Let’s Explore the Seashore

Summary

Starting with the Cumberland Island National Seashore Quarter, students will identify animals living on Cumberland Island. Students will use reading skills and write a friendly letter to display and deepen their understanding.

Coin Type(s)

  • Quarter

Coin Program(s)

  • America the Beautiful Quarters

Objectives

Students will identify animals living on Cumberland Island. Students will use reading skills write a friendly letter to display and deepen their understanding.

Major Subject Area Connections

  • Social Studies
  • Science

Grades

  • 2nd
  • 3rd

Class Time

  • Sessions: Three
  • Session Length: 30-45 minutes
  • Total Length: 121-150 minutes

Groupings

  • Whole group
  • Individual work

Background Knowledge

Students should have a basic knowledge of:

  • The writing process
  • Main ideas and details
  • Flora and fauna

Terms and Concepts

  • Quarter
  • Reverse (back)
  • Obverse (front)
  • Island
  • Animals
  • Letter-writing

Materials

  • 1 copy of the Cumberland Island National Seashore Quarter, available at /coins/coin-medal-programs/america-the-beautiful-quarters/cumberland-island-national-seashore
  • Copies of the following:
    • "Let's Explore!" worksheet
    • "Creatures of Cumberland Island" page
    • "Creatures of Cumberland Island" reading guide
    • "Creatures of Cumberland Island" answer key
    • "Friendly Letter from the Seashore" worksheet
  • 1 class map of the United States
  • Text(s) or multimedia resource(s) that give information about Cumberland Island and/or wildlife on the island such as sea turtles, feral horses, and snowy egrets
  • Chart paper
  • Markers
  • Construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue or paste

Preparations

  • Make copies of the following:
    • "Let's Explore!" worksheet (one per student, one per teacher)
    • "Creatures of Cumberland Island" page (one per student, one per teacher)
    • "Creatures of Cumberland Island" reading guide (one per student, one per teacher)
    • "Creatures of Cumberland Island" answer key (one per student, one per teacher)
    • "Friendly Letter from the Seashore" worksheet (one per student, one per teacher)
  • Locate text(s) or multimedia resource(s) that give information about Cumberland Island and/or wildlife on the island such as https://www.nps.gov/cuis/index.htm.

Worksheets and Files

Lesson Steps

Session 1

  1. Display and examine the "Cumberland Island National Seashore Quarter" page. Locate the park on a class map. Note its position in relation to your school's location. Tell the students that 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. Ask the students to examine the coin image and tell you what they see. List their responses on chart paper. Explain to the students that the bird on the coin is the Snowy Egret, one of the many animals that live at Cumberland Island National Seashore. Explain that the background image on the coin is of a salt marsh, a type of ecosystem that exists in the park; salt marshes are grassy areas on the coast that are flooded and drained by the ocean's tides.
  3. Ask the students to share what they may already know about beaches like Cumberland Island in Georgia. List their responses on chart paper.
  4. Introduce the students to the selected text about Cumberland Island. During the brief reading, add information about the park to the chart as it is presented.
  5. After the reading, review the charted information about Cumberland Island. Note any mention of Cumberland Island's ecosystems, flora, or fauna.
  6. Distribute a "Let's Explore!" worksheet to each of the students. Allow students time to complete the worksheet.
  7. Explain to the students that in the next session they will be learning about two unique animals found at Cumberland Island National Seashore.

Sessions 2 and 3

  1. Display the Cumberland Island National Seashore Quarter reverse. Review with the students the material collected about Cumberland Island in the previous session.
  2. Review the "Let's Explore!" worksheet and the information covered in the previous session. Ask the students what animals might live in the park. Record student ideas on  the board or on chart paper.
  3. Explain to the students that they will be reading about two unique animals that live on Cumberland Island.
  4. Distribute a "Creatures of Cumberland Island" page and a "Creatures of Cumberland Island" reading guide to each student. Display and preview the "Creatures of Cumberland Island" reading guide.
  5. Display the "Creatures of Cumberland Island" page. As class, read about the two unique animals that live on Cumberland Island. While reading, have the students answer the questions on the worksheet.
  6. After reading the "Creatures of Cumberland Island" page, have the students share what they have written on the worksheet.
  7. Distribute a "Friendly Letter from the Seashore" worksheet to each of the students and review the directions. Display the "Friendly Letter from the Seashore" as an example and review the writing process and components of a letter with the students. Have the students complete the worksheet by writing a friendly letter about Cumberland Island National Seashore.
  8. Allow students time to complete the "Friendly Letter from the Seashore" worksheet. Have the students cut out their friendly letter and paste it onto colorful construction paper. Display the letters around the room.

