Making Sense with Cents Lesson Plan: Understanding the Value of Coins

Submitted by: Vickie Bohidar

Grade Levels: K-3

In this lesson plan, which is adaptable for grades K-3, students use BrainPOP Jr. resources to explore the penny, nickel, dime, and quarter. Students will identify and state the value of coins and apply their skills to real-world scenarios.

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

Students will:

  1. Identify a penny, nickel, dime, and quarter.
  2. State the value of penny, nickel, dime and quarter.

Materials:

  • Computer with projector to view BrainPOP Jr. movie
  • 1 penny, 1 nickel, 1 dime and 1 quarter for each student in the class
  • 1 clean sock for each pair of students
  • Written copy of each notebook questions from the movie for each student, or blank paper for students to write each question themselves

Vocabulary:

penny; nickel; dime; quarter; value; coin

Preparation:

Preview the BrainPop Jr. movie Dollars and Cents. Place two pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters into each sock.

Lesson Procedure:

  1. View the BrainPOP Jr. movie Dollars and Cents with your class. Pause the movie at each notebook question and have students discuss everything they know about each coin. For example, when the question asks "What is a dime?" Students may state that it is a round coin, that it is smaller than a penny, it is the smallest coin and that it has rough edges. Students may want to sketch or take notes on their copy of the Notebook Questions.
  2. After viewing the movie, review the characteristics of each coin:
    Penny - small, copper colored, round, smooth edges, worth 1 cent
    Nickel - medium sized, silver, round, smooth edges, worth 5 cents
    Dime - small, silver, rough edges, worth 10 cents
    Quarter - large, rough edges, round, silver, worth 25 cents.
  3. Take the BrainPOP Jr. Easy Quiz as a class.
  4. Divide the class into pairs. Give each partnership one coin-filled sock. Instruct the students to remove all coins from the sock and place them on the table.
  5. Ask students to find the penny and hold it in the air so that the teacher can quickly check to see that it is the correct coin. Instruct one partner to put the penny in the sock and one partner to put the penny back on the table.
  6. Repeat with nickel, dime and quarter, so that now there is one of each coin in the sock and one of each coin on the table.
  7. Students now take turns selecting one coin from the table and asking their partner to find the matching coin inside the sock without peeking.
  8. When students can quickly find the correct coins in the sock, place all coins in the sock. Partners can take turns asking each other to find coins in the sock using clues such as "Find a coin that is worth 5 cents."
  9. To review the following day (or later in the week), watch the movie again and take the Hard Quiz!