Memories from the National Sites


The teacher will introduce the concept of postcard writing. Students will then research the national sites and states highlighted on quarters for that year. Students will take a virtual visit to the parks and then write a virtual postcard or create a virtual scrapbook of their trip.

Coin Type(s)

  • Quarter

Coin Program(s)

  • America the Beautiful Quarters


Students will demonstrate an understanding of postcard writing.

Major Subject Area Connections

  • Language Arts

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

  • Greeting
  • Body of a letter
  • Closing
  • National Sites


  • 1 overhead projector (optional)
  • 1 overhead transparency (or photocopy) of the "What Did I See?" worksheet
  • "What Did I See?" worksheet
  • 1 class map of the United States
  • 1 copy of a text that gives information about letters
  • Chart paper
  • Markers
  • Crayons
  • Digital storytelling software
  • Computer


  • Make sure to model for the students how to write a postcard.
  • Print out and copy the worksheet (1 per student).
  • Complete a sample of the "What Did I See?" worksheet ahead of time.
  • Create a template on the software program you will be using to help students complete the virtual postcard writing and virtual scrapbook creation.
  • Use bookmarks for differentiation with the students who need a little more guidance, such as:


Project Plan Guide

Lesson Steps

  1. Read the students a text on letter writing.  Explain that a shorter way to write a letter is to use a postcard.  Model writing a postcard.  Note that some postcards have pictures on one side.
  2. Describe the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program for background information. Tell the students that the back of a coin is called the reverse, and "obverse" is another name for the front.
  3. With the students, examine each of the five quarter designs for a given year.  Locate each of the sites on a class map.  Note their position in relation to your school's location.  Answer any student questions.  Demonstrate how to explore the websites of the national sites, using a national park in your own state as an example.
  4. Introduce the students to the "What Did I See?" worksheet.  Explain that they are to choose at least three things that they would see at the site to write about on their virtual postcard.  Allow them computer time to research one of the featured sites.  Have the students record their findings on the worksheet.
  5. Have the students complete the final project using their "What Did I See?" worksheets and a template you provide in a chosen software program.  Have them choose between writing a postcard or creating a scrapbook of their visit to the park.  Make sure to point out that descriptive words help those reading their work to picture what they saw.
    • For the postcard, have them include three pictures on the "front" of the postcard with descriptive labels or captions.  Remind them that each postcard must include a greeting, body, and closing.
    • Each scrapbook should include both drawings and words telling what they saw on their virtual visit and contain at least 5 pages.
  6. Have the students present the postcards and scrapbooks to the 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.
  • Use bookmarks for differentiation with the students who need a little more guidance.


  • 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

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.K Writing
Grade(s): Grade K
Cluster: Range of Writing

  • W.K.10. begins in grade 3.

National Standards

This lesson plan is not associated with any National Standards.