The Nature of Negotiation


Students will make distinctions among animal classes and families and predict needs based on these traits. Students will improve negotiation and cooperation skills.

Coin Type(s)

  • Dollar

Coin Program(s)

  • Native American $1 Coins


  • Students will make distinctions among animal classes and families and predict needs based on these traits.
  • Students will improve negotiation and cooperation skills.

Major Subject Area Connections

  • Social Studies
  • Language Arts
  • Science


  • 4th
  • 5th
  • 6th

Class Time

  • Sessions: Four
  • Session Length: 45-60 minutes
  • Total Length: 151-500 minutes


  • Whole group
  • Small groups
  • Pairs
  • Individual work

Background Knowledge

Students should have a basic knowledge of:

  • The American Revolution
  • Location of 13 original colonies
  • Directions: horizontal, vertical and diagonal
  • Fair game play
  • Standard letter writing

Terms and Concepts

  • Native American $1 Coin
  • Symbol
  • Resource
  • Bird
  • Negotiation
  • Scarcity
  • Reverse (back)
  • Clan
  • Mammal
  • Exothermic
  • Territory
  • Allies
  • Obverse (front)
  • Habitat
  • Reptile
  • Class
  • Sovereignty
  • Treaty


  • 1 overhead projector or equivalent classroom technology
  • 1 overhead transparency (or photocopy) of the following:
    • "2013 Native American $1 Coin" page
    • "Habitatters' Rules" page
  • Copies of the following:
    • "Classroom Setup" page".'Habitatters' Rules" page
    • "Habitat Resource Cards—Turtle" page
    • "Habitat Resource Cards—Turkey" page
    • "Habitat Resource Cards—Wolf" page
    • "Water Cards" page
    • "Create a Badge" worksheet
  • 1 class map of the United States
  • 15 sheets of 8½" 11" light card stock
  • Chart paper
  • Markers, pencils, colored pencils
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Skein of yarn
  • Hole punch
  • Tape
  • Construction paper (1 for each desk, in colors if using the listed enrichment)
  • 3 dice
  • Notebook paper
  • Clipboards (optional)


  • Make an overhead transparency (or photocopy) of each of the following:
    • "2013 Native American $1 Coin" page
    • "Habitatters' Rules" page
  • Make photocopies of each of the following:
    • "Habitatters' Rules" page (one per team)
    • "Habitat Resource Cards—Turtle" page (five copies on light card stock)
    • "Habitat Resource Cards—Turkey" page (five copies on light card stock)
    • "Habitat Resource Cards—Wolf" page (five copies on light card stock)
    • "Water Cards" page (one card for each student after cutting)
    • "Create a Badge" worksheet (one copy for each student)
  • Cut apart four of the copies of the Habitat Resource cards and shuffle (108 cards).
  • Make and place four signs, one in each corner of the classroom: "River," "Wolf Den," "Turkey Roost" and "Turtle Nest."
  • Make and post "Habitatters' Rules" signs by the River and three habitats.
  • Post each remaining page of Habitat Resource cards at its appropriate habitat.
  • Cut 24-inch length pieces of yarn for lanyards (one per student).
  • Consider creating a "conflict" for the students to resolve (such as not having enough water) to encounter in Session 3 and discuss the resolution in Session 4.
  • Set up the classroom in this way:
    • Plan to hang the charts from the sessions in the classroom for students to use as a reference while playing the game and completing the writing assignment.
    • Arrange the desks in a grid, allowing for movement between desks/game spaces.
    • Move the chairs to the corners as habitats and river (see the "Classroom Set Up" page).
    • For Sessions 2 and 3, place a random group of Habitat Resource cards face down on each desk and cover with construction paper.


Worksheets and files (PDF)

