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Lesson Plans
Money Mania
1st–2nd Grade

CCSS Math/Measurement and Data: 2.MD.8
  • Solve word problems involving dollar bills, quarters, dimes, nickels and pennies, using $ and ¢ symbols appropriately. Example: If you have 2 dimes and 3 pennies, how many cents do you have?

Materials Needed
  1. Give pairs or small groups (three or four) of students coins with at least 25 pennies, 20 nickels, 15 dimes and four quarters to use as manipulatives.
  2. Read aloud The Coin Counting Book by Rozanne Lanczak Williams or The Penny Pot by Stuart J. Murphy, pausing to encourage students to count out the appropriate coins in the book and add them together as you read.


  1. Give students a copy of the coin counting chart. Review the strategies on the chart to simplify the process of counting coins according to their values. (For example, count by ones for pennies, count by fives for nickels, etc.) Remind students that they should use the “¢” symbol for “cents.” Model the chart for students by using the coins.
  2. Have students look back at the text to review coin counting to certain amounts. Discuss the strategies they used to add the coins together. For example, use p. 19 of The Penny Pot (three dimes, three nickels and nine pennies) or p. 12 of The Coin Counting Book (trading nickels and dimes for quarters).
  3. Explain that you would like students to use their coin manipulatives to help you solve some more complex money problems. Beginning with cards 1, 2, 3 and 4, read the problems aloud and have students count the coins and solve the problems together as a class.
  4. Encourage student volunteers to share their problem-solving strategies with the rest of the class.

Guided Practice

  1. Divide the class into pairs or small groups of three to four students.
  2. Give each group a copy of one of the remaining problem-solving cards and mat. Encourage students to use their own set of coins and the problem-solving mat, working together with their group to solve the problems. Remind students to use the coin counting chart as a guide to assist them when they need help with the sums.
  3. Give the groups dollar bills to use as manipulatives. Remind them to use “$” for “dollars.” Have each group challenge themselves to create a question on their own using the dollar bills, coins and a separate sheet of paper.
  4. Invite each group to share their problem and the strategies they used to find the solution. An answer key is provided so students can check their answers.

Independent Practice

  1. Pair each student with a partner and have each pair select one of the Race to the Bank spinner game mats.
  2. Show students how to use a pencil and paper clip to make a spinner arrow. (They should hold the pencil upright over the paper clip and spin the paper clip around the pencil.) Have players take turns spinning a coin amount and placing coins that equal that value on the mat, racing to the bank!
  3. The first player to collect and add enough coins to equal the amount shown in the piggy bank wins the game.
    Challenge: Encourage students to design their own game mat and practice counting coins with a variety of values!

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