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16 Lesson Plan Starters

Printable view

Summary

See individual starters.

Coin Type(s)

  • Quarter

Coin Program(s)

  • America The Beautiful Quarters

Objectives

To explore the rich history and environment of national sites using the United States Mint's America the Beautiful Quarters® Program.

Major Subject Area Connections

  • Language Arts
  • Math
  • Science
  • Social Studies
  • Technology

Grades

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

Class Time

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

Groupings

  • Whole group
  • Individual work

Worksheets and Files

Rubric template at www.usmint.gov/kids/teachers/lessonPlans/pdf/80-81-91-92.pdf

You Just Had to Be There

Subject Area

Language Arts

Summary

See the national parks and forests from a different perspective by completing a RAFT writing assignment.  Start by choosing from the list of designated sites.  RAFTS allow you to choose your role (R), audience (A), format (F) and topic (T).  For example, you might choose to be an experienced guide (R) who is preparing to take a group of inexperienced campers (A) on a camping trip (T) in Mt. Hood National Forest.  In preparing for the trip, you create a list (F) of the Top Ten Things You Should Know Before Coming to Mt. Hood National Forest.  Or you can create your own RAFT writing assignment.

Postcards from the Park

Subject Areas

Science, Social Studies, Language Arts

Summary

Create a travelogue on a designated site of your choice.  Write a series of informative postcards back to your geography or science classmates.  Choose a specific topic from the content area of your choice and focus your text and illustrations on that topic and content area.  You may create digital postcards using multimedia software or traditional postcards using art supplies.

Seeing It from Both Sides

Subject Areas

Social Studies, Language Arts

Summary

Research the conflicts that have arisen between conservationists and developers in Yosemite National Park.  Write the transcript for a debate that could have taken place between these two parties or record yourself and a classmate holding a debate that could have occurred.  The debates can be recorded ahead of time and shown in class or take place live in front of a panel of student judges.

Environment PSA

Subject Areas

Science, Technology

Summary

Research a unique environmental problem at one of the designated sites.  Create a series of public service announcements that highlight this problem and possible solutions.  Present your public service announcements in a multimedia format such as a podcast, short Web video, or act it out in front of a live audience.

Virtually There

Subject Areas

Technology, Social Studies, Language Arts, Science, Math

Summary

The National Park Service has hired you to create an electronic field trip to one of the designated sites.  Your field trip may be designed for any grade level and can be specific to a particular subject area.  Make sure your content is not only accurate but appropriate for the selected age and content area.  Share the electronic field trip by creating a Web quest for other students, a multimedia presentation, or a podcast with audio directions for the field trip.  Share the completed product with students from another class or grade level.

Pitch an Ad

Subject Area

Technology

Summary

Use your creative genius to produce a series of print, video, or audio advertisements for one of the designated sites.  Be prepared to share your product and "sell" it to a tour company specializing in school group tours.  Have the class rate the effectiveness of the pitch.

Mountains, Mesas and More

Subject Areas

Social Studies, Science

Summary

Research some of the landforms found in the different national sites depicted on the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program coins.  Choose one of the landforms and create a podcast or multimedia presentation on that particular landform.  Focus on the physical characteristics of the landform, what makes it different from other landforms, and how the landforms affect people, plants, and animals.

If You Could Talk to the Animals

Subject Areas

Science, Technology

Summary

In honor of the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program, the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History is creating an exhibit on the animals of the sites.  As part of its outreach to schools, the Museum is putting together multimedia travel trunks to be sent to the schools and has hired you to create one.  Choose a national site and create a presentation on the animals found there.  Share the presentations with other classes.

Your Coin Scrapbook

Subject Areas

Social Studies, Art

Summary

As a dedicated coin collector, you will want to not only collect all of the coins in the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program, but you'll also want to gather information about all of the sites featured on the coins.  Create a scrapbook (digital or print) that includes all the released coins along with a narrative describing the scene depicted on each and a "Top Ten" list of important facts about each site.

How They Survived

Subject Area

Science

Summary

You've been hired as a cook for a summer outdoor program in Yellowstone National Park.  One of the highlights of the program is a week-long camping excursion into the Park.  As cook for the group, you know you will not be able to actually live off the foods found in the park but you would like to educate the campers in what life might have been like for the early settlers of the region.  Create sample menus using what early explorers might have been able to gather in the park or create a "what to look for" guide to help participants identify sources of food that may have been used.

A Balancing Act

Subject Areas

Science, Language Arts

Summary

Wolves were not found in Yellowstone National Park for many years.  Their reintroduction into the Park was somewhat controversial.  Examine their reintroduction and the impact it had on the ecosystem of the Park.  Write an essay supporting or opposing the reintroduction plan based solely on the scientific evidence you find to support your argument.

Animals Come and Animals Go

Subject Areas

Science, Language Arts

Summary

Choose one or more of the designated sites and evaluate the past and potential future impact of climate change on the animals and/or plants of the park.  Demonstrate your findings in a multimedia or written report and share it with the class.

