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A Visit to White Mountain

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Starting with the White Mountain National Forest quarter, students will analyze the history of White Mountain National Forest to understand how visiting the forest has changed from when the park opened in 1918 to today.

Coin Type(s)

  • Quarter

Coin Program(s)

  • America The Beautiful Quarters


Students will analyze the history of White Mountain National Forest to understand how visiting the forest has changed from when the park opened in 1918 to today.

Major Subject Area Connections

  • Social Studies

Minor/supporting Subject Area Connections

  • Art


  • Ninth grade
  • Tenth grade
  • Eleventh grade
  • Twelfth grade

Class Time

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


  • Whole group
  • Small groups
  • Pairs
  • Individual work


Worksheets and Files

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

  1. Display and examine the “White Mountain National Forest Quarter” page or use the coin’s zoom feature at  Locate this national site on a class map. Note its position in relation to your school’s location. As background, explain to the students that the United States Mint began to issue the quarters in the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program in 2010. By the time the program ends in 2021, there will be a total of 56 designs. Each design will focus on a different national site—one from each state, territory and the District of Columbia.
  2. In either small groups or pairs, create a circle map of adjectives that come to mind when looking at the quarter design.
  3. Print out or have the students read the sections titled About the Forest, Special Places, and History and Culture on the White Mountain National Forest’s Web site.  Using any grouping (whole class, small group, pairs, or individual), have the students answer the following questions.
    • Why do people go on vacation? To relax, reconnect with family, relieve stress, see new places, get away from daily life, etc.
    • Where do they go? Somewhere new, foreign country, somewhere beautiful, different weather (warm/snow), place they can learn something new, etc.
    • Why was White Mountain National Forest established? To preserve the forest (see
    • How long has White Mountain been a National Forest? Since 1918.
    • Why did and do people visit the National Forest? To see pristine land, have wilderness adventure, avoid crowds, learn about the past, enjoy nature, etc.
    • Describe what visiting the forest would have been like when it opened in 1918. Hard to get to, few amenities, fewer visitors, too expensive for many, no GPS/Internet to plan trip, etc.
    • Compare being a visitor when the park opened in 1918 and now. Now: Can pre-plan trip online, more affordable, more amenities like indoor plumbing and paved paths, more crowded, more hotels/gas stations/highways ease travel, etc.
    • Why do you think we still have National Forests today? To preserve nature, local history, local heritage, natural habitat for animals and to have local outdoor areas for people to use.
  4. Have the students create projects that explore why people visit White Mountain National Forest and what has changed since 1918, focusing on a decade between 1910 and today. Have all the students complete the "White Mountain Postcard" worksheet and, in addition, have small groups choose a product such as those listed on the "Come to White Mountain Rubric."
There are no modification options for this lesson plan.
  • Take anecdotal notes from the large/small group discussions.
  • Use the rubric to assess students’ understanding of the objective.

There are no related resources for this lesson plan.

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

This lesson plan is not associated with any National Standards.