Trade This, Trade That: Chaco Culture National Historical Park


Students will demonstrate an understanding of trading.

Coin Type(s)

  • Quarter

Coin Program(s)

  • America the Beautiful Quarters


Students will demonstrate an understanding of trading.

Major Subject Area Connections

  • Social Studies


  • 2nd
  • 3rd

Class Time

  • Sessions: One
  • Session Length: 30-45 minutes
  • Total Length: 0-45 minutes


  • Whole group
  • Pairs
  • Individual work

Terms and Concepts



  • An age-appropriate text about trading
  • Scissors



Worksheets and files (PDF)

Lesson Steps

  1. Display and examine the Chaco Culture National Historical Park quarter design. Locate this site in New Mexico on a class map. As background information, 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 on the back of the coin. Each design will focus on a different national site—one from each state, territory, and the District of Columbia.
  2. Demonstrate trading for the students. Read the students a text on trading.
  3. Describe trading as an exchange of one thing for another. Tell the students that before there was money, people in the past used to trade in order to get the goods that they needed. Discuss what things may have been traded and what may have been needed back then and record them on a class chart.
  4. Tell the students that the Chacoan people traded and bartered as a means of acquiring what they needed.
  5. Introduce the students to the "Trade Me This, Trade Me That" worksheets. Explain to them that they are going to use the things on their worksheet to trade with others to get the goods they need based on the description on the worksheet. Discuss whether each student was able to obtain the goods that they needed and how it felt to trade instead of using modern methods to get the goods they needed,
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  • Take anecdotal notes about the students' participation in class discussions.
  • Evaluate the students' worksheets for understanding of 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.