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Mountains of Traits

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Summary

Starting with the Mount Rushmore National Memorial quarter, students will demonstrate an understanding of research. Students will write and illustrate narrative stories.

Coin Type(s)

  • Quarter

Coin Program(s)

  • America The Beautiful Quarters

Objectives

  • Students will demonstrate an understanding of research.
  • Students will write and illustrate narrative stories.

Major Subject Area Connections

  • Language Arts
  • Social Studies

Minor/supporting Subject Area Connections

  • Art

Grades

  • Second grade
  • Third grade

Class Time

Sessions: Four
Session Length: 30-45 minutes
Total Length: 151-500 minutes

Groupings

  • Whole group
  • Small groups
  • Pairs
  • Individual work

Background Knowledge

Students should have a basic knowledge of:

  • Presidents
  • George Washington
  • Abraham Lincoln
  • Internet and text-based research
  • Descriptive words
  • Narrative writing

Terms and Concepts

  • Quarter
  • Obverse (front)
  • Reverse (back)
  • Mount Rushmore National Memorial
  • Character traits
  • Thomas Jefferson
  • Theodore Roosevelt

Materials

  • 1 overhead projector or other classroom technology (optional)
  • 1 overhead transparency (or photocopy) of each of the following:
    • "Mount Rushmore National Memorial Quarter" page
    • "Character of Mount Rushmore" worksheet
    • "My Character Story" worksheet
    • "My Character Coin" worksheet
  • 1 class map of the United States
  • Copies of the following:
    • "Mount Rushmore National Memorial Quarter" page
    • "Character of Mount Rushmore" worksheet
    • "My Character Story" worksheet
    • "My Character Coin" worksheet
    • "My Character Story and Coin Checklist"
  • Printed images of Mount Rushmore
  • 1 copy of an age-appropriate text that gives basic information about Mount Rushmore, such as:
    • Rushmore by Lynn Curlee
    • Face to Face with Mount Rushmore by Jean L.S. Patrick
    • Who Carved the Mountain? The Story of Mount Rushmore by Jean L.S. Patrick
    • Mount Rushmore (Now That’s Big) by Kate Riggs
  • Chart Paper
  • Markers
  • Computers with Internet access (optional)
  • Age-appropriate texts giving information about the presidents on Mount Rushmore, such as:
    • The Presidents by James David Barber
    • Our Country’s Presidents: All You Need to Know About the Presidents, From
      George Washington to Barack Obama
      by Ann Bausum
    • The New Big Book of U.S. Presidents by Todd Davis and Marc Frey
  • Pencils
  • Crayons

Preparations

  • Make an overhead transparency or equivalent classroom technology of each of the following:
    •  “Mount Rushmore National Memorial Quarter” page
    • “Character of Mount Rushmore” worksheet
    • “My Character Story” worksheet
    • “My Character Coin” worksheet
  • Make copies of each of the following:
    • “Mount Rushmore National Memorial Quarter” page (1 per student)
    • “Character of Mount Rushmore” worksheet (1 per student)
    • “My Character Story” worksheet (1 per student)
    • “My Character Coin” worksheet (1 per student)
    • “My Character Story and Coin Checklist” (1 per student)
  • Gather and print images of Mount Rushmore from web sites such as:
  • Locate texts that give information about Mount Rushmore (see examples under “Materials”).
  • Locate texts that give information about the four presidents on Mount Rushmore (see examples under “Materials”).
  • Bookmark age-appropriate online resources for student research about the four presidents on Mount Rushmore, such as:
  • Make a chart on the board labeled “Mount Rushmore Character Traits.”

Worksheets and Files

Lesson plan, worksheet(s), and rubric (if any) at www.usmint.gov/kids/teachers/lessonPlans/pdf/393.pdf.

Session 1

  1. Display and examine the Mount Rushmore National Memorial quarter. 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." As background information, 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. Divide the class into small groups. Distribute several images of Mount Rushmore to each group. Ask the students to share their observations about the images, as well as any information they already know about the site and its history. Record responses on a class chart.
  3. Introduce the students to the selected text on Mount Rushmore. As a group, preview the text and illustrations to generate observations about what is occurring in the text. Read the text aloud to the class and attend to any unfamiliar vocabulary.
  4. Lead a class discussion about the Mount Rushmore text. Encourage the students to share what they learned about how the monument was built and who built it, the featured presidents, what surprised them and any questions they have.
  5. Display the transparency of the Mount Rushmore National Memorial quarter. With the students, examine the unique qualities of the design. Ask the students to imagine what it might have been like to work on Mount Rushmore.
  6. Distribute a "Mount Rushmore National Memorial Quarter" worksheet to each student. Have the students color the image. Ask the students to write at the bottom of the page one interesting fact they learned and one question they still have about Mount Rushmore.

