WASHINGTON — The United States Mint today unveiled its new lesson plans for 2010, which are based on the America the Beautiful Quarters Program, the agency’s new 12–year initiative honoring 56 national parks and other national sites. The first set of plans will explore the first five sites in the program: Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas; Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming; Yosemite National Park in California; Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona; and Mount Hood National Forest in Oregon.
The lesson plans for the America the Beautiful Quarters Program feature a new, interactive format that is easier to read and customized for students. The flexible lesson plan format may be applied to a variety of settings: one computer to a classroom, one computer per student, or the traditional “pen and paper” offline approach. The plans also integrate technology into the core curriculum, which supports national education technology standards – models for 21st century learning.
The new America the Beautiful Quarters lesson plans are designed for grades K–12. All lesson plans are free and available at the United States Mint Web site, http://www.usmint.gov/kids/teachers/. Created and reviewed by teachers to meet national curricular standards, the plans draw on the new quarter reverse designs to inspire students to learn about the culture, geography, and unique heritage and natural beauty of our national parks and sites.
The new lesson plan for kindergarten and first grade, for example, is called “Memories from Parks.” With this plan, teachers introduce the concept of writing. Students will research the national parks and sites honored in a particular year. They will take a virtual visit to the parks, and design and write a virtual postcard or create a virtual scrapbook of their trip. The plan for grades four through six, “Working the Land – Natural Occupations,” will help students research and understand different careers associated with national parks and sites.
The United States Mint has also redesigned the “educators” pages of its Web site. New features include.
* a central information space on the main page that provides updates on coin programs and education news;
* specialized sections that target specific areas of interest (e.g., classroom, community, coins, kids);
* a reorganized navigation menu that provides easier access to available resources, including more than 500 lesson plans and projects;
* Classroom Gadgets, which include useful multiple classroom activities, such as a timer, bingo game and card generator;
* Trivia Treasures, a database of facts designed to spark ideas for lessons, including fun facts, coin chronicles, coin specifications and minting statistics; and
* the re–formatted E–newsletter, “What’s New for You,” a tool to help the more than 10,000 members of the Teachers’ Network stay informed of the latest educational resources from the United States Mint.
The United States Mint H.I.P. Pocket Change™ Program was created in response to a 1997 presidential mandate to “enrich the Internet as a learning tool.” For more information, free educational resources, games, and more, visit http://www.usmint.gov/kids.
The United States Mint, created by Congress in 1792, is the Nation’s sole manufacturer of legal tender coinage. Its primary mission is to produce an adequate volume of circulating coinage for the Nation to conduct its trade and commerce. The United States Mint also produces proof, uncirculated and commemorative coins; Congressional Gold Medals; and silver, gold and platinum bullion coins.