In 1979 the United States Mint placed Susan B. Anthony on the silver dollar because of her impact on the civil rights movement as well as for being a leading abolitionist. Susan B. Anthony was the first woman to ever be honored with her own coin. However, many other people have had a positive impact on history.
This year, the US Mint has decided to accept applications for yet another person’s portrait on a silver dollar. It is your job to convince the Board of Directors to use your design and to persuade the Directors to choose your selected person.
Start by exploring the impact different people had on history. You could focus their work on the contributions of women for March’s women’s history month. You could also use this project as part of your class’s study of famous Americans, famous Virginians (insert your state or country here), Black History month, or even famous writers.
Based on prior knowledge, or after you have given them a list and time to begin research, have each student should choose the person they want to place on the coin.
Explain that students will also need to craft a persuasive argument for their person and design. When writing persuasively, we try to convince others to agree with our facts, share our values, accept our argument and conclusions, and adopt our way of thinking. A persuasive argument should include:
Once the students have completed their research, have them plan their dollar design. What does a coin usually include? What with they choose to represent their person and accomplishment on the back side of the coin?
Approve each student’s design choices and have them use the drawing tools Share to create a unique design for the front and back of the coin to honor the person they chose and to commemorate the work this person has done.
Have students add pages to their Share project and use the information from their research to persuade the US Mint Board of Directors, convincing them that both their person and their coin design should be chosen. Each persuasive presentation should include:
Students should present their persuasive presentations to the rest of the class, community members, and outside experts like graphic designers if you can’t get someone from a US mint to join you.
The Design Your Own Coin project will be assessed on the creativity of the coin design and the quality of the persuasive presentation. During the process, formative assessment can take place, based on 1) the student’s choice of a person to honor, 2) their research on this person, 3) their coin design, 4) their persuasive argument, and 5) their oral presentation.
HBO Home Video. Iron Jawed Angels (2004). Available from Amazon.com.
Stevens, Doris. (1995) Jailed for Freedom: American Women Win the Vote. NewSage Press. ISBN: 0939165252.
Individual Development and Identity - Personal identity is shaped by one’s culture, by groups, and by institutional influences. Examination of various forms of human behavior enhances understanding of the relationships among social norms and emerging personal identities, the social processes that influence identity formation, and the ethical principles underlying individual action.
Individuals, Groups, and Institutions - Institutions such as schools, churches, families, government agencies, and the courts all play an integral role in our lives. These and other institutions exert enormous influence over us, yet institutions are no more than organizational embodiments to further the core social values of those who comprise them.
Research to Build and Present Knowledge
7. Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.
Speaking and Listening Standards
Comprehension and Collaboration
2. Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas
4. Present information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
5. Apply productivity/multimedia tools and peripherals to support personal productivity, group collaboration, and learning throughout the curriculum.
6. Design, develop, publish and present products using technology resources that demonstrate and communicate curriculum concepts to audiences inside and outside the classroom.
8. Select and use appropriate tools and technology resources to accomplish a variety of tasks and solve problems.
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