Lesson 15.8: Social Studies Connection

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The Euro

Before 2002, people traveling in Europe had a problem. Every different country had a different type of money. If you were in France, you spent Francs. If you were in Italy, you spent Lira. If you were in Germany, you spent Deutschmarks (DOYCH-marks). This made it hard to travel from one country to another in Europe. Travelers needed to change their money every time they entered a new country.

On January 1, 2002, twelve countries in Europe began to use one type of currency. They called this new currency the euro (YUR-o). The euro comes in seven different bills and eight different coins. It can be used to buy things in any of the twelve countries that use the euro.

Countries that use the euro (as of 2004)

Spain
Luxembourg
Ireland
Greece
Portugal
Belgium
Germany
France
The Netherlands
Italy
Austria
Finland

There are eight different euro coins. The values of the coins are:

  • 1 euro cent
  • 2 euro cents
  • 5 euro cents
  • 10 euro cents
  • 20 euro cents
  • 50 euro cents
  • 1 euro
  • 2 euros
Euro coins

Euro coins

The euro coins are all different sizes. The coins get larger as their value goes up. The smallest coin is the 1 euro cent, and the largest coin is the 2 euros.

Word Wise

travel:
To go from one place to another: My grandmother likes to travel to Canada during the summer.

currency:
Any type of money, such as coins: The penny is the smallest American currency.

bills:
Paper money: I found a five-dollar bill in my coat pocket.

value:
An amount that something is worth: The value of this chair is one-hundred dollars.

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Activity

Make an advertisement for a travel company. Choose two of the countries that use the euro. Use a piece of paper and crayons or markers to make an advertisement for a trip to those countries. Be sure to use all the Word Wise words in your advertisement. Write about the euro and how someone might use it in those countries.

Data Hunt

Choose one of the countries that uses the euro. Use an encyclopedia, an almanac, or an online reference to find out about that country. What kind of food do people eat there? What kind of clothes do they wear? What is the capital? What sports do they play?

Imagine that you own a store in that country. What will you sell? List or draw five items that you would sell at your store. List their prices beside them. Your items should not cost more than 5 euros.

Next, beneath each item, write two different ways that a person could use euro coins to pay for the item.

Here's an example:
Italian Coffee Mug

Here are two ways that someone could pay for this item with euro coins:
2 euro coin + 2 euro coin + 50 euro coin + 20 euro coin
2 euro coin + 2 euro coin + 20 euro coin + 20 euro coin + 20 euro coin + 10 euro coin