Looking Into the Crystal Ball

Subject Area

Language Arts

Summary

In preparation for the centennial of the national parks in 2016, surveys were done whose information was used to shape future goals for the national parks.  Design and conduct your own survey and use your findings to establish goals for the national parks.  There are many government websites that can help you understand more about the national park system.

Telling Their Stories

Subject Areas

Social Studies, Language Arts

Summary

The rich history of the national sites includes the stories of thousands of people.  Choose a site and a person (fictional or real) and write their story as a first-person narrative (through their eyes).  Add to your work by presenting this person's story orally to your class.  Consider supplementing your presentation with visuals or a costume.  You may also write and record the presentation ahead of time to create an audio learning exercise where each student can listen to an oral history and share what they have learned.

Days Gone By

Subject Area

Language Arts

Summary

Are you familiar with the glory days of radio?  During that time, radio theater plays were often performed.  Obviously, the actors couldn't rely on movement or facial expressions so they were forced to tell the story by expressive reading and many sound effects.  A narrator or narrators served the important role of filling in necessary details and describing the scene and action.  Write a radio theater presentation on a topic of interest to you that focuses on one of the designated sites.

You Were There

Subject Area

Language Arts

Summary

Choose one of the designated national sites.  Conduct an "interview" or series of interviews with a person (or several people) important to the history or development of your chosen site.  Enhance your research by recording this interview or presenting it as a live news conference to your class.

There are no modification options for this lesson plan.
  • Create a rubric using the rubric template, have students create a rubric, or use your favorite rubric modified for each lesson plan idea.  Rubric categories could include historical accuracy of information, grammar and mechanics, creativity, and overall quality of presentation.  If desired, each student could create a fifth category targeting the unique attributes of his/her product.
  • While the lesson starters above are designed to be utilized with technology assignments can also be written.  Some great technology infusion ideas include creating podcasts, recording video presentations, creating student-designed websites to showcase student work, and making dynamic multimedia presentations.
  • Self, peer, and teacher evaluations should be utilized.  Have students share their work outside of class to gain additional feedback.
There are no related resources for this lesson plan.

Discipline: Statistics and Probability (High School)
Domain: HSS-ID Interpreting Categorical and Quantitative Data
Grade(s): Grades 9– 12
Cluster: Summarize, represent, and interpret data on a single count or measurement variable
Standards:

  • HSS-ID.1. Represent data with plots on the real number line (dot plots, histograms, and box plots).
  • HSS-ID.2. Use statistics appropriate to the shape of the data distribution to compare center (median, mean) and spread (interquartile range, standard deviation) of two or more different data sets.
  • HSS-ID.3. Interpret differences in shape, center, and spread in the context of the data sets, accounting for possible effects of extreme data points (outliers).
  • HSS-ID.4. Use the mean and standard deviation of a data set to fit it to a normal distribution and to estimate population percentages. Recognize that there are data sets for which such a procedure is not appropriate. Use calculators, spreadsheets, and tables to estimate areas under the normal curve.

Discipline: Mathematics
Domain: 9-12 Data Analysis and Probability
Cluster: Develop and evaluate inferences and predictions that are based on data.
Grade(s): Grades 9–12
Standards:

In grades 9–12 all students should

  • use simulations to explore the variability of sample statistics from a known population and to construct sampling distributions;
  • understand how sample statistics reflect the values of population parameters and use sampling distributions as the basis for informal inference;
  • evaluate published reports that are based on data by examining the design of the study, the appropriateness of the data analysis, and the validity of conclusions; and
  • understand how basic statistical techniques are used to monitor process characteristics in the workplace.

Discipline: Mathematics
Domain: 9-12 Data Analysis and Probability
Cluster: Formulate questions that can be addressed with data and collect, organize, and display relevant data to answer them.
Grade(s): Grades 9–12
Standards:

In grades 9–12 all students should

  • understand the differences among various kinds of studies and which types of inferences can legitimately be drawn from each;
  • know the characteristics of well-designed studies, including the role of randomization in surveys and experiments;
  • understand the meaning of measurement data and categorical data, of univariate and bivariate data, and of the term variable;
  • understand histograms, parallel box plots, and scatterplots and use them to display data; and
  • compute basic statistics and understand the distinction between a statistic and a parameter.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: All Language Arts Standards
Cluster: Use of Spoken, Written, and Visual Language
Grade(s): Grades 9–12
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: Applying Knowledge to Language
Grade(s): Grades 9–12
Standards:

  • Students apply knowledge of language structure, language conventions (e.g., spelling and punctuation), media techniques, figurative language, and genre to create, critique, and discuss print and nonprint texts.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: All Language Arts Standards
Cluster: Using Technological Information
Grade(s): Grades 9–12
Standards:

  • Students use a variety of technological and information resources (e.g., libraries, databases, computer networks, video) to gather and synthesize information and to create and communicate knowledge.

