Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Learning About U.S. Coins and Coin Collecting - Smart Summer Challenge - Week #2

Every Friday from July 1st through the middle of August, there's a Smart Summer Challenge going on at Pink and Green Mama,  Naturally Educational, and Teach Mama.  The goal is to do daily educational (yet fun) activities with your children. 

During Week #2, the suggested theme is "Government." So, we focused on the national government by examining coins.

First, the girls each picked a penny, nickel, dime, and quarter.  Using the worksheets from the Enchanted Learning website, I read the descriptions about each of the symbols that are on the coins and their meanings.

Olivia taking a closer look at a penny and
learning what each of the symbols on it means.
Both girls were excited to find
the tiny Abraham Lincoln in the Lincoln Memorial.
Olivia thought he looked like he was floating and
Sophia thought he looked like he was flying.

Sophia said that none of the presidents on the coins looked exactly like they did in pictures. "I thought President Roosevelt wore glasses. Why isn't he wearing them?" Sophia wondered.

Both of the girls enjoyed discovering where their coins were made.  There are three possible locations: Denver, Colorado; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and San Francisco, California.

Sophia examining a coin to see where it was minted.

The girls came to the conclusion, based on how many coins they had from each location, that Denver produces the most, followed by Philadelphia. None of the coins they had were from San Francisco.

Both girls wanted to collect the statehood quarters and fill in booklets. I had one on hand and another one I had to order. Production of the special quarters was started in 1999 and ended in 2008. Each state is represented on the back side of a quarter by a different image. For a list and images of each of the quarters, visit this website.

The girls each had two rolls of quarters to go through. They sorted them and then put them in alphabetical order by state. Some statehood quarters had more than one, so they just stacked them in case the other one needed that particular quarter for her collection.

The girls sorted through quarters and
pulled out the statehood ones.
Eenie (the cat) is interested in what they're doing.

Once they had them in order, they gave one another quarters that they were missing (if they had a duplicate). Sophia put hers in the booklet and has four quarters that she still needs. Olivia is waiting for her booklet and will put them in when it arrives. She needs ten more quarters to complete her collection.

Once the coins were in alphabetical order,
the girls helped each other find coins they were missing.

In sorting through the coins, we came across a few of the new quarters - the ones that focus on the national parks. This will be another coin collection that the girls will start in a few days when the booklets arrive in the mail. 

Production for the national park quarters will end in ten years - making Olivia finishing her senior year in high school/starting college as a freshman and Sophia a sophomore/junior in college. Hopefully by collecting the coins from their elementary to college years, that the collection will have special meaning and memories for them.


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