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14 Lesson Plan Starters

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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: Four
Session Length: 45-60 minutes
Total Length: 121-150 minutes

Worksheets and Files

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

Honoring Battles of the Past

Subject Area

Language Arts, Social Studies

Summary

Read about the battles at Vicksburg and Gettysburg and design a modern-day monument to the men who fought in these battles. Include a detailed drawing of your monument along with a meaningful inscription.  Include key points of the battles reinforcing the reason for your design.  Write a persuasive letter to the National Park Service telling why your monument should be built at one of these parks.

National Sites Careers

Subject Areas

Language Arts

Summary

What education or experience would you need in order to apply for a job at one of our national sites? Many talented people work at a wide variety of jobs in our national sites every day.  Research some of these unique jobs, such as geologist, hydrologist, historian, and botanist.  Create a spreadsheet of occupations from the national sites (usajobs.gov gives some of the specific requirements) and show what classes/majors or work experience are required to pursue these occupations.  Create a sample resume detailing sample education and job experience that would make someone a good candidate for one of the positions.

Civilian Conservation Corps

Subject Areas

Language Arts, Social Studies

Summary

Become a historian and create a presentation that highlights the Civilian Conservation Corps, the “Men Who Built the Parks.“ View the Platt Historic District and the “remarkable and inviting landscape….whose features reflect the hard work of young men.”   Present the legacy and history of this special group of men and why they're so important to Chickasaw National Park.

Natural Defense

Subject Areas

Language Arts, Social Studies

Summary

Demonstrate how natural resources were beneficial to the military in the 1800s.  Visit the Vicksburg National Park site to learn more.  Create a diagram depicting the resources that can be found in Vicksburg that played a role in the American Civil War Battle of Vicksburg.  Write a detailed summary explaining how the natural resources became an effective defense strategy and a “natural link” between nature and the soldiers.

Gettysburg Twist

Subject Areas

Language Arts, Social Studies

Summary

Locate a copy of the Gettysburg Address.  Read and, if possible, listen to this famous speech.  Analyze the speech and summarize Abraham Lincoln's main points.  Talk about its importance to the famous battle.  Present your findings in class.

Go 3-D

Subject Area

Language Arts, Science

Summary

Choose a national site from among the 2011 quarters and learn about the flora, various landscapes, and natural resources that can be found there.  Create a pop-up picture book with a catchy title.  Your target audience will be young students, focusing on kids in grades K through 3.  The audience should enjoy the 3-D aspect, learn more about the environment, and appreciate nature by reading your book.  You also need to look for an unexpected fact from the site that can be an added surprise for your readers.

Walk with Me

Subject Areas

Language Arts, Social Studies

Summary

Visit the Gettysburg National Military Park (or the park's Web site) and take the gallery walk through the David Wills House.  Learn about its historical importance in the story of Lincoln and the Gettysburg Address.  Create a multimedia presentation to take viewers back in time and learn more about this special house.

Game Time

Subject Areas

All

Summary

Visit the Web sites of national sites and gather some fun facts and trivia about our national parks based on images found on America the Beautiful Quarters.  Learn about famous people, landmarks, natural resources, flora, and fauna, and then create a trivia-based board game to show off what you learned.

Conserve and Preserve

Subject Areas

Language Arts, Science

Summary

Our national sites preserve what we have today for tomorrow's visitors.  Contact and interview a scientist or ranger who works at one of the national sites to find out what our national sites are doing to conserve and preserve their nature and beauty for the future.  To tell us all about your findings, write a magazine article that gives the details of your research.  Design a colorful, attention-grabbing cover for the magazine, encouraging readers to read your article.

Natural Resources

Subject Area

Language Arts, Science

Summary

Our national sites are home to many beautiful natural resources and ecosystems.  Research your top 10 site choices and create a multimedia presentation highlighting each site and its resources using striking images, background music, and narration or captions.

Landscape Changes

Subject Areas

Science

Summary

Earth is always changing, a situation that's clear in places like Glacier National Park.  The park is named for its glacier-carved terrain and actual glaciers descended from ice ages of 10,000 years ago.  To demonstrate the geological process that helped define the park, research the park's geological landscape and create an interactive demonstration and a timeline showing how the glaciers have receded over the years.  Highlight the different causes of this effect.

Past and Present

Subject Areas

Language Arts, Social Studies

Summary

Research items from the past in the virtual museums at five of the national sites.  Choose 5 to 7 museum pieces that you feel best symbolize those national sites in the past.  Then select 5 to 7 modern items that you feel best represent the natural beauty and special features of those sites today.  Recreate the historic items and present them using the medium of your choice.  Design a time capsule to house them and explain where the time capsule should be buried.  Create a visual presentation showing both the historic and modern items so tomorrow's public has a better understanding of what makes our national sites so special.

Take Us There

Subject Area

Language Arts, Science, Social Studies

Summary

Be the expert! Research one of the national sites shown on an America the Beautiful Quarter and prepare a history lesson.  Present the highlights of the site and its history, people, and natural beauty.  Include information about why it became a national site, what the land is like, and what makes it such a special place to visit.  Design a brochure and include a timeline of the site's development in your presentation.

Move It!

Subject Areas

Language Arts

Summary

There are many ways people can enjoy our national sites.  Getting outside and viewing beautiful scenery, learning about our history, and seeing various plants and animals are just a few.  Research to learn more about the various recreational activities available at five national sites and create a “move it” brochure and billboard encouraging people get out and walk, bike, hike, and otherwise move through the sites.

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 used with technology, assignments can also be written out.  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 used.  Have students share their work outside of class to gain additional feedback.
There are no related resources for this lesson plan.

This lesson plan is not associated with any Common Core Standards.

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: Mathematics
Domain: 9-12 Measurement
Cluster: Apply appropriate techniques, tools, and formulas to determine measurements.
Grade(s): Grades 9–12
Standards:

In grades 9–12 all students should

  • analyze precision, accuracy, and approximate error in measurement situations;
  • understand and use formulas for the area, surface area, and volume of geometric figures, including cones, spheres, and cylinders;
  • apply informal concepts of successive approximation, upper and lower bounds, and limit in measurement situations; and
  • use unit analysis to check measurement computations.

Discipline: Mathematics
Domain: 9-12 Measurement
Cluster: Understand measurable attributes of objects and the units, systems, and processes of measurement.
Grade(s): Grades 9–12
Standards:

In grades 9–12 all students should

  • make decisions about units and scales that are appropriate for problem situations involving measurement.

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