Coins of Change

Coins of Change lesson plan

Make change in your community! Create a symbolic coin that showcases your pledge to make your town a better place to live.

  • 1.

    Have you ever noticed anything about your community that you wished you could improve? Is there a section of your town that is littered and needs to be cleaned up? Have you seen a homeless person in need of food and shelter? Maybe within your school you’ve noticed students bullying or teasing each other?

  • 2.

    What can you do to change these situations? How can you make your community a better place to live?

  • 3.

    Create a large coin by carefully cutting a circle out of recycled cardboard and covering it with aluminum foil. Secure the foil in place with a piece of clear adhesive tape on the back of the coin.

  • 4.

    Draw a self-portrait in the center of the coin using Crayola Slick Stix™. Slick Stix contain pigments that may stain clothing, fabrics and other household surfaces. Wear a smock to protect clothing and cover your work surface with newspaper.

  • 5.

    Decorate the rest of your coin with symbols that represent your pledge to the community. You could draw food if you’re going to collect canned goods for a local food bank or a broom if you vow to help clean up the local parks!

  • 6.

    Share your coin with the class. Have any of your classmates made the same pledge as you? Partner with these students and make a plan to put your pledges into action!


  • Students identify social injustice within their community.
  • Students engage in planning and goal-setting.
  • Students empower themselves by recognizing their ability to make a positive change in their community.
  • Students connect actions to visual symbols.


  • Get the entire school involved in making change! Organize a Penny Race so students and staff can donate their extra coins to raise money for a class-selected cause.
  • Analyze the coins we use everyday. Who are pictured on US coins? What do the symbols and phrases on pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters represent? What would you change to modernize these coins?
  • Create a "Making Change" display to showcase the class’ coins. Did every student make a pledge that will benefit the community? What symbols were used to represent the changes?