Learning about Money

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Learning about Money

With the help of two friends, students learn that money has value and comes in many denominations (from a penny to a 100-dollar bill). Students will go inside one of our country's mints to discover how coins are made. Lastly, they will learn that every country has its own unique money and see some of the currencies used in different countries today.

Take a look at different kinds of money and how people trade money for items.

  1. Students will understand that to trade means to exchange something for something else.
  2. Students will know that people use money to trade, so they can get the things they need or want. For example, Joel traded his $36.42 for a pair of shoes.
  3. Students will realize that a long time ago most people did not have coins or bills to trade for things like food and clothes. In order to obtain things they could not produce, people would trade the items they had for the items they needed. This is known as bartering.
  4. Students will understand that over the years, many objects have been used for bartering. These objects included gold, silver, animal hides, and salt.
  5. Students will know how money became a standard for trade. A long time ago a king decided to produce coins made of silver and gold; the coins were stamped with their value. This saved people the trouble of weighing out gold or silver to find out how much it was worth. Many years later, paper bills were used to trade for gold or silver coins. Over time the paper bills became accepted as a form of currency.
  6. Students will realize that every country has its own money. Understand that a business in one country may not accept money from another country. In order to make a purchase, one may have to exchange his or her country's money for the other county's money.
  7. Students will know about United States currency.
    1. Coins: Coins today are made from a mixture of copper and nickel. Bars of the metal mixture are squeezed into sheets. A machine then punches out coin-sized discs, called blanks. The blanks are stamped with a press that makes the design. Federal law dictates that every coin must have the word "Liberty," the phrase "E Pluribus Unum," and the year in which it was minted.
      i) A Penny has a profile of Abraham Lincoln, our 16th President on it, and has a value of 1 cent.
      ii) A Nickel has a profile of Thomas Jefferson, our 3rd President on it, and has a value of 5 cents.
      iii) A Dime has a profile of Franklin Roosevelt, our 32nd President on it, and has a value of 10 cents.
      iv) A Quarter has a profile of George Washington, our 1st President on it, and has a value of 25 cents.
      v) A Half-Dollar has a profile of John F. Kennedy, our 35th President on it, and has a value of 50 cents.
      vi) A Dollar can have a profile of Susan B. Anthony or Sacajawea, both are women who contributed to the advancement of the United States, and has a value of 100 cents or 1 dollar ($1).
    2. Paper Bills: Paper money is made at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. Thirty-two bills are printed on each sheet of paper. The sheets are then cut into stacks of Bills.
      i) A 1 Dollar note has a picture of George Washington, our 1st President on it, and has a value of 100 cents or $1.
      ii) A 2 Dollar note has a picture of Thomas Jefferson, our 3rd President on it, and has a value of $2.
      iii) A 5 Dollar note has a picture of Abraham Lincoln, our 16th President on it, and has a value of $5.
      iv) A 10 Dollar note has a picture of Alexander Hamilton, our First Secretary of the Treasury on it, and has a value of $10.
      v) A 20 Dollar note has a picture of Andrew Jackson, our 7th President on it, and has a value of $20.
      vi) A 50 Dollar note has a picture of Ulysses S. Grant, our 18th President on it, and has a value of $50.
      vii) A 100 Dollar note has a picture of Benjamin Franklin, our most famous statesman on it, and has a value of $100.

  1. Money Puzzle: Using butcher paper, make two tables like the Coin and Paper Bill tables used in number seven. Leave the tables blank, except for the headings. Make cards that contain the information for each space in the tables. Give the cards to the students and ask them to work together to complete each table.
  2. Currency from Around the World: The teacher and the students should bring in money or pictures of money from different countries. Ask students to compare the money to American currency. What is the same? What is different? Then, ask the students what they think the symbols on the different forms of currency mean. Do research as a class to find the correct answer.
  3. Money Equivalency: Hold up a denomination of American money (a picture is fine), and ask the students what it is equal to. For example, a dime is equivalent to two nickels or ten pennies. Continue this game with other denominations.

  • ID: A5707
  • Subject: Economics
  • Grade Level: 0-3


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