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Mountain on the Rise

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Starting with the White Mountain National Forest quarter, students will explain magma intrusion and how it affects the formation of mountain ranges, particularly Mt. Chocorua and the White Mountains of New Hampshire.

Coin Type(s)

  • Quarter

Coin Program(s)

  • America The Beautiful Quarters


Students will explain magma intrusion and how it affects the formation of mountain ranges, particularly Mt. Chocorua and the White Mountains of New Hampshire.

Major Subject Area Connections

  • Science
  • Social Studies

Minor/supporting Subject Area Connections

  • Art


  • Seventh grade
  • Eighth grade

Class Time

Sessions: Two
Session Length: 45-60 minutes
Total Length: 91-120 minutes


  • Whole group
  • Individual work


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 national 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. Read the coin information at and examine the design using the zoom feature. Explain to the students that Mt. Chocorua is located in the White Mountains, which is part of the Sandwich Range and the Appalachian Mountains.
  3. Introduce to the students the concepts of plate tectonics and magma intrusions. Have the students research the process for the formation of mountains and mountain ranges, particularly Mt. Chocorua and the White Mountains of New England. Have the students record the steps in the formation of the mountains on the "Mountains Arise" worksheet.
  4. Share some examples of comic strips with the students. Have the students create a comic strip illustrating the formation of the mountains. Emphasize the importance of creative storytelling in the comic strip while conveying the facts.
There are no modification options for this lesson plan.

Use the "White Mountain Comic Strip Rubric" to evaluate whether the students have met the lesson objective.

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

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

Discipline: Science
Domain: 5-8 Content Standards
Cluster: Earth and Space Science
Grade(s): Grades K–12

  • Structure of the Earth system
  • Earth’s history
  • Earth in the solar system

Discipline: Visual Arts and Music
Domain: 5-8 Visual Arts
Cluster: Standard 6: Making connections between visual arts and other disciplines
Grade(s): Grades K–12

  • Students compare multiple purposes for creating works of art
  • Students analyze contemporary and historic meanings in specific artworks through cultural and aesthetic inquiry
  • Students describe and compare a variety of individual responses to their own artworks and to artworks from various eras and cultures