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Lesson Plans
“Pot of Coins” Money Counting Lesson
1st–2nd Grade
Objectives Objectives
  • Students will identify the name and value of different coins.
  • Students will count the total value of a group of coins and find equivalent coin combinations.
Materials Materials Needed
Before You Begin
  1. Print and cut out a set of coin templates for each student or pair of students. (You can also use real coins or a set of pretend coins.)
  2. Print the “Pot of Coins” activity mat. You will need one mat for every student in your class.
  3. Print the spinner template. You will need one spinner for every three or four students.

Introduction Introduction

Give a set of coins to each student so students can manipulate them throughout the lesson. Or have students work in pairs to enhance understanding.

Read aloud The Coin Counting Book. As you read, pause periodically and challenge students to demonstrate the money concepts in the book using their coins.

Procedure Procedure

  1. Review the name and value of each coin with students.
  2. Draw a large pot on the class board or on chart paper. Tell students you are going to put a few coins in the pot, and you would like them to help you count the value of the coins.
  3. Draw circles inside the pot and label them with a “p” for penny, “n” for nickel, “d” for dime and so on. (Or use magnetic coins on a magnetic write & wipe board.)
  4. Invite students to use their own coin manipulatives to help them count the total value of the coins in the pot.
  5. Repeat the activity with different coin combinations. Discuss strategies for adding coin values (e.g., count by fives, start with the highest-value coins, group equivalent coins, and so on). You may want to refer to The Coin Counting Book for examples.
  6. Once students understand the activity, invite volunteers to draw coins in the pot for their classmates to add together.
  7. Next, encourage students to find coin equivalents for certain values. For example, hold up a dime and ask, “What other coin combinations can I use to show 10 cents?” Reinforce equivalencies by prompting students to show a variety of coin combinations that equal 20 cents, 25 cents, 50 cents and so on. Chart students’ responses.

Guided Practice Guided Practice

  1. Divide students into groups of three or four. Give each student a “Pot of Coins” activity mat.
  2. Give each group a paper bag and one set of coins. Have students put the coins in the bag.
  3. Give each group a spinner template, a pencil and a paper clip. Show students how to use the paper clip as the arrow for the spinner: Slide the paper clip onto the pencil and hold the pencil upright in the center of the spinner. Flick the paper clip to spin it around the pencil.
  4. Have players take turns spinning to select a number. Each student draws that many coins from the bag and places them on a mat. Have students add up the value of their coins. The player with the highest value wins the round! (Point out that the person with the most coins isn’t necessarily the person with the highest value.)
  5. Challenge students to play several rounds to practice counting various coin combinations.

the 1st–2nd grade lesson plan. (Includes all printable materials.)
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