Discipline: Social Studies
Domain: All Thematic Standards
Cluster: Time, Continuity, and Change
Grade(s): Grades 9–12
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: Science
Domain: 9-12 Content Standards
Cluster: Earth and Space Science
Grade(s): Grades 9–12
Standards:

  • Energy in the Earth system
  • Geochemical cycles
  • Origin and evolution of the Earth system
  • Origin and evolution of the universe

Discipline: Science
Domain: 9-12 Content Standards
Cluster: Life Science
Grade(s): Grades 9–12
Standards:

  • The cell
  • Molecular basis of heredity
  • Biological evolution
  • Interdependence of organisms
  • Matter, energy, and organization in living systems
  • Behavior of organisms

Discipline: Science
Domain: 9-12 Content Standards
Cluster: Science and Technology
Grade(s): Grades 9–12
Standards:

  • Technological design ability
  • Understand science and technology

Discipline: Science
Domain: 9-12 Content Standards
Cluster: Science in Personal and Social Perspectives
Grade(s): Grades 9–12
Standards:

  • Personal and community health
  • Population growth
  • Natural resources
  • Environmental quality
  • Natural and human induced hazards
  • Science and technology in local, national, and global challenges

Discipline: Visual Arts and Music
Domain: 9-12 Visual Arts
Cluster: Standard 6: Making connections between visual arts and other disciplines
Grade(s): Grades 9–12
Standards:

Proficient:

  • Students compare the materials, technologies, media, and processes of the visual arts with those of other arts disciplines as they are used in creation and types of analysis
  • Students compare characteristics of visual arts within a particular historical period or style with ideas, issues, or themes in the humanities or sciences

Advanced:

  • Students synthesize the creative and analytical principles and techniques of the visual arts and selected other arts disciplines, the humanities, or the sciences

Discipline: Visual Arts and Music
Domain: 9-12 Visual Arts
Cluster: Standard 4: Understanding the visual arts in relation to history and cultures
Grade(s): Grades 9–12
Standards:

Proficient:

  • Students differentiate among a variety of historical and cultural contexts in terms of characteristics and purposes of works of art
  • Students describe the function and explore the meaning of specific art objects within varied cultures, times, and places
  • Students analyze relationships of works of art to one another in terms of history, aesthetics, and culture, justifying conclusions made in the analysis and using such conclusions to inform their own art making

Advanced:

  • Students analyze and interpret artworks for relationships among form, context, purposes, and critical models, showing understanding of the work of critics, historians, aestheticians, and artists
  • Students analyze common characteristics of visual arts evident across time

Discipline: Visual Arts and Music
Domain: 9-12 Visual Arts
Cluster: Standard 1: Understanding and applying media, techniques, and processes
Grade(s): Grades 9–12
Standards:

Proficient:

  • Students apply media, techniques, and processes with sufficient skill, confidence, and sensitivity that their intentions are carried out in their artworks
  • Students conceive and create works of visual art that demonstrate an understanding of how the communication of their ideas relates to the media, techniques, and processes they use

Advanced:

  • Students communicate ideas regularly at a high level of effectiveness in at least one visual arts medium
  • Students initiate, define, and solve challenging visual arts problems independently using intellectual skills such as analysis, synthesis, and evaluation

Discipline: Technology
Domain: All Technology Operations and Concepts
Cluster: Students demonstrate a sound understanding of technology concepts, systems, and operations.
Grade(s): Grades 9–12
Standards:

  • Understand and use technology systems
  • Select and use applications effectively and productively
  • Troubleshoot systems and applications
  • Transfer current knowledge to learning of new technologies

Discipline: Technology
Domain: All Research and Information Fluency
Cluster: Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information.
Grade(s): Grades 9–12
Standards:

  • Plan strategies to guide inquiry
  • Locate, organize, analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and ethically use information from a variety of sources and media
  • Evaluate and select information sources and digital tools based on the appropriateness to specific tasks
  • Process data and report results

Discipline: Social Studies
Domain: All Thematic Standards
Cluster: Civic Ideals and Practices
Grade(s): Grades 9–12
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 9–12
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 Thematic Standards
Cluster: Power, Authority, and Governance
Grade(s): Grades 9–12
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

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: All Language Arts Standards
Cluster: Print/Non-print Texts
Grade(s): Grades 9–12
Standards:

  • Students read a wide range of print and non-print texts to build an understanding of texts, of themselves, and of the cultures of the United States and the world; to acquire new information; to respond to the needs and demands of society and the workplace; and for personal fulfillment. Among these texts are fiction and nonfiction, classic and contemporary works. 

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: All Language Arts Standards
Cluster: Applying Strategies to Writing
Grade(s): Grades 9–12
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: Language Arts
Domain: All Language Arts Standards
Cluster: Effective Communication
Grade(s): Grades 9–12
Standards:

  • Students adjust their use of spoken, written, and visual language (e.g., conventions, style, vocabulary) to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences and for different purposes.

Discipline: Social Studies
Domain: All Thematic Standards
Cluster: People, Places, and Environment
Grade(s): Grades 9–12
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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