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Just the Facts

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Students will identify the physical features, climate, natural resources, industry, and history of a particular state.

Coin Type(s)

  • Quarter

Coin Program(s)

  • 50 State Quarters


Students will identify the physical features, climate, natural resources, industry, and history of a particular state.

Major Subject Area Connections

  • Art
  • Social Studies


  • Fourth grade
  • Fifth grade
  • Sixth grade

Class Time

Sessions: Five
Session Length: 45-60 minutes
Total Length: 151-500 minutes


  • Whole group
  • Small groups
  • Individual work

Background Knowledge

Students should have a basic knowledge of:

  • Physical features
  • Climate
  • Natural resources
  • History
  • Industry

Terms and Concepts

  • Quarter
  • Obverse (front)
  • Reverse (back)


  • 1 overhead projector (optional)
  • Overhead transparencies (or photocopies) of several different quarter reverse pages (number depends on number of groups of five in your classroom)
  • Copies of worksheets attached to this lesson plan
  • 1 class map of the United States
  • Copies of texts that give information about states, such as: (optional)
    • Facts About the 50 States by Sue R. Brandt.
    • Wish You Were Here: Emily’s Guide to the 50 States by Kathleen Krull
    • Don’t Know Much About the 50 States by Kenneth C. Davis
    • Our Fifty States by Mark H. Bockenhauer and Stephen F. Cunha
  • Computers with Internet access
  • An assortment of brochures for particular places or events (make sure to have at least one example of a Z-fold (see “State Research Information” worksheet)
    • Paper for brochure
    • Word processing software (optional)
    • Multimedia presentation software (optional)


  • Make an overhead transparency (or photocopy) of several different quarter reverse pages. Go to Camp Coin at: and select coin images from the 50 State Quarters® Program list.
  • Make copies of each of the following:
    • “State Research Information” worksheet (2 pages per student)
    • “State Brochure Rubric” (1 per student)
  • Arrange to use the school computer lab for one or two sessions.
  • Bookmark Internet sites that contain information about the chosen states.
  • Gather examples of brochures on a variety of topics. Consider folding a blank sheet of paper, numbering each panel according to the pattern in the “State Research Information” worksheet
  • Gather texts that give information about the states of the Union (see examples under “Materials”). (Optional)

Worksheets and Files

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

Session 1

  1. Describe the 50 State Quarters® Program for background information, if necessary, using the example of your own state, if available. Then display the transparencies or photo- copies of several different quarter reverses. Tell the students that the back of the coin is also called the reverse, and obverse is another name for the front of a coin. Locate the states on a classroom map. Note their position in relation to your school’s location.
  2. Identify and discuss the symbols on the coins.
  3. Write the following terms as headings on chart paper: physical characteristics, climate, natural resources, industry, and history.
  4. Ask the students to define each term. Write responses on the chart paper under the appropriate heading. Discuss with the students any symbols on the coins and relate them to the area(s) they fall under.
    • Physical features: include landforms, bodies of water, climate, natural vegetation, and soil
    • Climate: the pattern of weather over a period of time
    • Natural resources: a material source of wealth that occurs in a natural state and has economic value, such as timber, fresh water, or a mineral deposit
    • Industry: commercial production and sale of goods
    • History: chronological record of events
  5. Divide the class into five groups. Assign each group one of the areas. Have them brain- storm some examples of things they find in their own area. Have them record their responses on writing paper. Allow the students time to work.
  6. Have students share their ideas. Record them on chart paper under the appropriate headings.

Session 2 and 3

  1. Review the chart from the previous session. Review the definitions of the terms.
  2. Explain to the students that they will be working in groups of five to design a brochure for visitors that are coming to the state shown on the assigned quarter. Show examples of brochures. If your examples are folded in different ways, highlight the one that follows the pattern in the worksheet, or show the model you created showing the panel numbers.
  3. Each student in the group will be assigned a specific area to research for their assigned state. Explain that each of them will be reviewing Web sites and other resources to answer some questions.
  4. Tell the students that each group will make a tri-fold brochure on their assigned state. According to your preference, the brochures can be drawn by hand or prepared using word processing or multimedia software. Show examples of brochures again so the students can see how the paper is folded for the brochures.
  5. Divide the students into groups of five. Distribute a two-page “State Research Information” worksheet to each student. Assign a different area to each student in the group. Review the questions for each area.
  6. Ask the students to review their questions before they begin their research. As they research, the students should focus on finding the answers to the questions first. Then the students can add other related facts to the worksheet.
  7. Take the students to the computer lab and allow them an appropriate amount of time to complete their research.

Session 4

  1. Distribute the “State Brochure Rubric” sheet. Review the criteria with the students.
  2. Review with students the directions for creating the brochure from the “Student Research Information” worksheet.
  3. Allow students time to create their brochures.
  4. Display the brochures in a place where students can view them.
  5. Display the transparencies or photocopies of the different state quarter reverses. As the transparencies are displayed, have the students who worked on that state’s brochure identify the symbols on the coin and how they represent the state.

Differentiated Learning Options

  • Allow students to work in pairs.
  • Allow students to make a poster instead of a brochure for their state.


Have students compare two states from different parts of the country and contrast the two using the topics mentioned in the lesson.

Use the “State Brochure Rubric” to evaluate whether the students have met the lesson objectives.

There are no related resources for this lesson plan.

This lesson plan is not associated with any Common Core Standards.

Discipline: Visual Arts and Music
Domain: K-4 Visual Arts
Cluster: Standard 6: Making connections between visual arts and other disciplines
Grade(s): Grades K–4

  • Students understand and use similarities and differences between characteristics of the visual arts and other arts disciplines
  • Students identify connections between the visual arts and other disciplines in the curriculum

Discipline: Visual Arts and Music
Domain: K-4 Visual Arts
Cluster: Standard 1: Understanding and applying media, techniques, and processes
Grade(s): Grades K–4

  • Students know the differences between materials, techniques, and processes
  • Students describe how different materials, techniques, and processes cause different responses
  • Students use different media, techniques, and processes to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories
  • Students use art materials and tools in a safe and responsible manner

Discipline: Visual Arts and Music
Domain: 5-8 Visual Arts
Cluster: Standard 6: Making connections between visual arts and other disciplines
Grade(s): Grades K–4

  • Students compare multiple purposes for creating works of art
  • Students analyze contemporary and historic meanings in specific artworks through cultural and aesthetic inquiry
  • Students describe and compare a variety of individual responses to their own artworks and to artworks from various eras and cultures