- 50 State Quarters
Students will describe the growth and change in America as related to the Louisiana Purchase and the Lewis and Clark Expedition.
Major Subject Area Connections
- Social Studies
- Language Arts
Minor/supporting Subject Area Connections
- Sessions: One
- Session Length: 45-60 minutes
- Total Length: 46-90 minutes
- Small groups
- Individual work
Students should have a basic knowledge of:
- The formation of the United States of America
- Map elements and cardinal directions
- U.S. geography (state names)
Terms and Concepts
- The Louisiana Purchase
- The Corps of Discovery
- 1 overhead projector (optional)
- 1 overhead transparency (or photocopy) of the Louisiana quarter reverse
- The "Fast Facts" worksheet
- The "Louisiana Questionnaire" worksheet
- The "Changing America" map
- Colored pencils
- Class map or desk maps of the United States of America
- Review the worksheet and map.
- Make copies of the "Fast Facts" sheet and map (1 per student).
- Make copies of the "Louisiana Questionnaire" worksheet (1 per student)
- Make copies of the "Changing America" map (1 per student)
Worksheets and files (PDF)
- Describe the 50 State Quarters Program for background information, if necessary, using the example of your own state if available.
- Explain to students that the design was specially chosen to represent the state of Louisiana, its history, and its contribution to the United States of America. Display the overhead transparency or photocopy of the Louisiana quarter reverse.
- Ask students to brainstorm about the Louisiana quarter design in small groups for five or ten minutes. One student per group should record the group's findings on chart paper. Ask the students to consider: What pictures appear on the coin and what do you think they might represent? What words appear prominently on the coin and what do you think they mean? Why do you think the pictures and words on the coin were chosen? What things or events might the coin be representing? What might be important about Louisiana?
- Have each group share one or two ideas they had during their brainstorming session. Students will post their charts on the board next to the Louisiana quarter reverse image. Review and expand on the students' understanding of "pioneer" using the Louisiana quarter reverse as an example.
- Share visual aids that illustrate findings of the Corps of Discovery such as pictures of porcupines, elk, passenger pigeons, cranberries, prickly pears, etc. Explain that these items had never been seen by our "Founding Fathers" before the Purchase and exploration of the Louisiana Territory.
- Pass out the "Fast Facts" sheet, one per student. Read the information together as a class, stopping to review challenging vocabulary when necessary.
- Have the students answer the questions on the "Louisiana Questionnaire" after reading the "Fast Facts" sheet.
- As students complete the "Louisiana Questionnaire" worksheet, give each a copy of the "Changing America" map and colored pencils. If necessary, allow the students to complete unfinished work at home.
- Check the worksheets and maps for accuracy. Discuss what was learned, referring again to the enlargement of the Louisiana quarter. When appropriate to the curriculum, quiz students to verify their understanding.
Differentiated Learning Options
- Teachers can create further challenging questions related to this topic. Ideas may include:
- Why was the Louisiana Territory a "surprise" purchase?
- How many total states made up the United States after the Louisiana Purchase?
- Why was the name "Corps of Discovery" chosen?
- Teachers can opt to have some students research the Louisiana Purchase independently or in small groups, and present their findings to the class.
- Record the Fast Fact sheet on tape and have students read along with it.
- Have students imagine that they are a reporter in 1803 who has just heard about the Louisiana Purchase. Using the facts that they have learned, ask them to write an article to inform Americans what this purchase might mean to the United States of America. They should also include reasons why America should fund the Corps of Discovery.
- Have students hypothesize and write about what life would be like if the United States had never acquired the Louisiana Territory.
- Have students conduct an independent research project on how the state of Louisiana took on its current shape.
- Check the worksheets and maps for accuracy.
- Discuss what was learned, referring again to the enlargement of the Louisiana quarter.
- When appropriate to the curriculum, quiz students to verify their understanding.
Common Core Standards
This lesson plan is not associated with any Common Core Standards.
This lesson plan is not associated with any National Standards.