- 50 State Quarters
- Students will demonstrate map skills focusing on elements such as title, key, compass rose, and date.
- Students will also describe our nation as composed of states, and will locate and identify selected states on the map.
Major Subject Area Connections
- Social Studies
- Sessions: One
- Session Length: 60 minutes
- Total Length: 0-45 minutes
- Whole group
- Individual work
Students should have basic knowledge of:
- Map elements
- Cardinal directions
Terms and Concepts
- The Louisiana Purchase
- Map key
- Compass rose
- Map title
- 1 overhead projector (optional)
- 1 overhead transparency (or photocopy) of the Louisiana quarter reverse
- Copies of the "Louisiana Purchase" map
- Copies of the "United States of America" map
- Colored pencils
- Make an overhead transparency (or photocopy) of the Louisiana quarter reverse.
- Make copies of the "Louisiana Purchase" map (1 per student).
- Make copies of the "United States of 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. Then display the overhead or photocopied image of the Louisiana quarter reverse.
- 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.
- Lead a class discussion about the elements in the Louisiana quarter design. Focus on the central, shaded Louisiana Territory area. Conduct a think-pair-share session asking students to consider:
- What pictures appear on the coin and what might they represent?
- What words appear prominently on the coin and what might they mean?
- Why were the pictures and words on the coin chosen? What things or events might the coin be representing? What aspects might be important about Louisiana?
- Give students a brief background of the Louisiana Purchase including information such as when it happened and how it affected the size and boundaries of the United States. Point out the shaded area on the Louisiana quarter reverse. Explain that this area was once not a part of the United States but was added as the nation grew.
- Tell students they are going to practice mapping skills on two different maps, past vs. present—one map that shows what the United States looked like the year of the Louisiana Purchase and the second map showing what the United States looks like today.
- Distribute "The Louisiana Purchase" map, one per student. Also, hand out colored pencils.
- Review the map as a class. Take time to review the compass rose, the map key, the title, etc. Point out areas on the map such as territories, states in the union, etc.
- As a class, work with the students to complete the directions provided.
- As students complete the "Louisiana Purchase" map, give each a copy of the "United States of America" map. Have students work individually to complete this map according to the directions, providing guidance when necessary. If necessary, unfinished work may be completed at home.
- Check the students' maps for completion. Discuss what was learned, referring again to the transparency or photocopy of the Louisiana quarter reverse.
Differentiated Learning Options
- Use peer tutoring when completing the map sets.
- Make personal connections for students about land ownership such as: If you go to the pet store to buy a dog, the store owner owned the dog until (s)he sold it to you.
- Make a literature connection to "map elements" by reading map-related texts such as Me on the Map by Joan Sweeney, or North, South, East, and West by Allan Fowler.
- Students can create a map of their home state, including a compass, labeling the border- ing states, identifying the capital city and the city or town where the school is located. A corresponding map key should be provided by the student as well.
- Have students hypothesize and write about what life would be like if the United States had never acquired the Louisiana Territory.
Use the worksheets and class participation to assess whether the students have met the lesson objectives.
Common Core Standards
This lesson plan is not associated with any Common Core Standards.
Discipline: Social Studies
Domain: All Disciplinary Standards
Grade(s): Grades K–12
- guide learners in the use of maps and other geographic representations, tools, and technologies to acquire, process, and report information from a spatial perspective
- enable learners to use mental maps to organize information about people, places, and environments in a spatial context
- assist learners to analyze the spatial information about people, places, and environments on Earth’s surface
- help learners to understand the physical and human characteristics of places
- assist learners in developing the concept of regions as a means to interpret Earth’s complexity
- enable learners to understand how culture and experience influence people’s perceptions of places and regions
- provide learners opportunities to understand and analyze the physical processes that shape Earth’s surface
- challenge learners to consider the characteristics and spatial distribution of ecosystems on Earth’s surface
- guide learners in exploring the characteristics, distribution, and migration of human populations on Earth’s surface
- help learners to understand and analyze the characteristics, distribution, and complexity of Earth’s cultural mosaics
- have learners explore the patterns and networks of economic interdependence on Earth’s surface
- enable learners to describe the processes, patterns, and functions of human settlement
- challenge learners to examine how the forces of cooperation and conflict among people influence the division and control of Earth’s surface; help learners see how human actions modify the physical environment
- enable learners to analyze how physical systems affect human systems
- challenge learners to examine the changes that occur in the meaning, use, distribution, and importance of resources
- help learners to apply geography to interpret the past and present and to plan for the future
- enhance learners’ abilities to ask questions and to acquire, organize, and analyze geographic information so they can answer geographic questions as they engage in the study of substantive geographic content