Drop, Sort and Count!

K, 1, 2

Children learn the values of coins, count to one dollar, and work cooperatively.

PrintOne Thirty-Minute Class Period

The learners will:

  • sort coins and recall the value of a penny, nickel, dime and quarter.
  • add coins together to make a dollar.
  • Classroom jar of money collected over this unit


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Pour out the contents of the jar in a common area with all the children around and celebrate the success and how the money will be used for the good of the community. Now it is time to find out how much it is all worth. Review the appearance and value of the penny, nickel, dime and quarter as children handle, observe, and sort the coins. Show and discuss ways to make a dollar with each type of coin (4 quarters, 10 dimes, etc.).

  2. Follow the children's ideas of how to efficiently count the coins. Possibly, they work in four groups, each around a single type of coin and sort into piles of $1. Then count the dollars together.

    • Talk about what you might be able to buy with that money (a winter coat, soup for 40 people).
    • Discuss how it felt working together to trouble-shoot and count the change. Let them know they don’t need permission to act charitably. Working together or helping others can be done without hesitation because we are part of a community.
    • You may choose to allow more time to collect more money and reach a goal. 

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 01. Self, citizenship, and society
      1. Benchmark E.3 Describe a benefit of group cooperation.
    2. Standard PCS 05. Philanthropy and Government
      1. Benchmark E.8 Describe classroom behaviors that help the students learn.
  2. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.7 Give classroom examples of when a student does not need the teacher's permission to act philanthropically.
  3. Strand PHIL.IV Volunteering and Service