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Relevance in Stone

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Summary

Starting with the Mount Rushmore National Memorial quarter, students will analyze how the accomplishments of Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Roosevelt led to their inclusion on Mount Rushmore and relate to contemporary issues.

Coin Type(s)

  • Quarter

Coin Program(s)

  • America The Beautiful Quarters

Objectives

Students will analyze how the accomplishments of Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Roosevelt led to their inclusion on Mount Rushmore and relate to contemporary issues.

Major Subject Area Connections

  • Language Arts
  • Social Studies

Grades

  • Ninth grade
  • Tenth grade
  • Eleventh grade
  • Twelfth grade

Class Time

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

Groupings

  • Whole group
  • Small groups
  • Individual work

Materials

Preparations

  • Make copies of relevant worksheets.
  • Bookmark relevant Web sites.

Worksheets and Files

Lesson plan, worksheet(s), and rubric (if any) at www.usmint.gov/kids/teachers/lessonPlans/pdf/396.pdf.

  1. Display and examine the "Mount Rushmore National Memorial Quarter" page. Locate this site on a class map. Note its position in relation to your school’s location. Explain to the students that the United States Mint began to issue the quarters in the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program in 2010. When the program ends in 2021, there will be 56 designs. Each design will focus on a different national site—one from each state, territory and the District of Columbia.
  2. Have a class or small group discussion about the design and discuss Mount Rushmore National Memorial in general. Have the students name the four presidents represented; Washington, Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Lincoln.
  3. Have the students research one accomplishment of each president and explain how those accomplishments may have led to their inclusion on Mount Rushmore.
  4. Have the students partner as randomly as possible so they can work with classmates who are not their usual choice. For example, have them form two concentric circles and walk in opposite directions until they get a signal to stop. Have the pairs share their accomplishment for Washington and fill in the classmate’s Washington box on their "Accomplishments" worksheet. Repeat the random selection and sharing process for each of the four presidents. As a class, discuss the accomplishments discovered and which ones actually apply (see the worksheet answer key).
  5. Have the students pick a contemporary issue for a letter to the editor of a fictional newspaper. Allow time for them to research these four presidents’ stated views (quotes) and acts that support the student’s opinion. Review the "Letter to the Editor Rubric" with them. Then have them write to the editor giving their opinion and drawing on one or more of these presidents’ relevant quotes or actions to support their position.
There are no modification options for this lesson plan.
  • Use the rubric to evaluate the student’s letter to assess whether they have met the lesson objective.
  • Evaluate the "Accomplishments Worksheet" for completeness and accuracy.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.9-10 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grades 9– 10
Cluster: Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
Standards:

  • RI.9-10.7. Analyze various accounts of a subject told in different mediums (e.g., a person’s life story in both print and multimedia), determining which details are emphasized in each account.
  • RI.9-10.8. Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is valid and the evidence is relevant and sufficient; identify false statements and fallacious reasoning.
  • RI.9-10.9. Analyze seminal U.S. documents of historical and literary significance (e.g., Washington’s Farewell Address, the Gettysburg Address, Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms speech, King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail”), including how they address related themes and concepts.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.9-10 Writing
Grade(s): Grades 9– 10
Cluster: Text Types and Purposes
Standards:

  • W.9-10.1. Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
    • Introduce precise claim(s), distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and create an organization that establishes clear relationships among claim(s), counterclaims, reasons, and evidence.
    • Develop claim(s) and counterclaims fairly, supplying evidence for each while pointing out the strengths and limitations of both in a manner that anticipates the audience’s knowledge level and concerns.
    • Use words, phrases, and clauses to link the major sections of the text, create cohesion, and clarify the relationships between claim(s) and reasons, between reasons and evidence, and between claim(s) and counterclaims.
    • Establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone while attending to the norms and conventions of the discipline in which they are writing.
    • Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the argument presented.
  • W.9-10.2. Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.
    • Introduce a topic; organize complex ideas, concepts, and information to make important connections and distinctions; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., figures, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.
    • Develop the topic with well-chosen, relevant, and sufficient facts, extended definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples appropriate to the audience’s knowledge of the topic.
    • Use appropriate and varied transitions to link the major sections of the text, create cohesion, and clarify the relationships among complex ideas and concepts.
    • Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to manage the complexity of the topic.
    • Establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone while attending to the norms and conventions of the discipline in which they are writing.
    • Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the information or explanation presented (e.g., articulating implications or the significance of the topic).
  • W.9-10.3. Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.
    • Engage and orient the reader by setting out a problem, situation, or observation, establishing one or multiple point(s) of view, and introducing a narrator and/or characters; create a smooth progression of experiences or events.
    • Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, description, reflection, and multiple plot lines, to develop experiences, events, and/or characters.
    • Use a variety of techniques to sequence events so that they build on one another to create a coherent whole.
    • Use precise words and phrases, telling details, and sensory language to convey a vivid picture of the experiences, events, setting, and/or characters.
    • Provide a conclusion that follows from and reflects on what is experienced, observed, or resolved over the course of the narrative.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.9-10 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grades 9– 10
Cluster: Key Ideas and Details
Standards:

