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America the Beautiful Quarters® Program
Lesson Plan Starters

Grades 7 and 8

Designating the National Parks and Forest

Subject Area

Social Studies

Summary

Research the different sites of national significance depicted on the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program coins and their history.  Research how an area becomes a site of national significance and review how a bill becomes a law.  Complete a sequence chain showing the process of making a bill into a law and becoming designated as a site of national significance.

Welcome! I'm Your Guide

Subject Areas

Language Arts, Social Studies

Summary

Using podcast, video, or slide show software, produce a multimedia tour of one of the different sites of national significance depicted on the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program coins.  Be a virtual guide as you show visitors through the site.

Significant Data

Subject Area

Mathematics

Summary

In many businesses and government organizations, people often give presentations.  These presentations may be used to sell a product or idea, update information about that organization, or to give information to the public.  Often these presentations include graphs of some type to show and compare information or data.  Graphs are used because they are a way of visually representing the data so that people can see the relationships between the data more easily.

Collect, organize and create a series of graphs about the different sites of national significance depicted on the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program coins.  Information displayed can include acreage, budget, visitation, and elevation.  Create a presentation of your graphs and highlight the important comparisons.

Plan Your Visit

Subject Areas

Social Studies, Mathematics

Summary

Locate some of the different sites of national significance depicted on the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program coins that you would be interested in visiting.  Locate them on a map and determine the best route to the park from your school.  Draw the best route on the map.  Measure and calculate the distance and estimate how long it would take you to get there.  Create an itinerary for your travel.

Viewing History

Subject Area

Social Studies

Summary

Timelines show events that happen during a particular time period or to a particular place or person.  Create a visual timeline, using photos, of important events in the history of a site of national significance depicted on the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program coins.  Show your timeline using multimedia software or a photo slide show.

Weather Watchers

Subject Areas

Science, Mathematics

Summary

Many people visit the different sites of national significance depicted on the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program coins throughout the year.  Research the weather for one of the sites and collect weather data from the site.  This weather information can be temperature, precipitation, etc.  Using graphs to support your position, create a persuasive presentation on the best time of year to visit that site.

Mountains, Mesas and More

Subject Area

Social Studies, Science

Summary

Research some of the landforms found in the different sites of national significance depicted on the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program coins.  Choose one of the landforms and create a podcast or multimedia presentation on that particular landform.  Focus on the physical characteristics of the landform, what makes it different from other landforms, and how the landforms affect people, plants and animals.

A Collage of Coins

Subject Area

Science, Art

Summary

Collages are art forms that can be used to show information and how different ideas are connected with each other.  Research an animal or plant found in one of the different sites of national significance depicted on the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program coins.  Create a collage illustrating the plant or animal's place in the food web and how it is affected by the climate or human intervention.

Fire Can be Good

Subject Area

Science

Summary

Prescribed fires are a way of keeping the ecosystem of a park or forest flourishing.  Research prescribed fires and identify the effects on the environment at the US Forest Service website or the National Park Service site.  Imagine that you are the expert and are being interviewed by a news reporter about the process, planning, execution and effects of prescribed fires in a site of national significance depicted on the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program coins.  Make a video or audio recording of the news interview.

Pick Me!

Subject Area

Social Studies

Summary

One of the personal traits of a good citizen is volunteering in the community.  Different sites of national significance depicted on the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program coins often have positions for volunteers.  Research these volunteer opportunities.  Create a print, video, or audio advertisement that identifies positions that are available at the sites of national significance for volunteers.  Create a help wanted ad for one of the positions.

Trading Cards

Subject Area

Social Studies, Language Arts

Summary of Lesson Plan Starter

The United States Mint America the Beautiful Quarters® Program features designs depicting national parks and other national sites.  Choose one of the quarters and research its national site.  Design a "trading" card with the name of the national site on one side and a list of facts about it on the other side.

Water is Everywhere

Subject Area

Social Studies, Science

Summary

A variety of water features can be found at the sites of national significance depicted on the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program coins.  Research the different water features found at one of these sites and create a magazine ad that shows the importance and influence of water to that national site.

A Thousand Words

Subject Areas

Language Arts

Summary

The sites of national significance depicted on the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program coins are places of beauty.  Research a site and find some words used to describe it.  Look at the pictures on the website and brainstorm words the pictures make you think of.  Create a word (tag) cloud using the words that you wrote down.  A word cloud is made of many words.  The words that are most important are larger.  The words make the shape of a cloud.  Share your word (tag) cloud with the class.

Where Did They Come From?

Subject Area

Science

Summary

What is an invasive species?  Why is it called an invasive species?  What effect does it have on native species in the park or forest?  Research an invasive species found in different sites of national significance depicted on the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program coins.  Create a print, video, or audio advertisement describing the effects of these invaders on the ecosystem of the park or forest.

Assessment Ideas

  • 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 utilized with technology assignments can also be written.  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 utilized.  Have students share their work outside of class to gain additional feedback.

Related Links


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