lessons that make cents april 2021

Celebrate National Coin Week

Join the United States Mint and coin enthusiasts around the country on April 18-24 to participate in National Coin Week. This year’s theme is Money, Big and Bold, which celebrates the bold ideas and designs represented on coins. Milestone anniversaries of the Morgan, Peace, and Eisenhower Dollars also inspired this year’s theme.

Monthly Mint Trivia: What was the first dollar coin produced after the Peace Dollar series ended in 1935?

Check Answer

Money, Big and Bold

lessons that make cents april 2021 main feature

Support students’ understanding of money and financial literacy concepts like spending, saving, and budgeting. Related videos, lesson plans, and other resources are available on the Financial Literacy Lessons section of the U.S. Mint website.

Lessons on the Mint website that focus on financial literacy include:

  • Do You Like to Spend or Save? (Grades K-2): After briefly discussing spending and saving habits, students take a poll to see how their peers like to manage money. Then students graph their findings and discuss the survey results.
  • Let’s Go Shopping (Grades K-2): Students will apply their knowledge of adding coins to a real life situation when they create different coin combinations to buy their daily snack.
  • Learn to Earn What You Tend to Spend (Grades 2-3): Students will explain the meanings of spending and earning and associate the correct mathematical function with each one. Students will also make change up to a dollar.
  • A Homegrown Budget (Grades 2-3): Students will describe the life of a Western homestead settler in the 1800s. Students will use addition and subtraction to calculate a budget.
  • George’s Place (Grades 2-3): Students will solve story problems involving money. They will use higher level critical thinking skills to develop their own strategies for solving the problems.
  • Alexander’s Coin Conundrum (Grades 3-5): Using Judith Viorst’s book Alexander, Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday as a reference, students use several computation techniques to calculate how Alexander spends all of his money in no time at all.

Want more ideas? Reach out to education.outreach@usmint.treas.gov for recommendations on lesson plans and activities for your students.

Coin of the Month: Kennedy Half Dollar

2021 kennedy half dollar obverse and reverseThe half dollar is the United States’ fifty-cent coin. It features a President John F. Kennedy on the front and the reverse design is based on the Presidential Seal, consisting of an eagle with a shield on its breast holding a symbolic olive branch and a bundle of 13 arrows. A ring of 50 stars surrounds the design.

Several other designs have appeared on the half dollar coin over the years. From 1794 to 1947, the half dollar, like most coins of the time, were made of silver and decorated with the head or form of an imaginary woman who stood for liberty. Then Benjamin Franklin became the face on the front of the half dollar. Although he was never president, Franklin was a major force in shaping the United States of America. Below his bust are the initials of John R. Sinnock, who also sculpted the bust on the Roosevelt dime.

Soon after the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the late president’s profile took its place on the half dollar. The liberty bell on the back was replaced by the eagle from the presidential seal except during 1975 and 1976, the nation’s 200th birthday. At that time, the coin showed an image of Independence Hall in Philadelphia, the site of many important national events, like the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the drafting of our Constitution.

Play and Learn with Coin Flip

coin flip game feature

Use Coin Flip and the game guide as a fun way to teach probability.



How Coins Are Made For Kids

Watch how the coin making process unfolds in this 3-minute video.


Design Your Own Coin

design your own coins activity feature

Create a coin using the Mint’s template on the Coin Activities page.



We Want to Hear from You!

2019 Coin Coloring Book Lessons that Make Cents iconAre you interested in incorporating coins into your classroom next year, but aren’t sure where to start? Let us help you! The U.S. Mint offers K-12 lesson plans, 12 online educational games, 100+ videos, online quizzes, a free 2020 Coin Coloring Book PDF, and other resources. Reach out to us at education.outreach@usmint.treas.gov to request resources that fit your education needs.

Trivia Answer: The first dollar coin produced after the Peace Dollar was the Eisenhower Dollar, which was first released in 1971.

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