The ABCs of Coins
As a class, students will study alphabet books to see the many creative ways these books can be put together. After picking a format, the class creates an alphabet book about coins.
Students will develop research skills, drawing techniques, and presentation skills.
Major Subject Area Connections
- Language Arts
Minor/supporting Subject Area Connections
- Third grade
- Fourth grade
- Fifth grade
Session Length: 30-45 minutes
Total Length: 0-45 minutes
- Whole group
Terms and Concepts
- Internet access
- The United States Mint H.I.P. Pocket Change™ Web site at http://www.usmint.gov/kids
- Alphabet books for research
- Art supplies
Bookmark research pages
- As a class, examine several alphabet books and discuss how each book's author has used the words and images to creatively represent each letter. Two good examples are A Swim Through the Sea by Kristin Joy Pratt and Animalia by Graeme Base.
- Tell the students that the class is going to create its own alphabet book...about coins. Decide on the creative format everyone will use, and then discuss how they can find the information they will need. For example, by researching coins on the H.I.P. Pocket Change Web site, students could find words such as "alloy" and "annealing" for the letter A. Then using reference books such as a dictionary and thesaurus, they can find words to help them create the alliteration or rhymes that are needed for the book's format.
- Divide the students into pairs and distribute the alphabet letters to the pairs. Give the students any additional directions or criteria they need. For example, you could require that teams use an adjective, noun, verb, and adverb in each sentence, or that each page of the book have a coin picture hidden somewhere on it. Have your students research coins and coin terms using the Internet and the United States Mint H.I.P. Pocket Change™ Web site.
- After the students have had time to create their pages, assemble the pages to create the alphabet book. As a class, brainstorm a title for the book and artwork for its cover.
- Have each team create electronic versions of their pages so they can be assembled into an online book that's published on the Web.
- If students have more advanced Web-publishing skills, they could include navigation features and multimedia surprises, such as a hidden coin that must be clicked to move to the next letter.
Use a standard writing rubric that includes any criteria set by you or the students to judge the merits of the alphabet pages.
Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.4 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade 4
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.