Fun With Pennies
Today's Snack: Slice a whole carrot
into little round discs, or "pennies," and a whole cucumber into larger "coins"
that you could call "quarters." Put them on a paper plate. Of course, you would
NEVER put REAL coins in your mouth for fear of swallowing them and choking. But
you CAN put THESE coins in your mouth! But first, count up how much "money" you
have. Every four cucumber "coins" makes one dollar. Get it? Four cucumber
"quarters" equals one "dollar." Once you know how much vegetable money you
have, "spend" it by dipping each "coin" into a little low-fat ranch dressing,
As many pennies as you can gather
Paper and pencil
Silver dollar, half-dollar, quarter,
Here are activities that can be used with a penny theme for
ESL students. Emphasis is on counting, estimating and graphing.
The front or "head" of the coin shows a profile of Abraham
Lincoln. He was our 16th president of the United States. He served
from 1861 to 1865, nearly 150 years ago.
Q. What's a "profile"?
A. A "profile" is a side view of a person. Team up with
someone else. Each of you should have a paper and pencil. Have them draw your
profile as you turn your face sideways to them. Then you draw THEIR profile.
Some people believe that President Lincoln was our nation's
greatest President, because he kept the country together when it might have
split apart during the Civil War, and he made sure that the African-Americans
who had been brought over here against their will, to work as slaves, got to be
set free and have the same rights as every other American. In many countries in
the world today, slavery is still going on. So we can be proud that we got rid
of it nearly 150 years ago.
Q. Does Lincoln face
right or left?
A. The penny is our only coin that is still used today in
which a person is facing right. On all our other coins, the person who is
honored by being on there faces to the left. Look at all the other coins in the
U.S. "mint" to see that this is true.
Note that the year in which the coin was minted (created) is
found to the right of Lincoln's chest.
The flip side or "tail" is also called the "reverse" side.
The Lincoln penny is the only U.S. coin on which the same
person appears on both sides.
Here are some fun games!
Fill a jar
with pennies. Challenge students to use their estimation skills and guess the
number of pennies in the jar. Dump out the pennies and count them together. See
how close you were.
student a penny; a piece of thin, white paper, and a pencil. Show how to make a
rubbing by placing the penny under the paper and rubbing the pencil across it. Make
penny rubbings to create math problems. For example, place three penny rubbings
in a row with an addition sign ( + ) between them, followed by an equals sign (
= ) and a blank line for the child to fill in how many cents that adds up to.
as a unit of measure. Line up pennies side by side to measure items on your
desk or around the room. How "long" is
a pencil or a book, as measured in how many pennies you have to line up?
Heads or Tails
with probability by flipping a penny numerous times and tallying the results.
Make two columns, and then make a mark under the column for "Heads" each time
the penny comes up "heads," and make a mark under the column for "Tails" each
time the penny comes up tails. Then turn the data into a pictograph. That's a
graph that uses pictures to show a fact. You can make coin rubbings to
illustrate the number of heads and tails that occurred. Rub a penny's head and
write down how many times heads came up, and then rub a penny's tail right next
to it, and write down how many times tails came up.
The Hundred Penny Box by Sharon Bell Mathis. You can do
this in a group or by yourself. Read this book, or have someone read it out
loud to you. If you're in a group, then pass out a penny to each student and have
them take turns bringing it forward and sharing a special memory treasured by
his or her family.
-- Submitted by
longtime educator Cynthia Jernstrom