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Commemorative Coin Poetry

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Students discuss and research an individual or event from a commemorative coin. They then use the information to write acrostic poems, creating stand-up accordion books to display the poems.

Coin Type(s)

  • None

Coin Program(s)

  • Commemoratives


Students will collect and organize research data and use it to write creatively.

Major Subject Area Connections

  • Language Arts


  • Third grade
  • Fourth grade
  • Fifth grade
  • Sixth grade

Class Time

Sessions: One
Session Length: 30-45 minutes
Total Length: 0-45 minutes


  • Whole group
  • Individual work

Terms and Concepts



  1. Research U.S. commemorative coins for your students to use by looking through the U.S. Mint's Web pages listed under Materials. Decide which commemorative coin you want students to research.
  2. Create a K-W-L ("what we Know, what we Want to know, what we Learned") chart. Brainstorm with the class about the coin's subject and take notes on the chart in the first two columns.
  3. Divide the class into small groups and assign each group a question to research. Allow time and resources for the research.
  4. Have the groups share the answers they found with the class. Use the information to fill in the third column of your K-W-L chart.
  5. Direct the students back into the same small groups, then have them write an acrostic for the commemorative coin, with the first letter of each line spelling out the name of the individual or event. For example, "Olympics" might read:

    Originated in Athens
    Links people of many nations together
    Youngest athlete ever to compete was 12 years old
    Myriad of events
    Participants come from many countries
    Individual and team sports
    Cities around the world vie for the honor of hosting the games
    Summer and winter games are held every four years

  6. Have the groups create an illustrated page for each line of their acrostic, and then tape the pages together to form a stand-up accordion book for display.

Differentiated Learning Options

Have students write a brief essay explaining why the person or event was worthy of a commemorative coin.

Technology Extensions

Have students transform their acrostics into online or multimedia projects.

Use a standard writing rubric that includes any criteria set by you or the students to judge the merits of the acrostics and accordion books.

There are no related resources for this lesson plan.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.3 Reading: Foundational Skills
Grade(s): Grade 3
Cluster: Phonics and Word Recognition

  • RF.3.3. Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words.
    • Identify and know the meaning of the most common prefixes and derivational suffixes.
    • Decode words with common Latin suffixes.
    • Decode multi-syllable words.
    • Read grade-appropriate irregularly spelled words.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.4 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade 3
Cluster: Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity

  • RI.4.10. By the end of year, read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, in the grades 4–5 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.4 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade 3
Cluster: Key Ideas and Details

  • RI.4.1. Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
  • RI.4.2. Determine the main idea of a text and explain how it is supported by key details; summarize the text.
  • RI.4.3. Explain events, procedures, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text, including what happened and why, based on specific information in the text.

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

  • 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.