Going for the Gold

Summary

Starting with the 2018 Native American $1 Coin, students will learn about the lives of Jim Thorpe and Jesse Owens. Students will pick an athlete they think should be on a coin and create a coin design representing their athlete.

Coin Type(s)

  • Dollar

Coin Program(s)

  • Native American $1 Coins

Objectives

Students will learn about the lives of Jim Thorpe and Jesse Owens. Students will pick an athlete they think should be on a coin and create a coin design representing their athlete.

Major Subject Area Connections

  • Social Studies
  • Art

Grades

  • 9th
  • 10th
  • 11th
  • 12th

Class Time

  • Sessions: Four
  • Session Length: 90 minutes
  • Total Length: 151-500 minutes

Groupings

  • Whole group
  • Individual work

Background Knowledge

Students should have basic knowledge of the following:

  • Sketching
  • Basic composition (rule of thirds, leading lines, repetition, etc.)
  • Perspective
  • Figure Drawing
  • Mounting/displaying artwork

Terms and Concepts

  • Art
  • Coin Design
  • Native Americans
  • Athletes
  • Sports
  • Olympics

Materials

Preparations

  • Bookmark the links above in advance
  • Make copies of the following worksheets:
    • Going for the Gold: Coin Design Sketchbook (1 per student)
    • Going for the Gold Rubric (1 per student, 1 for display)

Worksheets and Files

Lesson Steps

  1. Display enlarged versions of the 2018 Native American $1 Coin and the Jesse Owens Congressional Gold Medal for your students to see. Explain that the Native American $1 Coin Program releases one coin per year to honor Native American accomplishments throughout history. Explain that commemorative coins are special coins issued to honor an outstanding person, place, or event in history.
  2. Give a brief explanation of the lives of Jim Thorpe and Jesse Owens:
    1. Explain that Thorpe was a football player, baseball player, and an Olympian. Thorpe was Native American, born near Prague, Oklahoma in what was then Indian Territory, and got his start playing football and track at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Pennsylvania. Thorpe represented the U.S. at the 1912 Summer Olympics, competing in the new Pentathlon and Decathlon as well as two field events. His winning records stood for two decades. He was the first Native American to win a gold medal for the United States.
    2. Explain that Jesse Owens was an Olympic sprinter. In 1935, Owens broke three world records within 45 minutes. The following year in Berlin, he became the first American to win four Olympic gold medals for running at a single Olympics. In 1950, Owens was named the greatest track athlete of the century. As an African American, Owens used his fame to regularly speak out against segregation and racism.
  3. Ask students to explain what these two athletes have in common. Ask students what challenges these athletes might have faced in their careers. Ask why the United States Mint would decide to produce coins that honor these particular athletes. Answers should relate to the idea that they were created to honor people who were not only extraordinary athletic athletes but who also overcame adversity such as racism.
  4. Explain that the United States Mint has other coins and medals that honor athletes. Display the "Sports Medals" web page and the "Sports Commemorative Coins" page to show the class more examples of these coins.
    1. Point out the different symbols and designs used to represent the athletes/events.
  5. Tell the class they will be researching an athlete of their choice who they believe belongs on a coin. They will be creating a coin design for that athlete, as well as writing a short artist's statement about why their athlete should be honored and how they chose their coin design. Students can choose to make a commemorative coin, Native American $1 Coin, or another type of coin listed on the usmint.gov/kids website.
    1. To inspire students, play a couple of the videos of Mint artists from the "materials" section.
  6. Distribute the "Going for the Gold: Coin Design Sketchbook". Explain that students should research their athlete, jot down notes for coin design ideas, and make three sketches of the coin design before creating the final design.
  7. Have each student research their athlete and fill out their sketchbook either in additional class sessions or as homework.
  8. Display and distribute the "Going for the Gold Rubric". Remind students that their final coin design should be mounted and include the artist's statement on the back.
  9. Have students present their coin designs to the class by showcasing the final product and reading their artist's statement aloud.
  10. Create a bulletin board entitled "Going for the Gold" and display the coin designs on it.

