Monday, February 15, 2010

Presidents and Money

President's Day is a federal holiday officially known as "Washington's Birthday," but always falls on the third Monday in February. Although we celebrate Lincoln's birthday this month as well, it is not a federally designated holiday. 

We have all heard the story of young George Washington chopping down a cherry tree and telling his father the truth. Washington's biographer Mason Weems made this story up as a way to show Washington's honesty. It's a good lesson about the qualities good leaders have. The story can be found at  

Abraham Lincoln was also known for his honesty and even nicknamed "Honest Abe." He teaches us that the truth is not worth sacrificing for any gain, no matter the size, and telling the truth is an essential lesson for all, no matter who you are or what you do.

Abe Lincoln's Cabin of Values from Moreofamom. com

In this month, we also celebrate Black History Month. "The remembrance was founded in 1926 by United States historian Carter G. Woodson as "Negro History Week".[1] Woodson chose the second week of February because it marked the birthdays of two Americans who greatly influenced the lives and social condition of African Americans: former President Abraham Lincoln and abolitionist and former slave Frederick Douglass." (Wikipedia, Black History Month) 

And what better time to begin our unit on money as we are already in to a discussion on the presidents. Students are expected to learn the name of each coin and its value. They also need to be able to count easy combinations of money, like one nickel and three pennies. We do penny and quarter rubbings along with our Washington and Lincoln people that we put together. I love to use songs and rhymes to teach... 

Money Song Dr. Jean - Is Everybody Happy? 
(Tune: "Shortnin' Bread")

I like money to buy things at the store.
Money, money, money, I always want more!

A penny's worth one cent.
A nickel's worth five.
A dime's worth ten cents.
A quarter's twenty-five.         Chorus

Lincoln's on one cent.
Jefferson's on five.
Roosevelt's on ten cents.
Washington's on twenty-five.  Chorus

A building's on one cent.
A building's on five.
A torch is on ten cents.
An eagle's on twenty-five.       Chorus

Penny, Penny (unknown)

Penny, penny, easily spent -
Copper brown and worth one cent.

Nickel, Nickel, thick and fat.
It’s worth 5 cents – I know that.

Dime, dime, little and thin.
I remember – you’re worth 10.

Quarter, quarter, big and bold.
It’s worth 25 – I am told. 

I Got A Dollar (Inspired from Little Rascals)

I got a penny (3x). It's worth 1 cent.    
I got a penny (3x). It's worth 1 cent!

I got a nickel (3x). It's worth 5 cents.
I got a nickel (3x). It's worth 5 cents!

I got a dime (3x). It's worth 10 cents.
I got a dime (3x). It's worth 10 cents!

I got a quarter (3x). It's 25 cents.
I got a quarter (3x). It 25 cents! 

Our coin purse, or money bag project using a paper bag, hole punch, pipe cleaner, coin stamps/stickers...
Now that I think about it, it would make a cool wallet to fold the same way, but leave off the pipe cleaner. I encouraged the students to store some coins inside to practice with. To better encourage my class to learn the coins and values, I'm bribing them with getting to put a toy cash register in a center. 

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