Lesson Plan Title : Value of Coins

Age Range:

Kindergarten through Grade 2 (Primary / Elementary School)

Overview and Purpose:

This lesson will reinforce the value of pennies, nickels, and dimes. Students will need to decide which coins are needed to total different amounts written on index cards and then place those coins on the cards. The goal is to try to match all the coins with a card so there are no coins or empty cards left.


The student will be able to choose the appropriate combination of pennies, nickels, and dimes needed to total the amounts listed on a series of five index cards.


One snack size Ziploc bag for every three students

Two dimes, three nickels, and ten pennies for each bag

One set of five index cards for each set of three students.

Each set should have one card each with the following amounts written on it: 3¢ - 9¢ - 12¢ - 15¢ - 6¢

Overhead projector, transparency, vis-a-vis pens

Optional: Dimes, nickels, and pennies copied onto transparency film and cut out


Introduce the lesson by reviewing what a dime, nickel, and penny look like and the value of each one. Write an amount on the overhead and have students help you choose which coins equal the amount (i.e. 7¢ = 1 nickel and 2 pennies or 7 pennies). Point out that there are often at least two different combinations of coins that can be used.

Practice a few more times as a group and when you feel that the students understand the concept divide them into groups of three. Give each group a Ziploc bag with coins and a set of index cards. Have them work together to place the correct coins on each index card. (Each card has one combination that will allow for all the cards to be completed at the same time with no coins left over.) Walk around and help groups as needed.

When the groups are finished, come back together as a whole and discuss what solutions the students found.


Beginning level students may need the correct coin shapes traced onto the index cards and more advanced students may need more cards or higher amounts listed on the cards.

Homework for this lesson can be for students to take home three index cards and write their own amounts on them with the solutions on the back. The cards can be collected and added to the math center in the classroom as a review game.