Session 2

  1. Review the chart and worksheets from the previous session.
  2. Write the phrase "character trait" on the board. Ask the students to brainstorm ideas about the definition of this phrase. Conclude that character traits are a person’s qualities, stated as adjectives. Have the students share examples of character traits.
  3. Divide the class into four groups and assign each group one of the following people: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt or Abraham Lincoln. Explain that each group needs to use online and text resources to research its assigned person, focusing specifically on the unique character traits that led to the person’s inclusion on Mount Rushmore.
  4. Display and distribute the "Character of Mount Rushmore" worksheet. Review the directions as a class. Model a sample response. Allow time for the student groups to research and complete the worksheet using texts and the Internet.
  5. Have the student groups share their research findings. Record character traits for each president on a class chart.
  6. Lead a class discussion about the character traits that the students identified. Ask the students to consider which traits they found most interesting or surprising. Ask the students to discuss why these character traits are still relevant today.

Sessions 3 and 4

  1. Review the charts from the previous sessions. Ask the students to think of a time when they personally exhibited one of these character traits. Tell the students that they will be writing a narrative story sharing this experience.
  2. Distribute one "My Character Story" worksheet to each student. Review the directions together. Have the students complete the worksheet. After the students write their story on the "My Character Story" worksheet, tell the students that they will be designing a new coin based on their character story.
  3. Distribute the "My Character Coin" worksheet and crayons. Review the directions together. Have the students complete the worksheet.
  4. Place students in small groups to share their stories and designs for a new coin.
  5. Display the character stories and coins on a bulletin board about the unique character traits that the class embodies.

Differentiated Learning Options

  • Provide a list of preselected character traits.
  • Allow students to work with a partner or scribe.
  • Allow students extended time to complete the work.
  • Allow students to type their story on a computer.
  • Allow students to create their illustration on a computer.

Enrichments/Extensions

  • Have the students extend the study of character traits by comparing and contrasting traits of various characters in several children’s books.
  • Have the students brainstorm a list of character traits that describe someone influential in their community.
  • Have students research other national park monuments that feature subjects with similar character traits.
  • Take anecdotal notes about the students’ participation in class discussions and group activities.
  • Evaluate the students’ worksheets for understanding of the lesson objectives.
  • Use the "My Character Story and Coin Checklist" to assess students’ work.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.3 Writing
Grade(s): Grade 3
Cluster: Text Types and Purposes
Standards:

  • W.3.1. Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons.
    • Introduce the topic or text they are writing about, state an opinion, and create an organizational structure that lists reasons.
    • Provide reasons that support the opinion.
    • Use linking words and phrases (e.g., because, therefore, since, for example) to connect opinion and reasons.
    • Provide a concluding statement or section.
  • W.3.2. Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.
    • Introduce a topic and group related information together; include illustrations when useful to aiding comprehension.
    • Develop the topic with facts, definitions, and details.
    • Use linking words and phrases (e.g., also, another, and, more, but) to connect ideas within categories of information.
    • Provide a concluding statement or section.
  • W.3.3. Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.
    • Establish a situation and introduce a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally.
    • Use dialogue and descriptions of actions, thoughts, and feelings to develop experiences and events or show the response of characters to situations.
    • Use temporal words and phrases to signal event order.
    • Provide a sense of closure.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.2 Reading: Literature
Grade(s): Grade 3
Cluster: Craft and Structure
Standards:

  • RL.2.4. Describe how words and phrases (e.g., regular beats, alliteration, rhymes, repeated lines) supply rhythm and meaning in a story, poem, or song.
  • RL.2.5. Describe the overall structure of a story, including describing how the beginning introduces the story and the ending concludes the action.
  • RL.2.6. Acknowledge differences in the points of view of characters, including by speaking in a different voice for each character when reading dialogue aloud.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.2 Reading: Literature
Grade(s): Grade 3
Cluster: Key Ideas and Details
Standards:

  • RL.2.1. Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text.
  • RL.2.2. Recount stories, including fables and folktales from diverse cultures, and determine their central message, lesson, or moral.
  • RL.2.3. Describe how characters in a story respond to major events and challenges.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.3 Reading: Literature
Grade(s): Grade 3
Cluster: Craft and Structure
Standards:

  • RL.3.4. Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, distinguishing literal from nonliteral language.
  • RL.3.5. Refer to parts of stories, dramas, and poems when writing or speaking about a text, using terms such as chapter, scene, and stanza; describe how each successive part builds on earlier sections.
  • RL.3.6. Distinguish their own point of view from that of the narrator or those of the characters.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.3 Reading: Literature
Grade(s): Grade 3
Cluster: Key Ideas and Details
Standards:

  • RL.3.1. Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.
  • RL.3.2. Recount stories, including fables, folktales, and myths from diverse cultures; determine the central message, lesson, or moral and explain how it is conveyed through key details in the text.
  • RL.3.3. Describe characters in a story (e.g., their traits, motivations, or feelings) and explain how their actions contribute to the sequence of events.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.2 Writing
Grade(s): Grade 3
Cluster: Text Types and Purposes
Standards:

  • 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: L.2 Language
Grade(s): Grade 3
Cluster: Conventions of Standard English
Standards:

