plastic bags containing 24 pennies, 3 nickels and 3 dimes to each
child. Next hold up a nickel and ask the children to find a nickel in
their bag. As they describe the nickel record their descriptions on
Now ask the children to place a piece of paper over a nickel and
to rub the paper with a crayon to make impressions of both sides of the
coin. Ask them to record the coin’s value in both words (5 cents) and
using cent sign notation. Then ask the children what similarities and
differences they notice about the three coins they have studied. Add
the word “nickel” to the word wall. To set the stage for this lesson,
read 26 Letters and 99 Cents, asking children to take turns
modeling various amounts to 60 cents using the coins. Then ask them
suggest other amounts to model.
Next give each child a copy of the Ten Frame
activity sheet and model trading pennies for nickels and nickels for
dimes. Model trading pennies for nickels by placing 1 penny in each
cell of the top row of the ten frame, and when the row is full,
exchanging the 5 pennies for 1 nickel. Then repeat with the bottom row.
Then ask them to find out how many nickels would equal a dime, and
guide them through making that exchange.
Now put the children in pairs and have the children return
their coins to their plastic bags. Invite the children to take turns
showing to their partner a handful of coins and having him or her guess
the total value of the coins. Then ask them to work together to find
the actual value, exchanging for nickels and dimes whenever possible.
When the children have had several turns, call them together
and ask them to use their coins to display a given amount such as 34
cents. Call on a volunteer to show the coins they chose, then ask if
anyone showed the amount a different way. Display their choices on a
chart such as that shown at the end of the unit. For example, students
might make 34 cents in the following ways:
3 dimes, 0 nickels, 4 pennies
0 dimes, 6 nickels, 4 pennies
2 dimes, 2 nickels, 4 pennies
...and so on
[You may wish to use paper copies of oversized coins on
a large chart to demonstrate the combinations.]
At the end of the lesson, ask children to choose two of the rows
from the above chart and draw a picture illustrating two different ways
to make an amount. They may wish to display these on the classroom
bulletin board and to add them to their portfolio.