Counting the 50 States!
Main Subject Area: Social Studies
Additional Subjects: Mathematics
Duration of Lesson: 45 minutes
Additional Subject Area Standard(s):
50 pennies (or images)
20 nickels (or images)
15 dimes (or images)
1 of each of the new quarters that are currently in circulation (or images)
For each state whose quarter design has not yet been released, create a coin outline and write the name of the state across it
1 bag or box
Blank maps of the United States (1 per student)
1 United States map with state names included (1 per group)
Coins Used in Lesson:
Grade Level(s): 3-5
1. Start by displaying the new quarters (or images of them) and a map of the United States. Explain to students that the 50 State Quarters® Program began in 1999. That year, the U.S. Mint began striking a new quarter every ten weeks to honor one of the 50 states. The quarters are struck in the same order as the states' birthdays. Currently, there are only 25 quarters that have been released into circulation. The U.S. Mint produces 5 quarters per year and won't be finished with all 50 until 2008.
2. Introduce the next activity by explaining to students that they will be playing a game. Explain that the goal of the game is for the students to learn more about U.S. geography and to practice counting and exchanging money.
3. Separate the class into groups of 3-5. Distribute one bag (filled with 50 quarters or images of them) and one die to each group. Then distribute one blank U.S. map to each student.
4. Direct each player to roll the die. The person who rolls the smallest number will be the banker. The banker’s job is to check the players’ answers, and to distribute and exchange money. This person will be responsible for the bag of quarters. To each banker, distribute one U.S. map labeled with the states’ names, 50 pennies, 20 nickels, and 15 dimes. Instruct the bankers not to show the labeled map to the other members of their group.
5. Model the procedure of the game to the students. First, draw a quarter out of the bag.
6. Read aloud the state that the quarter represents. Find this state on your blank map and label it. Show your map to the banker. Using his/her labeled U.S. map, the banker will check your work.
7. The other members of the group should label their maps with the state that you correctly identified in order to keep track of the group’s progress.
8. Since you answered correctly, you get to roll the die. You will receive a penny (from the banker) for each number you roll. For example: if you roll a 4, you receive 4 pennies from the banker.
9. Explain that it is now the next person’s turn and he/she follows the same procedure (from steps 5-8). Should a player draw a state that the group has already labeled on their maps, he/she puts it back and draws again.
10. Once each player has received a turn, the money exchange begins. For example: if a player rolled a 4 on his/her first turn and a 6 on his/her 2nd turn, he/she now has 10 pennies. The player must now exchange his/her pennies for 1 dime or 2 nickels. He/she will need to request the exchange from the banker.
11. The play continues around the group until someone reaches 50 cents. Each person is responsible for counting his/her money.
12. Once a player has reached 50 cents, he/she turns it in to the banker for verification. If the banker confirms that the player has 50 cents, that player is the winner.
Assessment / Evaluation:
Differentiated Learning Options: