Symbols on Coins: U.S. Coins Evolved from Ancient Times
Main Subject Area: Social Studies
Additional Subjects: Art
Duration of Lesson: 90 minutes
Additional Subject Area Standard(s):
Students will create their own coin, which will include a portrait and symbols on the obverse and reverse, the edging, the mintmark and date.
The U.S. Mint's H.I.P. Pocket Change(TM) Web site - http://www.usmint.gov/kids
Handouts with images of ancient coins and currently circulating U.S. coins
Possible Books to use:
“A Look Inside the U.S. Mint” Cobblestone. September, 1985.
Grant, Michael. Roman History From Coins. New York: Barnes and Noble Books, 1995.
Harper, David C., editor. North American Coins and Prices 9th edition. New York: Krause Publications, 2001.
Klawans, Zander. Handbook of Ancient Greek and Roman Coins. Racine, Wisconsin: Western Publishing, Co., 1995.
Krause, Barry. Collecting Coins for Pleasure and Profit. White Hall, Va.: Betterway Publications, 1991.
Lindheim, Leon. Facts and Fictions about Coins – an uncommon guidebook to the wonderful world of numismatics Cleveland, Ohio: World Publishing Co., 1967.
Official 2001 Blackbook Price Guide to United States Coins. Random House, Inc., 2000.
Reinfeld, Fred. How to Build A Coin Collection. New York: Sterling Publishing, Co., 1971.
Schwarz, Ted. Coins as Living History. New York: Arco Publishing Inc., 1976.
Sutherland, Carol H.V. Art In Coinage. New York: Philosophical Library, Inc., 1956.
Yeoman, R.S. A Guidebook of United States Coins, 53rd edition, 2001. Racine, Wisconsin, 2000.
Coins Used in Lesson:
Grade Level(s): 3-5 6-8
2. Distribute handouts with images of ancient and currently circulating U.S. coins, and discuss some of the history and evolution of coins by using the points of information listed below.
3. Discuss some of the similarities between the ancient coins and the circulating coins.
4. Tell your students that they will be creating their own coin to represent an aspect of our culture that they feel is important. Discuss possible coin topics as a class.
5. Have your student create sketches of the front (obverse) and back (reverse) of the proposed coin. The coin sketches should include a portrait and date on the front, a legend and symbol on the back, along with a denominational amount.
6. Give each student a 2” square chunk of modeling clay and a blank piece of paper. Each student will create a planchet (“coin” shaped model) by flattening the clay and then pressing down with an upside down glass.
7. Students can write a description of their coin including rational for the symbol they used.
Assessment / Evaluation:
Differentiated Learning Options: