Beacon Lesson Plan Library
Jefferson on a Nickel
Bay District Schools
Who wrote our Declaration of Independence? Our third president, Thomas Jefferson, was the main writer. Learn about his life, presidency, monument, and tributes to him through stories and poems. Students will also learn the attributes of a nickel.
The student counts orally to 100 or more by 1s, 2s, 5s, and 10s using a hundred chart or concrete materials.
The student knows and compares the values of a penny (1 cent), nickel (5 cents), and dime (10 cents).
The student knows selected patriotic songs associated with the United States.
The student listens to, views, and discusses stories, poems, and other media about selected men and women in the period of United States history before 1880.
The student listens to, views, and discusses stories, poems, and other media about selected American symbols that have emerged from past events, legends, and historical accounts (for example, the eagle, the Liberty Bell, George Washington as the 'father of our country,' the American flag).
The student listens to, views, and discusses stories, poems, and other media about selected important buildings, statues, and monuments associated with state and national history.
- Student Web Story, Jefferson's Powerful Pen, from Weblinks. This is a Beacon Learning Center product.
- A computer and AV/TV or computer lab
- Various pictures of Thomas Jefferson, the Jefferson Memorial, and the Declaration of Independence
- Patriotic music
- One nickel for each student
Adler, David A. [A Picture Book of Thomas Jefferson]. New York. Holiday House. 1990. This is the best choice for kindergarteners.
Greene, Carol. [A Rookie Biography, Thomas Jefferson, Author, Inventor, President]. Chicago. Children’s Press. 1991.
- Twenty pictures of Washington D.C. (Contact Bay District Media Center 917.53 (384), picture 18.)
- Gray construction paper cut into a circle. See the pattern and instructions in the associated files. You will need one per student.
- Cut out black profiles of Thomas Jefferson duplicated from the associated files. You will need one per student.
1. Preview the Student Web Story, Jefferson's Powerful Pen from Weblinks. Because of the audio attached, the download time for each page is long. To reduce this waiting time, download each page prior to the students using the story. The pages will be stored on your computer for quick and easy student access as long as your Internet access is maintained. When you close your internet access or shut down your computer, you will need to download this story again.
2. Locate a computer and AV/TV or computer lab. The computer and AV/TV allows the Student Web Story image to be project large enough for students to view the Web lesson whole group. Preferably, students should work on the Student Web Story in pairs in a computer lab.
3. Locate various pictures of Thomas Jefferson, the Declaration of Independence, and the Jefferson Memorial.
4. Locate and preview recordings of patriotic music. Your music teacher is a good source for this recording. If one is not available, perhaps the music teacher will agree to produce a piano (or other instrumental) version. Make sure there is a new song for each day of the unit.
5. Collect enough nickels for each student to be able to hold one while discussing the attributes of a nickel.
6. Locate and preview the book, [A Picture Book of Thomas Jefferson]. This is the best choice for kindergarteners. (See Materials.)
7. Locate and preview the book, [A Rookie Biography, Thomas Jefferson, Author, Inventor, President]. (See Materials.)
8. Locate the pictures, "Washington D.C.", (20 pictures). (See Materials.)
9. Locate gray construction paper. Cut the paper into a circle. See the pattern and instructions in the associated files. You will need one per student.
10. Cut out black profiles of Thomas Jefferson duplicated from the associated files. You will need one per student.
11. Use Sunlink to locate books and other media available in your district of Florida. (See the Weblinks.)
12. Preview patriotic music at http://www.treefort.org/~rgrogan/web/flagmusic.htm or from Weblinks. A variety of patriotic music is available.
Note: These specific books and resources may not be available to you. For the purpose of meeting the standard, any book, video, or other resource may be substituted for the ones mentioned above as long as the students can listen to and view the story or poem pertaining to Thomas Jefferson, the Jefferson Memorial, and our tribute to him on the nickel.
12. Study the information on Thomas Jefferson available in the associated file.
1. This lesson plan is associated with the Beacon Learning Center Unit Plan, Mr. President. If you are completing this lesson as part of the unit, be sure to review previous information about Presidents' Day, Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, and Franklin Roosevelt as a lead-in to today's lesson on Thomas Jefferson. See the Extensions section of this lesson plan for the link to the unit and assessments.
2. As students are entering, play patriotic music. If students know the song, encourage them to sing it. At the conclusion of the song, identify the song and give some facts about its inclusion as a patriotic song. For example, “This Land is Your Land” is a song about the different lands found across America, yet even coming from these differences we are united as one people.
3. Hand each student a real nickel. Initiate a discussion as to the person on the nickel. (Answer: Thomas Jefferson) Why might he be there? (Answers: He was our third president. He drafted the Declaration of Independence.) What is on the back of the dime? (Answer: Monticello, Jefferson’s home, now a national landmark)
4. The standards addressed in this lesson state the students will LISTEN TO, VIEW, and DISCUSS stories, poems, and other media about selected American symbols that have emerged from past events, legends, historical accounts, and important buildings, statues and monuments associated with state and national history. In this lesson, students listen to and view various media, including a Student Web Story. The materials recommended are examples of those that may be used. If you are familiar with additional materials that students can listen to, view, and discuss that pertains to Thomas Jefferson, feel free to use your materials. Care must be given to select media that addresses the man, his symbols, and his monument. The Student Web Story that accompanies this lesson is an excellent resource, as it was developed to meet the standards.
5. During group reading time, read one of the books listed. Be sure to show the pictures and encourage discussion at appropriate intervals throughout the reading of the book. A formative assessment occurs as feedback is given to the students during the discussion. Be sure to give affirmative feedback, such as, "Right, Thomas Jefferson was our third president." Also give corrective feedback, such as, "No, Thomas Jefferson was not fighting in a war. He was a writer. What did he write about?"
6. During whole group discussion time (unit time), read another book about Thomas Jefferson or discuss a picture of him. Discuss the fact that Thomas Jefferson was the main writer of the Declaration of Independence. Show a picture of the Declaration of Independence. Talk about how over 200 years later, this is still the most important paper in our country. Discuss what freedom means and what freedoms the students should have in the classroom. As a shared writing, write a Declaration of Independence for your class. Items on this list may be: I am free to listen to our teacher without other people bothering me. I am free to get a drink of water when I need to. I am free to be safe in our class without other people hurting my feelings or me. I am free to do my work without other people bothering me. Be sure to have students dictate rules to be written. Encourage students to revise the rules by adding details. Model the basic writing format and discuss this format as you write the class declaration.
7. In order to help us remember that Americans have these freedoms, Thomas Jefferson’s picture is on the U.S. nickel. Pass out a nickel to each student. Discuss the attributes of the nickel (round, smaller than a quarter but bigger than a dime, gray or silver in color, used to be made of silver, but now only silver colored, smooth edges, Thomas Jefferson on the front, Monticello on the back, which side is called “heads” or “tails” and why, value is five cents, when counting nickels, we count by fives). Note: When using this lesson with the Unit Plan, Mr. President, introducing the nickel and its attributes leads into the lesson, Count by Fives.
8. During small group, students listen to, view,and discuss the Student Web Story, Jefferson's Powerful Pen from Weblinks. This is a product of Beacon Learning Center. Students gain the most learning when pairs use Student Web Stories. This facilitates discussions between students, and students learn best when actively engaged in discussing what is being learned. After all students have had an opportunity to view the Web story, a discussion should be held. The discussion and formative feedback given as a results of this Web story are important parts of this activity.
9. During centers or activity time, have students glue Jefferson’s profile onto the construction paper coin.
10. During math time, review the attributes of a nickel discussed earlier. If you are doing this lesson as part of the Beacon Unit Plan, Mr. President, review the attributes of a penny, quarter, and dime, comparing and contrasting properties of a penny, quarter, dime, and nickel. If you are doing this lesson as part of the Beacon Learning Center Unit Plan, Mr. President, do the lesson plan, Count by Fives. If you are not doing the unit, a prerequisite for the following procedures is the ability to count by fives.
11. Have groups of students put their homemade nickels in a stack. Then select someone from the group to count the stack of nickels. Reinforce that students will be counting by fives. Reinforce the one-to-one correspondence that is occurring as students count the coins. (One coin is worth 5 cents, so if we are counting cents, we must say “five.”) Be sure to give formative feedback. Give affirmative feedback, such as, "Right, one nickel is five cents so you say five when counting a nickel." Also give corrective feedback, such as, "This is one nickel, but it is not one cent. We are counting the cents. How many cents is one nickel?"
12. Additional teacher information and patterns for the homemade nickels are available from the associated files.
Note: Begin the summative assessment of orally counting to one hundred by FIVES anytime you feel a student is ready to count. This is an individual assessment. Some students will be ready on day 1, while others will need further instruction or practice. A tool for the summative assessment is available from the associated files that are part of the unit plan. See the Extensions section of this lesson plan for the link to the unit and assessments.
1. Formative assessment will be administered as described in the Procedures section. Affirmative and corrective feedback must be given to enhance student learning. Formative feedback should be administered as often as possible.
2. If using this lesson plan as part of the Beacon Learning Center Unit Plan, Mr. President, a summative assessment is provided. This is Summative Assessment #2, Assessment Poem #2, “He Loved to Read and Write." See the instructions in the unit plan for administering this assessment. This assessment should be administered beginning on day 7 of the unit. (See the Extensions section of this lesson plan for a link to the unit and assessments.) A practice assessment to assist students in taking this style assessment is available with Summative Assessment #2.
3. Begin the summative assessment of orally counting to one hundred by FIVES anytime you feel a student is ready to count. This is an individual assessment. A tool for the summative assessment is available from the associated files that is part of the unit plan. (See Extensions.)
1. The Beacon Unit Plan associated with this lesson can be viewed by clicking on the link located at the top of this page or by using the following URL: http://www.beaconlearningcenter.com/search/details.asp?item=2944. Once you select the unit’s link, scroll to the bottom of the unit plan page to find the section, “Associated Files.” This section contains links to the Unit Plan Overview, Diagnostic and Summative Assessments, and other associated files (if any).
2. The Student Web Story can be used as a shared reading activity teaching phonics, context clues, or punctuation. It is an excellent opportunity for a picture walk or retelling of the story.
3. Students can complete the Student Web Story in small groups or in a whole group setting according to the availability of technology. Many school media centers now have a computer projector that will project the enlarged computer screen allowing for class use of the Student Web Story.
4. Appropriate art activities can be added to enhance student's knowledge of Thomas Jefferson.
To enhance teacher comfort level for instructing about Thomas Jefferson, explore the following Weblinks. This site gives great information about the life of Thomas Jefferson.History, Thomas Jefferson, Third President 1801 - 1809
Information about the Jefferson Memorial.Monuments & Memorials – Jefferson Memorial
Information about the various U. S. coins.Fact Monster, U. S. Coins
A variety of patriotic music is available.Patriotic Music
A search site for media in Florida public schools.SUNLINK
Travel back in time to meet Thomas Jefferson as he participates in writing the Declaration of Independence and becomes president. This Student Web Story has audio available.Jefferson's Powerful Pen
File Extension: pdfPattern for homemade nickel
File Extension: pdf