conventions (e.g., spelling and punctuation), media techniques, figurative language, and genre to create, critique, and discuss print and nonprint texts.

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: Technology
Domain: All Research and Information Fluency
Cluster: Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information.
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

  • Plan strategies to guide inquiry
  • Locate, organize, analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and ethically use information from a variety of sources and media
  • Evaluate and select information sources and digital tools based on the appropriateness to specific tasks
  • Process data and report results

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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