The United States Commemorative State Quarter Program

Grade Levels: 3 - 5


Students review the location of states on a map while learning about the U.S. Commemorative State Quarter Program.


  • Students will use data on a website.
  • Students will become more familiar with the Commemorative State Quarter Program.
  • Students will find designated states on a map.


  • United States wall map, hung in front of the classroom
  • Samples of the commemorative quarters
  • Eight colored markers, plus two crayons
  • Copies of the map: U.S. Map
  • Copies of the worksheet Hawaii Commemorative Quarter


  1. Review the following vocabulary words: commemorative, mint.
  2. Show students some commemorative quarters, and ask if anyone in the class knows why the United States mint decided to issue these unique types of coins. Inform them that the coins are being minted over a ten-year period to commemorate each of the 50 states, and they are being issued in the order that the states entered into the Union.

  3. Distribute a blank U.S. map to each student. Go to
  4. As a class, work together to label the names of the states onto the students' maps, writing in pencil.

  5. Working in pairs, students should  use the ten-year schedule on the site to color each state according to the year of minting for its quarter. They should use a different color marker for each year (example: 1999 = blue, 2000 = red...) and also develop a color key on the map to aid the reader.

  6. After maps are complete, ask students to click on the state link for "Georgia" on the ten-year schedule page. View the commemorative coin issued by that state and read the description of the coin aloud. Discuss how features of each coin are directly related to important details about the state's history.
  7. Now have students read about Hawaii – a state whose coin won't be issued until 2008 – by searching for "Hawaii" on an encyclopedia site such as Infoplease, To view photographs of Hawaii, go to
  8. Using information they've found about the state's history, as well as images they've seen of its natural areas, ask students to create a commemorative quarter for Hawaii using the worksheet Hawaii Commemorative Quarter


  • Assess students' completed maps for proper coding systems.
  • Post students' commemorative coins around the room. As a group, discuss which coins best capture Hawaii's history.  Be sure to consider the artists' statements as well as the drawings. Take a class vote for the winning coin, presenting the winner with a ceremonial lei.


  • Explore the States theme to find cross-curricular lessons and activities for all ages.
  • Develop a class collection of state coins that are already in circulation.
  • Have students create a coin for a state of their choosing (even if one has already been minted), after studying that state's history.

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