Differentiated Learning Options

  • Allow students to work in pairs to complete the reading guides.
  • Provide a scripted friendly letter format for students.
  • Allow students to dictate their written responses.

Enrichments/Extensions

  • Have students learn about other animals at Cumberland Island National Seashore.
  • Visit a nearby nature preserve or beach.

Assess

Use the students' class participation, worksheets, and final products to evaluate whether they have met the lesson objectives.

Common Core Standards

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: SL.2 Speaking and Listening
Grade(s): Grade 2
Cluster: Comprehension and Collaboration

Standards:

  • 2.1. Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 2 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.
    • Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g., gaining the floor in respectful ways, listening to others with care, speaking one at a time about the topics and texts under discussion).
    • Build on others' talk in conversations by linking their comments to the remarks of others.
    • Ask for clarification and further explanation as needed about the topics and texts under discussion.
  • 2.2. Recount or describe key ideas or details from a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media.
  • 2.3. Ask and answer questions about what a speaker says in order to clarify comprehension, gather additional information, or deepen understanding of a topic or issue.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.2 Writing
Grade(s): Grade 2
Cluster: Text Types and Purposes

Standards:

  • 2.1. Write opinion pieces in which they introduce the topic or book they are writing about, state an opinion, supply reasons that support the opinion, use linking words (e.g., because, and, also) to connect opinion and reasons, and provide a concluding statement or section.
  • 2.2. Write informative/explanatory texts in which they introduce a topic, use facts and definitions to develop points, and provide a concluding statement or section.
  • 2.3. Write narratives in which they recount a well-elaborated event or short sequence of events, include details to describe actions, thoughts, and feelings, use temporal words to signal event order, and provide a sense of closure.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: L.2 Language
Grade(s): Grade 2
Cluster: Conventions of Standard English

Standards:

  • 2.1. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
    • Use collective nouns (e.g., group).
    • Form and use frequently occurring irregular plural nouns (e.g., feet, children, teeth, mice, fish).
    • Use reflexive pronouns (e.g., myself, ourselves)
    • Form and use the past tense of frequently occurring irregular verbs (e.g., sat, hid, told).
    • Use adjectives and adverbs, and choose between them depending on what is to be modified.
    • Produce, expand, and rearrange complete simple and compound sentences (e.g., The boy watched the movie; The little boy watched the movie; The action movie was watched by the little boy).
  • 2.2. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
    • Capitalize holidays, product names, and geographic names.
    • Use commas in greetings and closings of letters.
    • Use an apostrophe to form contractions and frequently occurring possessives.
    • Generalize learned spelling patterns when writing words (e.g., cage --> badge; boy --> boil).
    • Consult reference materials, including beginning dictionaries, as needed to check and correct spellings.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: L.3 Language
Grade(s): Grade 3
Cluster: Conventions of Standard English

Standards:

  • 3.1. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
    • Explain the function of nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs in general and their functions in particular sentences.
    • Form and use regular and irregular plural nouns.
    • Use abstract nouns (e.g., childhood).
    • Form and use regular and irregular verbs.
    • Form and use the simple (e.g., I walked; I walk; I will walk) verb tenses.
    • Ensure subject-verb and pronoun-antecedent agreement.
    • Form and use comparative and superlative adjectives and adverbs, and choose between them depending on what is to be modified.
    • Use coordinating and subordinating conjunctions.
    • Produce simple, compound, and complex sentences.
  • 3.2. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
    • Capitalize appropriate words in titles.
    • Use commas in addresses.
    • Use commas and quotation marks in dialogue.
    • Form and use possessives.
    • Use conventional spelling for high-frequency and other studied words and for adding suffixes to base words (e.g., sitting, smiled, cries, happiness).
    • Use spelling patterns and generalizations (e.g., word families, position-based spellings, syllable patterns, ending rules, meaningful word parts) in writing words.
    • Consult reference materials, including beginning dictionaries, as needed to check and correct spellings.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: SL.2 Speaking and Listening
Grade(s): Grade 2
Cluster: Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas

