October Lessons That Make Cents bannerCelebrate National Arts & Humanities Month

Launched by the Americans for the Arts over 30 years ago, National Arts & Humanities Month is the largest annual celebration of the arts and humanities in the United States. Join the U.S. Mint and participants across the country to celebrate the importance of arts and humanities. The goals of this month-long celebration are to focus on equitable access and participation in the arts; allow organizations to show support of the arts; and raise public awareness about the role the arts and humanities play in our communities. Read on for ways you can explore the arts and humanities with the U.S. Mint this month.

Explore Arts & Humanities

October Lessons That Make Cents main featureExpand your student’s connections between coins and American culture through a variety of arts and humanities lessons provided by the U.S. Mint. Available for a variety of grade levels, these lessons explore art, drama, social studies, language arts, music, economics and more. View some of our related lessons below.

Language Arts Lessons:

  • It’s in the Details – Students will classify objects and learn about adjectives using coins. (Grades K-1)
  • Let’s Do a Biography – Students will create a timeline and biography of an influential resident of District of Columbia. (Grades 2-3)
  • Commemorative Coin Poetry – Students will create poems after researching people or events displayed on commemorative coins. (Grades 3-6)
  • Sequoyah’s Diary – Students will research the life of Sequoyah and create a diary detailing his accomplishments and the creation of the Cherokee syllabary. (Grades 7-8)

Art Lessons:

  • Mountain Museum: Shenandoah National Park – Students will examine, identify and describe Shenandoah National Park’s geographical features, plants, animals and visitor activities. Students will use various media to create an original art piece. (Grades 2-3)
  • Follow Your Art: Exploring American Impressionism at Weir Farm – Students will learn about the history of American Impressionism, including the work of J. Alden Weir, and create their own Impressionist-inspired artwork. (Grades 3-5)
  • Going for the Gold – Starting with the 2018 Native American $1 Coin, students will learn about the lives of Jim Thorpe and Jesse Owens. Students will pick an athlete they think should be on a coin and create a coin design representing their athlete. (Grades 9-12)
  • Wild About Photography – Starting with the Block Island National Wildlife Refuge Quarter, students will learn and demonstrate different techniques for photographing wildlife. (Grades 9-12)

Social Studies Lessons:

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: Basketball Hall of Fame Colorized Coins

basketball hall of fame colorized silver and clad coin reverses

While the concept and process to colorize coins is not new – Uganda, Equatorial Guinea, and Palau colorized coins in the early 1990s – the colorized Basketball Hall of Fame Commemorative silver and clad coins are the first of its kind produced by the U.S. Mint. These coins are part of the Basketball Hall of Fame Commemorative Coin Program, which recognizes the 60th anniversary of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Canada and Australia are large producers of these coins and develop many innovative techniques for applying color. Coins are colorized by methods such as applying a “sticker” to the surface, adding ink or paint through a computerized “printing” process, or enameling by filling recessed areas with paint. The U.S. Mint used a third-party to colorize the Basketball commemorative coins using an automated process.

In addition to the colorized silver and clad coins, the Basketball Hall of Fame Commemorative Coin Program includes gold, silver, and clad coins without color in proof and uncirculated finishes. All the coins in the program share the same obverse and reverse designs that celebrate the sport of basketball and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Coin Design & Production Videos

coin videos featureGrab some popcorn and check out our video library! Learn how subjects like art, STEM, and history are all important to the design and production of coins.


Activities to Get Coin Moving

coin circulation featureThere is a nationwide coin shortage, and you can do your part to put coins back into circulation. Check out resources from the U.S. Coin Task Force for families and kids to help get coin moving.


American Innovation Artists Video

Learn how the U.S. Mint artists were inspired to create the beautiful designs featured on the 2019 and 2020 American Innovation $1 Coins for Maryland, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

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.

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