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Coins, Coins, Coins

Grade Level: 
3-5
Student Level: 
Elementary

Coins, Coins, Coins is a dynamic, project-based, videoconference which allows students to explore the history of coins and then create one representing their own communities. This is an ideal complement to a unit on local history.

The program introduces coins from ancient Greece to present-day United States, in the museum's collection. If desired, a second follow-up videoconference could be scheduled for students to show designs for their own coins and offer a persuasive, research-based presentation on their coin's local symbolism. Co-developed by the Cleveland Museum of Art and teachers from Newark (Ohio) City Schools, this program is aligned to Social Studies and Language Arts standards and is suitable for multi-point connections between schools, if desired.

Program Format: 
  • Introduction of the concept of money as a medium of exchange.
  • Information about previous forms of money.
  • History of coinage with examples from the Cleveland Museum of Art's collection, interactive discussion.
  • Quiz regarding the qualities of mediums of exchange.
  • Introduce "design a coin" project.
Objectives: 
  • Students will identify different forms of money used over time, and recognize that money facilitates the purchase of goods, services, and resources and enables savings.
  • Students will design a new coin for their community. The coin design should reflect an important person, historical event, landmark, industry/business, or transportation of significant importance to their community.