lessons that make cents - background pictured rocks national lakeshore

February 2018 – Lessons That Make Cents

Explore America’s First National Lakeshore

Established in 1966 as our first national lakeshore, Michigan’s Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is a narrow strip of a park that hugs the Lake Superior coast for more than 40 miles. The shoreline consists of 200-foot-high colorful sandstone cliffs, numerous beaches, and 300-foot-tall sand dunes. The shoreline is bordered by boreal and eastern hardwood forests with numerous waterfalls, streams, and lakes and abundant wildlife.

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is the subject of this month’s lesson plans. Have your students paint a verbal picture of life as a lighthouse keeper in the “Pictured Rocks Podcast” lesson plan, or build a three-dimensional model of an ecosystem using the “Engaging Ecosystems” lesson plan. Read on to learn more!

Coin of the Month

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Quarter2018 pictured rocks national lakeshore quarter obverse and reverse

The Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Quarter is the 41st coin of the U.S. Mint America the Beautiful Quarters® Program, and the first coin from this program released in 2018.

Fast Facts:

  • The coin design depicts Chapel Rock and the white pine tree that grows atop.
  • Wildlife at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore includes black bears, deer, and porcupine, with bald eagles and peregrine falcons dotting the skies.
  • The coin was sculpted by Michael Gaudioso and designed by Paul Balan.

Pictured Rocks Lesson Plans

Explore the fascinatingly diverse landscape of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore with two new free lesson plans from the United States Mint:

Engaging Ecosystems (Grades 4–6)

Students will understand the diverse ecosystems found at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Students will work in teams to construct a three-dimensional model of an ecosystem.

Pictured Rocks Podcast (Grades 7–8)

Using the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Quarter, students will research and evaluate the lives of lighthouse keepers and create a new media product.

Play Our Memory Match Game

memory match game cards one showing and one hiddenThink you know all about the America the Beautiful Quarters? Test your memory with the Mint’s brand new Memory Match Game! This fun and educational game features the 2018 America the Beautiful Quarters.


Pictured Rocks Video

Learn more about the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Quarter by watching this video, featuring Sculptor-Engraver Michael Gaudioso talking about his work on the coin.

Upcoming Event

lovers leap rock formation at pictured rocks national lakeshorePictured Rocks National Lakeshore Quarter Launch and Coin Exchange

February 6-7 | Munising, Michigan

Commemorating the release of the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Quarter. View the events page for more information.

More Lessons

Visit our lessons-by-coin-program page for more social studies lessons.

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