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National Coin Week 2014

Happy National Coin Week 2014!  National Coin Week was started to help people get to know about numismatics…the hobby and study of coins and paper money.

In 1983, President Reagan set aside the third week in April as a time for people to think about coins.  Why?  Because collecting coins can help you learn about science, history, and important people, places, and events.   Besides, lots of people find that collecting coins is just plain fun!

This year's theme is “Coin and Country:  Celebrating Civic Service.”  What history can you learn from coins?  National Coin Week is a good time to find out…and H.I.P. Pocket Change is the perfect place!

Fitting Festivities

This year, National Coin Week will run from April 20 to 26.  Here are some ideas on how you and your class(es) can celebrate!

Related Lesson Plans and Coins

Take a look at these lesson plans, Teacher Features, and coins relating to J.F. Kennedy and civic service: 

  • Lend a Helping Hand  (Grades 4–6, America the Beautiful quarters, Acadia).  Students will demonstrate understanding of the importance of philanthropy, community service, and volunteerism in our culture.  Students will examine the contributions of famous Americans to the national park system. 
  • By George, I Think We Have It!  (Grades 2 and 3, Bicentennial coins).  Students will identify George Washington and his contributions to the United States.  Students will understand the main ideas of the Revolutionary War. Students will understand the basic concept of voting. 
  • Giving Back  (Grades 2–6, Teacher Feature, dime).  Students select a cause that means something special to them and discuss ways in which they could support a charitable organization (either through raising money or performing a charitable act). 
  • Notable American Citizens  (Grades 2–8, Teacher Feature, Booker T. Washington commemorative coin).  Students select the name of a different African American to research and write a convincing argument for why that person's contributions to the U.S. should be commemorated with a coin. 
  • A World of Money  (Grades 9–12, 50 State Quarters and circulating coins).  Students will identify, recognize, and appreciate continuing global traditions related to the creation of national currencies.  They will evaluate and analyze the role currency plays in shaping a national or regional identity.  They will discuss and predict how regional, cultural, and national identity influences the designers of world currency. 
  • Coins in U.S .History  (Grades 3–5, circulating coins).  Students will investigate, appreciate, and deepen their knowledge of U.S. coins and the history associated with these coins.  They will also learn about events in U.S. history. 
  • Give Me Liberty  (Grades 11 and 12, Presidential $1 Coin).  Students will define “liberty” and explore the concept in our nation's history and culture.  Students will connect the office of the presidency to our nation's development and its place in history, then create a multimedia presentation. 
  • Serving Our Nation  (Grades 3–8, Presidential $1 Coin).  Students will read about and research the lives of specific war veterans who have been honored on coins or medals to compare their common characteristics and differences. 
  • History in the Making  (Grades 3–8, Presidential $1 Coin).  Students will make associations between a historical period, the office of the President of the United States, and foreign policy. They will diagram this connection and write an essay and present a team skit. 

More Lesson Plans

The Educators area offers hundreds of lesson plans covering all major subject areas.  All are written by teachers and adhere to national standards, so you're sure to find plans you can use, from kindergarten through high school.

We have short lessons called Teacher Features, full-fledged lesson plans searchable by several parameters, and a collection that relates to each circulating coin called the Coin Curricula Center

You'll also find plans that use as a starting point coin programs, such as:

…and more!  Come and browse all our lesson plans using the new database search feature!

Educational Games

The Games page in the Kids area has dozens of games that both entertain and educate.  Which ones will help you teach the skills and topics in your curriculum?  Peruse the educators' Games Center to find out.

In the Games Center, you'll see lists of games divided into grade-appropriate groups.  On the lists are each game's description, the skills it addresses, and its subject area connections.

Just for Kids

In our Kids area, called the United States Mint H.I.P. Pocket Change Web site, we have a whole page set up to help kids fill their National Coin Week with timely activities.

The H.I.P. Pocket Change Pals have picked an activity for each day of the week.  Kids can join the fun by coming back every day to do the day's pick!

Beginning on Tuesday, students who develop an interest in coin collecting will enjoy Inspector Collector's Coin Course.  This course is divided into 5 lessons with online activities that reinforce the information, which includes how to obtain coins, store and display them, and organize their collection. 

Click on each image to see the activity.

Since President Kennedy is linked with the “Coin and Country:  Celebrating Civic Service” theme this year, Peter thought it would be good to start the week off with some half-dollar information.  It was way back in September 2000 that Peter himself chose the Kennedy half dollar as the Coin of the Month. 

Another good place to find info on this coin is the fifty-cent coin page.  Learn whose image was on the half dollar just before Kennedy's, and what was on the back of the coin before the presidential seal. 

Like to color?  We thought so.  That's why today Goldie points the way to coloring pages for you! 

In keeping with the Kennedy connection to the Civic Service theme, look under “Other Circulating Coins” to find the coloring page for the fifty-cent coin, a coin that features John F. Kennedy's profile, to download, print, and color.  Then, to continue the theme, find other former presidents in the Presidential $1 Coin Resource Center.  There are already 32 presidents immortalized in coin.  That's a ton of coloring fun! 

Of course, the other free pages are still on the coloring pages page as well:  the H.I.P. Pocket Change Pals, circulating coins, Westward Journey Series nickels, and more.  With all these pages to color, you can color until you run out of crayons!  But don't worry; then you can go to Cents of Color or Painters' Studio and color quarters online! 

Have you taken Inspector Collector's Coin Course yet?  Its information will help you start and keep a solid collection and its fun detective cases will help you become a super coin sleuth! 

Today we'll start with Lesson One and work through to Lesson Five on the last day of National Coin Week.  Meantime, go through this lesson and see if you can solve all the cases.  After you watch “Birth of a Coin,” check out the short version called “ The Minting Process Revealed.” 

Lesson Two of the Coin Course is the dish that Nero serves on today's menu.  What kind of signs, symbols, and words are the “ingredients” that make up a coin and what do they mean?  Here's where you'll find out. 

As you look at the different parts, you may learn some new coin terms.  And here's a great game that's totally made of coin terms:  Mark My Words!  It's a word-find puzzle with six different batches of terms.  But after you play all six, you don't need to stop; every time you play, you'll find that the words are in different places! 


Ready for Lesson Three?  Here's where you start your collection by thinking about what kind of coins there are and what kind you'd like to collect. 

As you think about grouping related coins, one way to group them is by their finish.  Any questions about what coin finishes are?  Flip can be of service.  Get the scoop on coin finishes on the Coin Finishes page!

Lovely coins make a lovely collection, and Plinky is ready to help you “Keep it Nice” with Lesson Four of the Coin Course.  It's all about handling your little round treasures so they stay in great condition. 

When you're done, Plinky has an important civic service task for you:  to thwart Oppressor Sam and restore the Tree of Democracy with the game called Branches of Power.  Go to Washington, DC, become a secret agent, and get what you need to carry out your mission.  Good luck! 

To wrap up a great week, Bill presents Lesson Five of the Coin Course.  There's a diploma for you to print, more activities to do, and ideas about where to go from here. 

Now that you're trained in collecting and maybe have started a collection of your own, stop by the “How to Share Your Hobby” page.  It holds enough ideas to keep you going until next year's National Coin Week!