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Coin Connections

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Students will recognize and correctly identify the value of the penny, nickel, dime, and quarter. Students will correctly use the symbols for “greater than,” “less than,” and “equal to” and apply these symbols to equations using coins.

Coin Type(s)

  • Quarter

Coin Program(s)

  • 50 State Quarters


  • Students will recognize and correctly identify the value of the penny, nickel, dime, and quarter.
  • Students will correctly use the symbols for "greater than," "less than," and"equal to" and apply these symbols to equations using coins.

Major Subject Area Connections

  • Math


  • Kindergarten
  • First grade

Class Time

Sessions: Two
Session Length: 20-30 minutes
Total Length: 46-90 minutes


  • Whole group
  • Pairs
  • Individual work

Background Knowledge

Students should have a basic knowledge of money and coins and the concepts of greater than, less than, and equal to.

Terms and Concepts

  • Quarter
  • Obverse (front)
  • Penny
  • Nickel
  • Dime
  • Greater than
  • Less than
  • Equal to


  • 1 overhead projector (optional)
  • 1 image of your state’s quarter reverse
  • 1 overhead transparency of each of the following:
    • "Quarter Obverse" page
    • "Coin Connections" worksheet
    • "Math symbols" worksheet
    • "More, Less, or Same" worksheet
  • "Coin Page" worksheet (1 per student)
  • "More, Less, or Same" worksheet (1 per student)
  • 1 copy of a grade-level text about United States coins and money
  • Overhead transparency markers
  • Chart paper
  • Pencils


  • Make an overhead transparency (or photocopy) of each of the following:
    • "Quarter Obverse" page
    • Your state’s quarter reverse
    • "Coin Connections" worksheet
    • "Math Symbols" worksheet
    • "More, Less, or Same" worksheet
  • Make copies of each of the following:
    • "Coin Connections" worksheet (1 per student)
    • "More, Less, or Same" worksheet (1 per student)
  • On chart paper, prepare a chart with four columns labeled "penny," "nickel,""dime," and "quarter."

Worksheets and Files

Lesson plan, worksheet(s), and rubric (if any) at

Session 1

  1. Preview the text and illustrations you have selected and allow the students to generateobservations about coins and money. Read the text aloud. Afterward, discuss withthe students the names of the different coins presented in the text.
  2. Display the four-column chart you prepared and introduce the labels "penny,""nickel," "dime," and "quarter." Explain to the students that these are all types of coins. Ask the students what coins are used for. Student answers may includebuying and collecting. Ask the students to tell you what they know about each typeof coin. Answers may focus on the colors, sizes, shapes, denominations, and im-ages.
  3. Describe the 50 State Quarters® Program for background information, if necessary,using the example of your own state, if available. Introduce the word "obverse."Explain to the students that "obverse" is another name for the front of the coin.
  4. Display the "Quarter Obverse" transparency. Ask the students who is pictured onthe obverse of the quarter. If necessary, tell them that the man on the quarter isPresident George Washington.
  5. Distribute the "Coin Connections" worksheet to each of the students. Display the"Coin Connections" transparency on the overhead projector. Review each of thecoins pictured with the students, including the name of the coin, the images on thecoin, and the denomination.
  6. Have students trace the common name and denomination of each of the coinspictured on the "Coin Connections" worksheet and then write the words themselves.Collect the "Coin Connections" worksheet.
  7. Review the session and charted information about coins.

Session 2

  1. Review the previous session and discussion, focusing on the four denominationspresented.
  2. Display the "Math Symbols" transparency and discuss with the students the symbolsused in math to represent "greater than," "less than," and "equal to." Think of waysto help the students differentiate between the "greater than" and "less than" sym-bols. Ask the students why they think these symbols are used instead of writing thewords. Student answers may include that the symbols are easier or quicker to writeand that they take up less room.
  3. Display and distribute the "More, Less, or Same" worksheet to students. Read andreview the directions with the students and answer any questions the students mayhave. Review question number one and complete as a class as an example.
  4. Divide the class into small groups or pairs and have the students complete the"More, Less, or Same" worksheet.
  5. As a class, review the "More, Less, or Same" worksheet. Record student answers inthe "My Answer" column of the worksheet. Record the correct answer in the "ClassAnswer" column of the "More, Less, or Same" transparency. Explain the answersand review the "greater than," "less than," and "equal to" symbols with the students.
  6. Have the students record the correct answers in the "Class Answer" column of the"More, Less, or Same" worksheet. Answer any student questions.
  7. Display the "More, Less, or Same" worksheets around the room.

Differentiated Learning Options

  • Allow students to work in pairs.
  • Allow students to work with a scribe to complete the worksheet.


  • Have students compare larger coin denominations (half dollar and dollar coins).
  • Have students create their own number sentences using the "greater than," "less than," and "equal to" symbols.
  • Have students learn more about how coins are made by visiting the "Birth of a Coin" cartoon at

Use the students’ class participation and worksheets to evaluate whether they have met the lesson objectives.

There are no related resources for this lesson plan.

Discipline: Math
Domain: K.CC Counting and Cardinality
Grade(s): Grade K
Cluster: Compare numbers

  • K.CC.6. Identify whether the number of objects in one group is greater than, less than, or equal to the number of objects in another group, eg, by using matching and counting strategies.
  • K.CC.7. Compare two numbers between 1 and 10 presented as written numerals. 

Discipline: Mathematics
Domain: All Problem Solving
Cluster: Instructional programs from kindergarten through grade 12 should enable all students to
Grade(s): Grades K–12

  • Build new mathematical knowledge through problem solving
  • Solve problems that arise in mathematics and in other contexts
  • Apply and adapt a variety of appropriate strategies to solve problems
  • Monitor and reflect on the process of mathematical problem solving

Discipline: Mathematics
Domain: K-2 Measurement
Cluster: Understand measurable attributes of objects and the units, systems, and processes of measurement.
Grade(s): Grades K–12

In K through grade 2 all students should

  • recognize the attributes of length, volume, weight, area, and time;
  • compare and order objects according to these attributes;
  • understand how to measure using nonstandard and standard units; and
  • select an appropriate unit and tool for the attribute being measured.