Math Background

Lesson: Money
Introducing the Concept

Materials: cups, coin set (Learning Tool 36 in the Learning Tools Folder), spinner 1–5

Prerequisite Skills and Concepts: Children should be able to identify pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters.

Hold up a penny and ask children to identify it. Then ask them to tell its value. Continue with nickels, dimes, and quarters, making a reference chart as children answer.

reference chart listing values of coins: Penny - 1 cent, nickel, 5 cents, Dime 10 cents, Quarter 35 cents

Then give each child a cup with coins, and each pair a spinner.

  • Say: Take turns. Spin the spinner, and take the number of pennies that matches the number on which the spinner lands. When you have five pennies, what coin can you trade for them?
    Children may say a nickel.
  • Say: Keep taking turns spinning. What coin can you trade for ten pennies or two nickels?
    Children may name a dime.
  • Ask: What coins can you trade for a quarter?
    (Answers will vary. Sample answers include two dimes and one nickel, one dime and three nickels, or five nickels.) Explain that pairs can keep spinning until one partner can trade his or her coins for a quarter. Let children play several rounds.
  • Ask: How many different ways can you show coins that equal one quarter?
    Make a picture or word list of children's responses.

You may wish to repeat with other values that are less than 50¢.

Houghton Mifflin Math Grade 1