Target Grades

  • 1st – 2nd Grades

Learning Engagements

  • SOLs 1.7.b, 2.7.a
  • The student will be able to determine the value of a collection of pennies, nickels, and dimes whose total value is 100 
  • The student will be able to count and compare a collection of pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters whose total value is $2.00 or less
  • The student will be able to create denominations $1.00 or $2.00 using pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters.
  • The student will be able to identify the amount of a penny, nickel, dime, and quarter.

Key Vocabulary

  • Penny, Nickel, Dime, Quarter, Cent, Dollar, Equivalent, Equal to, Value, Change


  • Pennies
  • Nickels
  • Dimes
  • Quarters
  • Pencil
  • Worksheets


*This is a 15 – 20 minute lesson*


  • Introduce the lesson by asking the students about coins, and figuring out what they know. Then, providing instruction on the types of coins and how they interact to create larger dollar amounts. 


  • Step 1: Demonstrate an example using the worksheet. Decide how you want to try to make the total value. Then collect the coins that you will need and count them out. Draw or write the coins that were used in each box on the worksheet.
  • Step 2: Practice doing one box together with the student(s). Ask questions and slowly release the activity into their control.
  • Step 3: Give the students the materials (don’t do this before, otherwise they will play with the materials). Explain what you expect them to accomplish and allow them to work.
  • Step 4: The lesson is complete!


  • For fast-paced students: challenge them to create four more equations, but go up a dollar.
  • For struggling students: The activity can be shortened from four equations to just two.