Standards:

  • 2.4. Tell a story or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking audibly in coherent sentences.
  • 2.5. Create audio recordings of stories or poems; add drawings or other visual displays to stories or recounts of experiences when appropriate to clarify ideas, thoughts, and feelings.
  • 2.6. Produce complete sentences when appropriate to task and situation in order to provide requested detail or clarification. (See grade 2 Language standards 1 and 3 for specific expectations.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.2 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade 2
Cluster: Key Ideas and Details

Standards:

  • 2.1. Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text.
  • 2.2. Identify the main topic of a multi-paragraph text as well as the focus of specific paragraphs within the text.
  • 2.3. Describe the connection between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.2 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade 2
Cluster: Integration of Knowledge and Ideas

Standards:

  • 2.7. Explain how specific images (e.g., a diagram showing how a machine works) contribute to and clarify a text.
  • 2.8. Describe how reasons support specific points the author makes in a text.
  • 2.9. Compare and contrast the most important points presented by two texts on the same topic.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.2 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade 2
Cluster: Craft and Structure

Standards:

  • 2.4. Determine the meaning of words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 2 topic or subject area.
  • 2.5. Know and use various text features (e.g., captions, bold print, subheadings, glossaries, indexes, electronic menus, icons) to locate key facts or information in a text efficiently.
  • 2.6. Identify the main purpose of a text, including what the author wants to answer, explain, or describe.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.3 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade 3
Cluster: Craft and Structure 

Standards:

  • 3.4. Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 3 topic or subject area.
  • 3.5. Use text features and search tools (e.g., key words, sidebars, hyperlinks) to locate information relevant to a given topic efficiently.
  • 3.6. Distinguish their own point of view from that of the author of a text.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.3 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade 3
Cluster: Integration of Knowledge and Ideas

Standards:

  • 3.7. Use information gained from illustrations (e.g., maps, photographs) and the words in a text to demonstrate understanding of the text (e.g., where, when, why, and how key events occur).
  • 3.8. Describe the logical connection between particular sentences and paragraphs in a text (e.g., comparison, cause/effect, first/second/third in a sequence).
  • 3.9. Compare and contrast the most important points and key details presented in two texts on the same topic.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.3 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade 3
Cluster: Key Ideas and Details

Standards:

  • 3.1. Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.
  • 3.2. Determine the main idea of a text; recount the key details and explain how they support the main idea.
  • 3.3. Describe the relationship between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text, using language that pertains to time, sequence, and cause/effect.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.2 Writing
Grade(s): Grade 2
Cluster: Research to Build and Present Knowledge

Standards:

  • 2.7. Participate in shared research and writing projects (e.g., read a number of books on a single topic to produce a report; record science observations).
  • 2.8. Recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.
  • 2.9. begins in grade 4.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.2 Writing
Grade(s): Grade 2
Cluster: Production and Distribution of Writing

Standards:

  • 2.4. begins in grade 3.
  • 2.5. With guidance and support from adults and peers, focus on a topic and strengthen writing as needed by revising and editing.
  • 2.6. With guidance and support from adults, use a variety of digital tools to produce and publish writing, including in collaboration with peers.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.3 Writing
Grade(s): Grade 3
Cluster: Production and Distribution of Writing

Standards:

  • 3.4. With guidance and support from adults, produce writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task and purpose. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 1–3.)
  • 3.5. With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, and editing. (Editing for conventions should demonstrate command of Language standards 1-3 up to and including grade 3.)
  • 3.6. With guidance and support from adults, use technology to produce and publish writing (using keyboarding skills) as well as to interact and collaborate with others.

National Standards

This lesson plan is not associated with any National Standards.