Graphing a Path to the National Sites


The teacher will introduce the concept of graphs and model various types of graphs. Students will then research how many national sites are located in their state and in one of the states represented on the 2010 quarters, compare their findings and show the results on a graph type of their choice.

Coin Type(s)

  • Quarter

Coin Program(s)

  • America the Beautiful Quarters


Students will demonstrate an understanding of graphs.

Major Subject Area Connections

  • Math

Minor/supporting Subject Area Connections

  • Technology


  • K
  • 1st

Class Time

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


  • Whole group
  • Individual work

Terms and Concepts

  • Pictograph
  • Bar graph
  • Line graph
  • National site


  • 1 overhead projector (optional)
  • 1 overhead transparency (or photocopy) of the "How Many Sites Are There?" worksheet
  • 1 class map of the United States
  • 1 copy of a text that gives information about graphs
  • Chart paper
  • Markers
  • Pencils
  • Graphing software
  • Computer


  • Create your own sample graph using the software program to model the project expectations for the students.
  • Fill in the name of your state on the "How Many Sites Are There?" worksheet ahead of time.
  • Print out and copy the relevant worksheet (below, 1 per student)
  • Bookmark websites for the students to use in their research, such as:
  • Create a template on the software you will be using to help students complete the graph.


Project Plan Guide

Lesson Steps

  1. Read the students a chosen text on graphs.  Review the various types of graphs with the students.
  2. Model creating a class graph on simple topics (such as favorite colors, how the students get to school, how many brothers and sisters they have).  Be sure to show the students how to complete each type of graph by using a pictograph, bar graph, and line graph.
  3. Describe the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program for background information.  The program is described at /learn/kids/coins-and-medals/america-the-beautiful-quarters.  Tell the students that the back of a coin is called the reverse, and "obverse" is another name for the front.
  4. With the students, examine each of the five 2010 quarter designs.  Locate each of the sites on a class map.  Note their position in relation to your school's location.  Demonstrate how to find the national sites located in each state, using your own state as an example.  Answer any student questions.
  5. Allow the students time to research one of the featured states and identify which national sites are located there.  Have the students record their findings for their own state and the chosen state on the "How Many Sites Are There?" worksheet.
  6. Model for the students how to create a graph using the graphing software and one of the examples from the previous class.
  7. Have the students complete the graphing project by choosing a graph style and creating a graph from the data on their "How Many Sites Are There?" worksheets with the graphing software.  Help the students present the graphs to the class or to another class.

Differentiated Learning Options

  • Allow students to work in pairs.
  • Allow students to use a scribe to label their worksheets.
  • Allow students to use a template to complete the project.


  • Take anecdotal notes about the students' participation in class discussions.
  • Use the students' worksheets and projects to evaluate whether they've met the lesson objectives.

Common Core Standards

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

National Standards

Discipline: Mathematics
Domain: K-2 Data Analysis and Probability
Cluster: Formulate questions that can be addressed with data and collect, organize, and display relevant data to answer them.
Grade(s): Grades K–2

In K through grade 2 all students should

  • pose questions and gather data about themselves and their surroundings;
  • sort and classify objects according to their attributes and organize data about the objects; and
  • represent data using concrete objects, pictures, and graphs.