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Let's Take A Hike!

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Starting with the White Mountain National Forest quarter, students will analyze and choose items appropriate for a hiking trip. Students will write and illustrate narrative postcard accounts of their imaginary trip.

Coin Type(s)

  • Quarter

Coin Program(s)

  • America The Beautiful Quarters


  • Students will analyze and choose items appropriate for a hiking trip.
  • Students will write and illustrate narrative postcard accounts of their imaginary trip.

Major Subject Area Connections

  • Language Arts
  • Social Studies

Minor/supporting Subject Area Connections

  • Art


  • Second grade
  • Third grade

Class Time

Sessions: Two
Session Length: 30-45 minutes
Total Length: 46-90 minutes


  • Whole group
  • Small groups
  • Individual work


  • Worksheets:
    • White Mountain National Forest Quarter"
    • What’s in My Backpack?" Backpack
    • What’s in My Backpack?" Items
    • Postcard from the Trail"
    • Postcard from the Trail Checklist" (1/2 sheet per student)
  • Age-appropriate, relevant Web sites, such as:


  • Copy necessary materials.
  • Bookmark relevant Web sites.

Worksheets and Files

Lesson plan, worksheet(s), and rubric (if any) at

  1. Display and examine the "White Mountain National Forest Quarter" page. Locate this site on a class map. Note its position in relation to your school’s location. Tell the students that the front of a coin is called the "obverse" and the back is called the "reverse." Explain to the students that the United States Mint began to issue the quarters in the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program in 2010. By the time the program ends in 2021, there will be a total of 56 designs. Each design will focus on a different national site—one from each state, territory and the District of Columbia.
  2. Show the students images and videos about White Mountain National Forest’s climate and unique environmental features. Look closely at a map of the forest and locate some key sites, including the Appalachian Trail, the New Hampshire/Maine state line, the Presidential Mountain Range, the Sandwich Mountain Range, and Mount Chocorua, the mountain featured on the quarter.
  3. Ask the students to imagine what it would be like to take a hiking trip in White Mountain National Forest. Brainstorm ideas about what the students might do, see and bring on their hike. Encourage the students to share previous experiences with hiking and camping.
  4. Introduce the students to the "What’s in My Backpack?" worksheet. Review the directions as a class. Distribute glue and scissors. Have the students complete the worksheet. In small groups, have the students compare and contrast what they packed in their backpack. Lead a class discussion about what items are necessary for a hiking trip and what items should be left at home.
  5. Write the phrase "Leave No Trace" on the board or overhead. Ask the students to share ideas about what they think this phrase means. Encourage the students to consider ways they can hike responsibly and respectfully.
  6. Introduce the students to the "Postcard from the Trail" worksheet. Review the directions as a class. Have the students complete the worksheet. In small groups, have students share their postcard writing and illustrations. Lead a discussion about the diverse and unique experiences students might have while hiking in White Mountain National Forest.
There are no modification options for this lesson plan.
  • Take anecdotal notes about the students’ participation in class discussions and activities.
  • Evaluate the students’ worksheets for understanding of the lesson objectives.
  • Use the "Postcard from the Trail Checklist" to assess the students’ work.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.2 Writing
Grade(s): Grade 2
Cluster: Text Types and Purposes

  • W.2.1. Write opinion pieces in which they introduce the topic or book they are writing about, state an opinion, supply reasons that support the opinion, use linking words (e.g., because, and, also) to connect opinion and reasons, and provide a concluding statement or section.
  • W.2.2. Write informative/explanatory texts in which they introduce a topic, use facts and definitions to develop points, and provide a concluding statement or section.
  • W.2.3. Write narratives in which they recount a well-elaborated event or short sequence of events, include details to describe actions, thoughts, and feelings, use temporal words to signal event order, and provide a sense of closure.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: SL.2 Speaking and Listening
Grade(s): Grade 2
Cluster: Comprehension and Collaboration

  • SL.2.1. Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 2 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.
    • Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g., gaining the floor in respectful ways, listening to others with care, speaking one at a time about the topics and texts under discussion).
    • Build on others’ talk in conversations by linking their comments to the remarks of others.
    • Ask for clarification and further explanation as needed about the topics and texts under discussion.
  • SL.2.2. Recount or describe key ideas or details from a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media.
  • SL.2.3. Ask and answer questions about what a speaker says in order to clarify comprehension, gather additional information, or deepen understanding of a topic or issue. 

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: SL.2 Speaking and Listening
Grade(s): Grade 2
Cluster: Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas

  • SL.2.4. Tell a story or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking audibly in coherent sentences.
  • SL.2.5. Create audio recordings of stories or poems; add drawings or other visual displays to stories or recounts of experiences when appropriate to clarify ideas, thoughts, and feelings.
  • SL.2.6. Produce complete sentences when appropriate to task and situation in order to provide requested detail or clarification. (See grade 2 Language standards 1 and 3 for specific expectations.

Discipline: Social Studies
Domain: All Thematic Standards
Cluster: Science, Technology, and Society
Grade(s): Grades K–12

Teachers should:

  • enable learners to identify, describe, and examine both current and historical examples of the interaction and interdependence of science, technology, and society in a variety of cultural settings
  • provide opportunities for learners to make judgments about how science and technology have transformed the physical world and human society and our understanding of time, space, place, and human-environment interactions
  • have learners analyze the way in which science and technology influence core societal values, beliefs, and attitudes and how societal attitudes influence scientific and technological endeavors
  • prompt learners to evaluate various policies proposed to deal with social changes resulting from new technologies
  • help learners to identify and interpret various perspectives about human societies and the physical world using scientific knowledge, technologies, and an understanding of ethical standards of this and other cultures
  • encourage learners to formulate strategies and develop policy proposals pertaining to science/technology-society issues