Lesson Plan:

Do You Want More Coins or More Money?

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September 1, 2015
by Sanayya Sohail

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to identify the names and values of coins. Students will be able to count money. Students will be able to identify how much money they need to buy small items. Students will be able to write the cent and dollar signs appropriately.


Introduction (20 minutes)

  • Begin the lesson by asking your students what they use to purchase items. Tell students that they will be learning about money today.
  • Take out plastic coins, and ask students the values and names of coins.
  • Show them 5 pennies and a nickel, and ask which they would rather have. Explain that more coins doesn't necessarily equal more money!
  • Write the value of each coin on the board.
  • Have students skip count by 1's, 5's, 10's, and 25's. Write this on board, and repeat multiple times if students are having trouble with fluency.
  • Ask a student about an item that he plans to purchase at lunch, and ask for the price.
  • Model the dollar and cent signs when you write the price, and explain that the dollar sign comes in front of the numbers, and the cent sign comes at the end if the dollar sign is not already there.
  • Have the rest of the class come up with the appropriate coins to purchase that item.
  • Repeat these steps multiple times.

Explicit Instruction/Teacher Modeling (25 minutes)

  • Instruct the students to draw 3 columns in their notebooks.
  • Have them put the names of the items in the first column, the price in the second column, and the coins used in the third column.
  • Remind them to put the $ and cent signs when writing the prices.
  • Divide the class into groups of 4 or 5.
  • Hand each student a pack of coins along with one basket of small items per table.
  • Set the timer to 10 minutes, and let students know that they have 10 minutes to complete the chart.
  • Instruct students to fill the columns with the items from the basket and determine how many coins should be used.
  • Go over the chart as a class, and have students check their work.
  • Instruct students to place their coins back in the sandwich bag and items back in the basket.

Guided Practice/Interactive Modeling (25 minutes)

  • Assign the Writing Money Amounts worksheet so that your students can practice writing the dollar and cent signs.
  • Do this worksheet as a class.
  • Assign the Coin Challenge worksheet to identify the values and names of coins.
  • Instruct your students to complete this worksheet in pairs.

Independent Working Time (25 minutes)

  • Have your students complete the Count the Change worksheet and the Monster Money worksheet.



  • Enrichment: Instruct students to generate the cost per student for their end-of-the-year party. Alternatively, have students fold a paper into 8 equal squares and come up with a list of eight things that each student will get for the party. Then, have students draw the pictures and write the price and coins needed on each square for the eight items.
  • Support: Ask students the value of each type of the four coins. Explicitly explain which coins would be needed to come up with the price for small items in the basket. Pair students, and have them come up with coins for other items. If they do it incorrectly, work with them one on one explaining again. For students who do it correctly, write down sample prices on a mini whiteboard to let them practice a few items.


Assessment (15 minutes)

  • Instruct students to complete the Money Practice Test.

Review and Closing (10 minutes)

  • Play the Counting Coins video by Discovery Education.
  • Go around the class, and ask each student to tell one thing that he learned about money from the activities, worksheets, or video.

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