Lesson Steps

Session 1

  1. Set up the four stations in the corners of the room in advance, but not the desks.
  2. Describe the Native American $1 Coin Program for background information. The program is described at
  3. Display the "2013 Native American $1 Coin" overhead transparency. Tell the students that the back of a coin is called the "reverse" and "obverse" is another name for the front. With the students, examine the coin design and identify the theme "Treaty with the Delawares of 1778." Explain that, after declaring independence, the United States signed its first formal treaty with an Indian tribe, the Delawares, at Fort Pitt, Pa. (now Pittsburgh) on September 17, 1778.
  4. Lead a class discussion about the coin image. Explain that there are several symbols shown. Ask the students to define the term "symbol" and provide an example. Record student responses on chart paper.
  5. Explain that many Native American nations used animals as symbols to represent groups, such as families or clans. Write the word "clan" on chart paper and, if necessary, explain that a clan is a large group of a few extended families. Explain that the animals displayed on the coin are symbols of the Delaware Nation clans.
  6. Discuss each animal in turn and ask the students to name something positive about each, recording student responses on three pieces of chart paper.
  7. Point out on the class map of the United States where the 13 colonies were and the region from Delaware to Detroit. Explain that the animals were native to this area.
  8. As a class, discuss the meaning of the 13 stars shown on the design. If necessary, explain that the stars symbolize the 13 colonies joined as a new nation fighting for independence from England.
  9. Tell the students they will predict what each animal would need in its home. Show the students each of the animal's corners in the classroom: Wolf Den, Turkey Roost and Turtle Nest. Place the charts listing each animal's positive traits in its corner.
  10. Introduce the word "habitat" by asking the student groups to discuss and be ready to explain the difference between a home and a habitat. Have each group share their answers. Relate the concept to home and neighborhood. If necessary, explain that each animal family needs certain items to survive. Tell the students that the items are called "resources." Record responses on chart paper.
  11. Distribute one of the Habitat Resource cards to each student.    Using a Think-Pair-Share format, ask the students to discuss and match the resource to the animal's habitat. Have the students "build" the habitat by placing the resource in the appropriate area and be prepared to explain why it belongs there.
  12. Visit each animal's corner and model thinking out loud to decide whether the resource belongs to that habitat. Collect the Habitat Resource cards for Session 2.
  13. Explain to the students that they will each join one of the animal families to learn about its needs. Divide the class into three equal groups: wolves, turtles and turkeys. Distribute chart paper and markers to each group and have the students move to their animal's corner.
  14. Ask each group to create a list of what makes their animal family different from the other two animal families. Assist group thinking as necessary by asking what the animal eats, how it defends or protects itself and how it builds its home.
  15. Have the students sign their names to the chart and display the list in their corner.

Session 2

  1. In advance, stack the chairs in the four corners and arrange the desks in a game grid (see "Classroom Setup" worksheet).
  2. Display the "2013 Native American $1 Coin" overhead transparency. Review information and chart paper from the previous session.
  3. Have the students gather at their animal's corner. As a class, discuss the general characteristics and examples of mammal, bird and reptile. If necessary, explain that each of these animal families belongs to a larger group called an animal "class." Record definitions and examples on chart paper.
  4. Introduce students to the term "exothermic" meaning "outer temperature." Explain that this means that reptiles stay warm by finding warm places. Ask the student groups to explain why the word exothermic is a better way to describe reptiles than "cold-blooded." Record the definition and student responses on chart paper.
  5. Distribute to each student copies of the "Create a Badge" worksheet, colored pencils,glue, scissors and a piece of yarn. Also provide clipboards to work on if needed.
  6. Have the students draw the animal that represents their animal group in the indicated circle. In the other circle, have them list their animal's category (mammal, reptile, bird) and at least three characteristics of that category. Have the students cut out the shape and fold on the line, gluing it closed to form a badge, punch two holes and tie yarn through the holes to form a lanyard.
  7. Have the students wear their badges and go to their animal's habitat. Give the three uncut "Habitat Resource Cards" pages to their appropriate groups for reference.
  8. Display the ".'Habitatters' Rules" worksheet. Have the students review it and discuss the resources in their group. Address any student questions.
  9. When reviewing the rules of "Habitatters," discuss the term "allies" (to associate or connect by some mutual relationship, as resemblance or friendship) and why it's important to have them.
  10. Explain that the class will have a practice session of game play.   Choose one student from each group to demonstrate as you read through the rules.
  11. Read rules one through three, then roll one die and guide the turtle player to enter the game board at the desk closest to their habitat and move horizontally, vertically or diagonally the number of spaces on the die. Roll two dice and guide the wolf player in the same way. Roll three dice and repeat with the turkey player.
  12. Maneuver the students so that two players occupy the same space.       Announce that this ends the "moving" part of the turn.
  13. Read rules four through six and allow the players to take the top Habitat Resource card. If the card belongs in their habitat, they should keep it. For the two players on the same space, explain that they may negotiate to trade, which is voluntary.
  14. Think out loud and model for the two students whether they should trade.        For a further example, ask the class if anyone has ever traded baseball cards or other trading cards. Compare trading two less valuable cards for a more valuable card. Ask the class why that would be a good trade. Explain that each step in making a trade is part of negotiation. Ask the students to consider whether they want to negotiate or trade. When done, announce the end of the "negotiation" part of the turn.
  15. Send the students back to their habitats. Review the remaining rules.
  16. If time allows, conduct a short session of game play, omitting the water requirement and setting a 15 minute time limit. Have all the turtles move to different spaces first, then wolves and then turkeys. Allow five minutes at the end of the session for students to count, compare and discuss the resources collected.
  17. Have the students discuss how they can work together in preparation for the next game session. Have the student hang their badge lanyards in their habitat.
  18. Collect the Habitat Resource cards.