Differentiated Learning Options

  • Allow students to use clip art or other images instead of drawing their own.
  • Allow students to use a scribe to complete the worksheet.

Enrichments/Extensions

  • Have students work together to create a mini coin collection featuring athletes who have things in common.
  • Have students prepare a short speech about why their athlete should be on a coin.
  • Have students sculpt the coin from clay or another material.
  • Select a different theme and invite students to design a coin based on other commemorative coins and medals that the United States Mint produces that explore this theme (such as scientists, women in history, artists, African American history).

Assess

Evaluate the rubric and students' participation to assess how well the students have met the lesson objectives.

Common Core Standards

Discipline: English Language Arts
Domain: Reading: Informational Text
Cluster: Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
Grades: 9–10

Standards:

  • 9-10.7 Analyze various accounts of a subject told in different mediums (e.g., a person's life story in both print and multimedia), determining which details are emphasized in each account.

Discipline: English Language Arts
Domain: Reading: Informational Text
Cluster: Integration of Knowledge and Ideas:
Grades: 11–12

Standards:

  • 11-12.7 Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words in order to address a question or solve a problem.

Discipline: English Language Arts
Domain: Science & Technical Subjects
Grade(s): 11–12
Cluster: Integration of Knowledge and Ideas:

Standards:

  • RST.11-12.7 Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., quantitative data, video, multimedia) in order to address a question or solve a problem.

National Standards

NA-VA.5-8.6: Making Connections Between Visual Arts and Other Disciplines

Achievement Standard:

  • Students compare the characteristics of works in two or more art forms that share similar subject matter, historical periods, or cultural context
  • Students describe ways in which the principles and subject matter of other disciplines taught in the school are interrelated with the visual arts

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: English
Cluster: Developing Research Skills
Grade(s): K–12

Standards:

  • K-12.8 Students use a variety of technological and information resources (e.g., libraries, databases, computer networks, video) to gather and synthesize information and to create and communicate knowledge.

Discipline: Visual Arts and Music
Domain: 9–12 Visual Arts
Cluster: Standard 3: Choosing and evaluating a range of subject matter, symbols, and ideas
Grade(s): Grades 9–12

Standards:

Proficient:

  • Students reflect on how artworks differ visually, spatially, temporally, and functionally, and describe how these are related to history and culture
  • Students apply subjects, symbols, and ideas in their artworks and use the skills gained to solve problems in daily life

Advanced:

  • Students describe the origins of specific images and ideas and explain why they are of value in their artwork and in the work of others
  • Students evaluate and defend the validity of sources for content and the manner in which subject matter, symbols, and images are used in the students' works and in significant works by others

Discipline: Visual Arts and Music
Domain: 9–12 Visual Arts
Cluster: Standard 1: Understanding and applying media, techniques, and processes
Grade(s): Grades 9–12

Standards:

Proficient:

  • Students apply media, techniques, and processes with sufficient skill, confidence, and sensitivity that their intentions are carried out in their artworks
  • Students conceive and create works of visual art that demonstrate an understanding of how the communication of their ideas relates to the media, techniques, and processes they use

Advanced:

  • Students communicate ideas regularly at a high level of effectiveness in at least one visual arts medium
  • Students initiate, define, and solve challenging visual arts problems independently using intellectual skills such as analysis, synthesis, and evaluation

Discipline: Visual Arts and Music
Domain: 9–12 Visual Arts
Cluster: Standard 6: Making connections between visual arts and other disciplines
Grade(s): Grades 9–12

Standards:

Proficient:

  • Students compare the materials, technologies, media, and processes of the visual arts with those of other arts disciplines as they are used in creation and types of analysis
  • Students compare characteristics of visual arts within a particular historical period or style with ideas, issues, or themes in the humanities or sciences

Advanced:

  • Students synthesize the creative and analytical principles and techniques of the visual arts and selected other arts disciplines, the humanities, or the sciences