Geometric Celebration


Starting with the Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial quarter, students will demonstrate an understanding of two-dimensional and three-dimensional geometric shapes.

Coin Type(s)

  • Quarter

Coin Program(s)

  • America the Beautiful Quarters


Starting with the Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial quarter, students will demonstrate an understanding of two-dimensional and three-dimensional geometric shapes.

Major Subject Area Connections

  • Math
  • Language Arts

Minor/supporting Subject Area Connections

  • Art


  • K
  • 1st

Class Time

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


  • Whole group
  • Individual work


  • Worksheets:
    • "Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial Quarter"
    • "Geometric Celebration"
  • An age-appropriate text that gives information about geometric shapes, such as:
    • The Greedy Triangle by Marilyn Burns and Gordon Silveria
    • The Shape of Things by Dayle Ann Dodds
    • Cubes, Cones, Cylinders and Spheres by Tana Hoban
  • Age-appropriate, relevant Web sites, such as:


Worksheets and files (PDF)

Lesson Steps

  1. Display and examine the "Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial Quarter" page. Study the image more. Locate this national site on a class map. Note its position in relation to your school's location. Tell the students the front of a coin is called the "obverse" and the back is called the "reverse." 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. Examine the image on the coin. Discuss the statue on the coin and tell the students it is of a man named Commander Oliver Hazard Perry. Tell the students that the monument is in honor of him and other men who died in the Battle of Lake Erie and are buried there. Direct the students' attention to the column in the image. Tell them that this column rises 352 feet over Lake Erie and celebrates the long-lasting peace among Britain, Canada and the United States.
  3. Make this height easier for the students to visualize by first showing them what one foot looks like. Measure a student. Tell them how many feet tall that student is and explain to the students it would take a certain number of that student to be as tall as 352 feet. For example, "If Max is four feet tall, it would take 88 Maxes to be as tall as the column." If they know of a building about 35 stories tall, it's also comparable.
  4. Read the students the chosen text on geometric shapes. Make a class chart of various two-dimensional and three-dimensional shapes, such as squares, triangles, circles, cylinders and triangular prisms. If available, show the class some manipulatives of each of the shapes. Redirect their attention to the column in the coin image. Ask the students to identify the geometric shapes they see in the image.  Some responses should include circle (the coin), rectangle (top of column) and cylinder (column).
  5. Introduce the students to the "Geometric Celebration" worksheet. Explain to them that they will be creating their own coin image using pattern blocks and, if available, some three-dimensional manipulatives, to make an abstract design of their choice.
  6. Have the students complete the "Geometric Celebration" worksheets. Present the students' finished worksheets to the class and display them.
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  • Take anecdotal notes about the students' participation in class discussions.
  • Evaluate the students' worksheets and projects for understanding of the lesson objectives.

Common Core Standards

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.4 Writing
Grade(s): Grade 4
Cluster: Text Types and Purposes

  • W.4.1. Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information.
    • Introduce a topic or text clearly, state an opinion, and create an organizational structure in which related ideas are grouped to support the writer’s purpose.
    • Provide reasons that are supported by facts and details.
    • Link opinion and reasons using words and phrases (e.g., for instance, in order to, in addition).
    • Provide a concluding statement or section related to the opinion presented.
  • W.4.2. Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.
    • Introduce a topic clearly and group related information in paragraphs and sections; include formatting (e.g., headings), illustrations, and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.
    • Develop the topic with facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples related to the topic.
    • Link ideas within categories of information using words and phrases (e.g., another, for example, also, because).
    • Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic.
    • Provide a concluding statement or section related to the information or explanation presented.
  • W.4.3. Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.
    • Orient the reader by establishing a situation and introducing a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally.
    • Use dialogue and description to develop experiences and events or show the responses of characters to situations.
    • Use a variety of transitional words and phrases to manage the sequence of events.
    • Use concrete words and phrases and sensory details to convey experiences and events precisely.
    • Provide a conclusion that follows from the narrated experiences or events.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.1 Writing
Grade(s): Grade 4
Cluster: Text Types and Purposes

  • W.1.1. Write opinion pieces in which they introduce the topic or name the book they are writing about, state an opinion, supply a reason for the opinion, and provide some sense of closure.
  • W.1.2. Write informative/explanatory texts in which they name a topic, supply some facts about the topic, and provide some sense of closure.
  • W.1.3. Write narratives in which they recount two or more appropriately sequenced events, include some details regarding what happened, use temporal words to signal event order, and provide some sense of closure.

National Standards

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: All Language Arts Standards
Cluster: Literacy Communities
Grade(s): Grades K–12

  • Students participate as knowledgeable, reflective, creative, and critical members of a variety of literacy communities.

Discipline: Mathematics
Domain: K-2 Geometry
Cluster: Analyze characteristics and properties of two- and three-dimensional geometric shapes and develop mathematical arguments about geometric relationships.
Grade(s): Grades K–12

In K through grade 2 all students should

  • recognize, name, build, draw, compare, and sort two- and three-dimensional shapes;
  • describe attributes and parts of two- and three-dimensional shapes;
  • investigate and predict the results of putting together and taking apart two- and three-dimensional shapes.