  • RI.9-10.1. Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
  • RI.9-10.2. Determine a central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.
  • RI.9-10.3. Analyze how the author unfolds an analysis or series of ideas or events, including the order in which the points are made, how they are introduced and developed, and the connections that are drawn between them.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.9-10 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grades 9– 10
Cluster: Craft and Structure
Standards:

  • RI.9-10.4. Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings; analyze the cumulative impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone (e.g., how the language of a court opinion differs from that of a newspaper).
  • RI.9-10.5. Analyze in detail how an author’s ideas or claims are developed and refined by particular sentences, paragraphs, or larger portions of a text (e.g., a section or chapter).
  • RI.9-10.6. Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text and analyze how an author uses rhetoric to advance that point of view or purpose.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: L.9-10 Language
Grade(s): Grades 9– 10
Cluster: Conventions of Standard English
Standards:

  • L.9-10.1. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
    • Use parallel structure.
    • Use various types of phrases (noun, verb, adjectival, adverbial, participial, prepositional, absolute) and clauses (independent, dependent; noun, relative, adverbial) to convey specific meanings and add variety and interest to writing or presentations.
  • L.9-10.2. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
    • Use a semicolon (and perhaps a conjunctive adverb) to link two or more closely related independent clauses.
    • Use a colon to introduce a list or quotation.
    • Spell correctly.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: SL.9-10 Speaking and Listening
Grade(s): Grades 9– 10
Cluster: Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas
Standards:

  • SL.9-10.4. Present information, findings, and supporting evidence clearly, concisely, and logically such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and task.
  • SL.9-10.5. Make strategic use of digital media (e.g., textual, graphical, audio, visual, and interactive elements) in presentations to enhance understanding of findings, reasoning, and evidence and to add interest.
  • SL.9-10.6. Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate. (See grades 9–10 Language standards 1 and 3 for specific expectations.)

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.9-10 Writing
Grade(s): Grades 9– 10
Cluster: Production and Distribution of Writing
Standards:

  • W.9-10.4. Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 1–3 above.)
  • W.9-10.5. Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on addressing what is most significant for a specific purpose and audience. (Editing for conventions should demonstrate command of Language standards 1–3 up to and including grades 9–10.)
  • W.9-10.6. Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products, taking advantage of technology’s capacity to link to other information and to display information flexibly and dynamically.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.9-10 Writing
Grade(s): Grades 9– 10
Cluster: Research to Build and Present Knowledge
Standards:

  • W.9-10.7. Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.
  • W.9-10.8. Gather relevant information from multiple authoritative print and digital sources, using advanced searches effectively; assess the usefulness of each source in answering the research question; integrate information into the text selectively to maintain the flow of ideas, avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation.
  • W.9-10.9. Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
    • Apply grades 9–10 Reading standards to literature (e.g., “Analyze how an author draws on and transforms source material in a specific work [e.g., how Shakespeare treats a theme or topic from Ovid or the Bible or how a later author draws on a play by Shakespeare]”).
    • Apply grades 9–10 Reading standards to literary nonfiction (e.g., “Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is valid and the evidence is relevant and sufficient; identify false statements and fallacious reasoning”).

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: Social Studies
Domain: All Disciplinary Standards
Cluster: Civics and Government
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

Teachers should:

  • assist learners in developing an understanding of civic life, politics, and government, so that the learners can explore the origins of governmental authority, recognize the need for government; identify the crucial functions of government, including laws and rules; evaluate rules and laws; differentiate between limited and unlimited government; and appreciate the importance of limitations on government power
  • guide learners as they explore American democracy, including the American idea of constitutional government, the impact of the distinctive characteristics of American society on our government, the nature of the American political culture, and the values and principles that are basic to American life and government
  • help learners understand how the government of the United States operates under the constitution and the purposes, values, and principles of American democracy, including the ideas of distributed, shared, and limited powers of government; how the national, state, and local governments are organized; and the place of law in the system
  • enable learners to understand the relationship of the United States to other nations and to world affairs
  • assist learners in developing an understanding of citizenship, its rights and responsibilities, and in developing their abilities and dispositions to participate effectively in civic life
  • insure that learners are made aware of the full range of opportunities to participate as citizens in the American democracy and of their responsibilities for doing so

Discipline: Social Studies
Domain: All Thematic Standards
Cluster: Power, Authority, and Governance
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

Teachers should:

  • enable learners to examine the rights and responsibilities of the individual in relation to their families, their social groups, their community, and their nation; help students to understand the purpose of government and how its powers are acquired, used, and justified
  • provide opportunities for learners to examine issues involving the rights, roles, and status of individuals in relation to the general welfare
  • enable learners to describe the ways nations and organizations respond to forces of unity and diversity affecting order and security
  • have learners explain conditions, actions, and motivations that contribute to conflict and cooperation within and among nations
  • help learners to analyze and explain governmental mechanisms to meet the needs and wants of citizens, regulate territory, manage conflict, and establish order and security
  • have learners identify and describe the basic features of the American political system, and identify representative leaders from various levels and branches of government
  • challenge learners to apply concepts such as power, role, status, justice, democratic values, and influence to the examination of persistent issues and social problems guide learners to explain and evaluate how governments attempt to achieve their stated ideals at home and abroad