In a ceremony on April 7, 2004, the United States Mint celebrated the release of the newest state quarter. The ceremony, held at the Kennedy Space Center, marked the release of the twenty-seventh state to be celebrated as a part of the 50 State Quarters® Program.
Teachers, below you will find several activities and links that will bring the excitement of Florida's "State Quarter Day" into your classroom!
Learn more about the new quarter and why Florida is called the "Gateway to Discovery".
50 State Quarters Program
Find out more about this program that honors every state in America!
50 State Quarters Program Lesson Plans
The 50 State Quarters Program lesson plans are ready for you to use in your classroom! Take a look at the lessons created specifically to celebrate the Florida quarter: It's Time to Rhyme (K–1), Discovery, Ship to Shuttle (2–3), and Distinguished Discoveries (4–6)! After that, be sure to check out the rest of the state-specific plans, FREE to download in sets designed specifically for grades K and 1, 2 and 3, and 4 through 6.
Are you a secondary school teacher interested in introducing the 50 State Quarters Program into your curriculum? Well, now you can! Our 50 State Quarters Program lesson plans for grades 7 through 12 are also written by educators. To download these FREE plans, visit the 50 State Quarters Program Lesson Plans today!
State Quarter Day Classroom Activities
Here are some fun ways to infuse your curriculum with activities that celebrate the arrival of the newest quarter in circulation!
Florida is Fabulous!
Not only is Florida's quarter the newest coin to be released into circulation, but it was also recently the Coin of the Month! See why this month is perfect for celebrating Florida's special design, then try out the new Teacher Feature, "Exploring Sounds". Using the Florida quarter, students will identify the "sh" sound and its placement within words in a kinesthetic activity.
"Seeing the States" WebQuest
What's so great about the United States? Let your students find out for themselves as they explore the coins in the 50 State Quarters Program to complete this fun Internet research project, the "Seeing the States" WebQuest.
Connected Coins and Medals
The Florida quarter is not the only coin paying homage to exploration! Check out some of the other coins commemorating famous explorers and journeys.
It is well known that Thomas Jefferson was responsible for more than doubling the size of our nation through the Louisiana Purchase. In 1804, he sent a group led by Lewis and Clark to explore the land and find a way to the Pacific Ocean. Lewis and Clark left for their famous Corps of Discovery expedition from St. Charles, Missouri, which is one of the reasons that Missouri is considered the "Gateway to the West".
Before Lewis and Clark left on their exploration, President Jefferson had medals made, which he instructed the explorers to give as gifts to the Native American chiefs they met as a sign of peace. The design of the new Peace Medal Nickel incorporates the original medal into the reverse of the new nickel: the hand of a Native American and the hand of a European-American clasped in a friendly handshake. The words "Louisiana Purchase" mark the event and the date "1803" marks the year of the Purchase.
The Ohio quarter design focuses on flight. From the first airplane to the first man on the moon, Ohio has been home to flying machines and their pilots. Ohioans John Glenn, the Wright brothers, and Neil Armstrong began our exploration of the sky and space.
On its obverse, the Oregon Trail Memorial Half Dollar has an ox-drawn covered wagon being led west toward the setting sun. This coin honors the 2,000-mile trail that brought people to the West in the mid-1800s. More than 300,000 people walked this "highway of history"—a trip that took five months! Their exploration of the western frontier led them through territory today known as Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming, Idaho, and Oregon.
This coin honors the 400th anniversary of the overland trek known as the Cabeza de Vaca Expedition from Florida to El Paso, Texas in 1535. Cabeza de Vaca was one of many Spaniards who explored Florida for Spain. Spain sold the first settlement in Florida (St. Augustine) to the United States in 1821. Today, you can still find evidence of the Spanish explorers in this town's culture and heritage.
Our Foreign Friends
|The coins produced for the 50 State Quarters Program share much in common with the European currency, the euro. With your students, visit the interactive cartoon, Coins of the World, to see how these two programs are similar (here's a hint: look at the backs of euros from different countries, and then look at their fronts).|
A Coinage Cartoon
Teachers, if we've piqued your interest with the activities above, please sign up for the Teachers' Network. As a member, you can receive information about all of the new educational resources that become available from the United States Mint!