  • L.2.1. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
    • Use collective nouns (e.g., group).
    • Form and use frequently occurring irregular plural nouns (e.g., feet, children, teeth, mice, fish).
    • Use reflexive pronouns (e.g., myself, ourselves)
    • Form and use the past tense of frequently occurring irregular verbs (e.g., sat, hid, told).
    • Use adjectives and adverbs, and choose between them depending on what is to be modified.
    • Produce, expand, and rearrange complete simple and compound sentences (e.g., The boy watched the movie; The little boy watched the movie; The action movie was watched by the little boy).
  • L.2.2. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
    • Capitalize holidays, product names, and geographic names.
    • Use commas in greetings and closings of letters.
    • Use an apostrophe to form contractions and frequently occurring possessives.
    • Generalize learned spelling patterns when writing words (e.g., cage --> badge; boy --> boil).
    • Consult reference materials, including beginning dictionaries, as needed to check and correct spellings.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: L.3 Language
Grade(s): Grade 3
Cluster: Conventions of Standard English
Standards:

  • L.3.1. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
    • Explain the function of nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs in general and their functions in particular sentences.
    • Form and use regular and irregular plural nouns.
    • Use abstract nouns (e.g., childhood).
    • Form and use regular and irregular verbs.
    • Form and use the simple (e.g., I walked; I walk; I will walk) verb tenses.
    • Ensure subject-verb and pronoun-antecedent agreement.
    • Form and use comparative and superlative adjectives and adverbs, and choose between them depending on what is to be modified.
    • Use coordinating and subordinating conjunctions.
    • Produce simple, compound, and complex sentences.
  • L.3.2. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
    • Capitalize appropriate words in titles.
    • Use commas in addresses.
    • Use commas and quotation marks in dialogue.
    • Form and use possessives.
    • Use conventional spelling for high-frequency and other studied words and for adding suffixes to base words (e.g., sitting, smiled, cries, happiness).
    • Use spelling patterns and generalizations (e.g., word families, position-based spellings, syllable patterns, ending rules, meaningful word parts) in writing words.
    • Consult reference materials, including beginning dictionaries, as needed to check and correct spellings.

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

  • Students apply a wide range of strategies to comprehend, interpret, evaluate, and appreciate texts. They draw on their prior experience, their interactions with other readers and writers, their knowledge of word meaning and of other texts, their word identification strategies, and their understanding of textual features (e.g., sound–letter correspondence, sentence structure, context, graphics).

Discipline: Social Studies
Domain: All Thematic Standards
Cluster: Individual Development and Identity
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

Teachers should:

  • assist learners in articulating personal connections to time, place, and social/cultural systems
  •  help learners to appreciate and describe the influence of cultures, past and  present, upon the daily lives of individuals
  • assist learners to describe how family, religion, gender, ethnicity, nationality, socioeconomic status, and other group and cultural influences contribute to the development of a sense of self
  • have learners apply concepts, inquiry, methods, and theories in the study of human growth and development, learning, motivation, behavior, perception, and personality
  • guide learners as they analyze the interactions among ethical, ethnic, national, and cultural factors in specific situations
  • help learners to analyze the role of perceptions, attitudes, values, and beliefs in the development of personal identity and their effect upon human behavior
  • have learners compare and evaluate the impact of stereotyping, conformity, acts of altruism, discrimination, and other behaviors on individuals and groups
  • help learners understand how individual perceptions develop, vary, and can lead to conflict
  • assist learners as they work independently and cooperatively within groups and institutions to accomplish goals
  • enable learners to examine factors that contribute to and damage one’s mental health; and analyze issues related to mental health and behavioral disorders in contemporary society

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: Social Studies
Domain: All Thematic Standards
Cluster: Civic Ideals and Practices
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

Teachers should:

  • assist learners in understanding the origins and continuing influence of key ideals of the democratic republican form of government, such as individual human dignity, liberty, justice, equality, and the rule of law
  • guide learner efforts to identify, analyze, interpret, and evaluate sources and examples of citizens’ rights and responsibilities
  • facilitate learner efforts to locate, access, analyze, organize, synthesize, evaluate, and apply information about selected public issues—identifying, describing, and evaluating multiple points of view and taking reasoned positions on such issues
  • provide opportunities for learners to practice forms of civic discussion and participation consistent with the ideals of citizens in a democratic republic
  • help learners to analyze and evaluate the influence of various forms of citizen action on public policy
  • prepare learners to analyze a variety of public policies and issues from the perspective of formal and informal political actors
  • guide learners as they evaluate the effectiveness of public opinion in influencing and shaping public policy development and decision-making
  • encourage learner efforts to evaluate the degree to which public policies and citizen behaviors reflect or foster the stated ideals of a democratic republican form of government
  • support learner efforts to construct policy statements and action plans to achieve goals related to issues of public concern
  • create opportunities for learner participation in activities to strengthen the “common good,” based upon careful evaluation of possible options for citizen action

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: 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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