Session 3

  1. Before the session begins, set up the classroom as a game board, including water tokens at the "river."
  2. Display the "2013 Native American $1 Coin" transparency. Review the information and chart paper from the previous sessions.
  3. Have the students gather in their respective habitats and wear their badges. Display and review the "Habitatters' Rules" worksheet.
  4. As a class, discuss the terms "territory" and "sovereignty." Ask the students for examples of the word "territory." Discuss how the concept would apply to their habitats. Record students' responses on chart paper.
  5. Explain that there is a word that people use when they talk about how they feel about territory. Write the word "sovereignty" on chart paper. Ask the students how they would feel if they were playing on the playground and another group of children started playing in the same spot. Ask how they would feel if instead the other group asked permission first. Explain that the word people use to express this feeling of ownership over territory is "sovereignty." Explain that to be sovereign means that each territory is independent and makes its own rules. Record the definition on chart paper.
  6. Discuss the term "scarcity" (fewer resources than the demand for them) and record the results on chart paper.
  7. Discuss with the students whether their animal homes (habitats) are sovereign. Ask if they feel the same way about the game spaces. Ask the students if they agree to play by the ".'Habitatters' Rules" when they are outside their habitat. Explain that sharing a game space with another student requires cooperation and negotiation.
  8. Conduct a session of game play. Remind the students that they must each visit the river to pick up a water token and should work together to collect or trade resources.
  9. When the cards begin to run out, review the term "scarcity" and direct students to use the roll on the dice to return home. (The construction paper is used to hide whether a space is out of cards or not.)
  10. Each animal family wins if they have collected 18 appropriate resource cards and a water token for each student.
  11. Referring to the full sheet of Habitat Resources, have the students count how many of each resource their group collected. For assessment, score one point for each appropriate resource collected and subtract one point for each unrelated resource collected.
  12. Have the students hang their badge lanyards in their habitat. Collect the Habitat Resource cards.

Session 4

  1. Display the "2013 Native American $1 Coin" transparency as a visual cue. In student pairs from the same animal group, have them list as many resources as they can for each animal group on a sheet of paper. Allow a few minutes and collect.
  2. Explain to the students that for the last activity they will write a letter to the leader of one of the other animal families. Allow the student groups time to discuss reasons for needing to contact the other animals. If necessary, prompt them with possible problems, such as scarcity of a resource or a misunderstanding.
  3. Using standard letter writing format, have the students write a letter stating the problem and offering ways to solve it. Require the students to reference several resources and how they were used to demonstrate what they have learned.
  4. As a culminating activity, combine the students in groups of three, one from each of the animal families. Have them share their letters with each other and discuss whether they could solve the problem. Encourage students to shake hands and offer congratulations to each other on sharing resources and negotiating fairly.
  5. Display the student letters in the classroom.

Differentiated Learning Options

  • Assign students to move and negotiate in pairs.
  • For struggling readers, add pictures to the Habitat Resource cards and the loca-tion signs in addition to the words.
  • Have sample letters or templates available.
  • Allow the use of a scribe or allow students to type their letter on the computer.


  • Have students decorate their animal's corner with pictures they draw or other items available in the classroom.
  • Make the game more complex by adding rules for different colors of game spaces. Suggestions:
    • Blue space: allow trading with animals only on adjacent spaces.
    • Red space: no trading allowed.
    • Green space: exchange previously collected resources.
    • Black space: allow these animals to take an extra turn.
  • Invite guest speakers, such as a conservation officer, to discuss the animal needs or a lawmaker to discuss how negotiations are done.
  • Have students extend the lesson with individual or paired projects, writing a treaty or agreement to share resources with another animal family.
  • Have students individually or in pairs use suggested Web sites to complete poster or multimedia projects on the current habitat and status of each animal family.
  • Have students research the class and family of the animal species to discover other features that make it unique.


  • Take anecdotal notes about each group's successful trading of resources.
  • Use class discussions and letters to assess whether the students have met the lesson objectives.

Common Core Standards

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

National Standards

This lesson plan is not associated with any National Standards.