Art and Math · Arts in Education · Making Books with children

100 Cent Design: a project for Second Grade

100 Cent House
100 Cent House

Tomorrow I will be starting a new project with second graders. Counting money is part of their curriculum, so both the math specialist and teachers liked the idea of addressing money in our book making project. This is a first for me. I’ve never even thought about folding money concepts into bookmaking.

One Hundred Cent flower design
One Hundred Cent flower design

I let my thinking about this be inspired by the idea of the Hundred-Face challenge that Simon Gregg and Malke Rosenfeld have written about, in which students use Cuisenaire Rods to make silly fun faces that have the added value of adding up to 100 (depending on its length, each rod has a value 1 – 10).  Okay, great! We can make designs that out of images of quarters, dimes, nickles and pennies!

I created sheets of coins, being mindful that the coins were the actual size of their reality counterparts.

a Mess of
a Mess of “coins”

The idea will be to count out one dollar worth of coins, then take that mess,

100 Cent Kid
100 Cent Kid

and make something, anything. Could be a pleasing abstract arrangement, could be a face, a person, a rocket ship, letters, but it must add up to one dollar. Then make arrays with coins to make them easy to count.  Since we’re dealing with money, my thought was to make a….

Wallet Book
Wallet Book

…Wallet Book! Put an ID card on the front, a closure, a little bling…

Inside the Wallet Book
Inside the Wallet Book

… and pockets on the inside. There are two folders in the pockets here, the one I’ve written about, and another one that is about shapes, which I will write about at another time.

Something else about this 100 cent folder: its cover is a blow up of a dollar bill. This will be a nice lead-in to talking about a bit of history of printing, that before things were printed in color, making black engravings then coloring them in by hand was all the rage. Here’s a hand-colored hummingbird from Getty Images of a hand painted engravings:

Hand-colored engraving from the Getty Collection
Hand-colored engraving from the Getty Images

Now here’s my hand-colored dollar, which the second graders, as they color their own, will get to know closely.

Hand-colored Engraving
Hand-colored Engraving

Why not? I mean, when else will they be able to color in a dollar? Or course it’s an enlarged copy of just a portion of a dollar bill, so there’s no temptation to try to use it as lunch money.

There’s been many pieces to get together for this project.Here’s the PDF of the coins and the image of the dollar. They are black and white files, which I printed on colored paper.

Now here’s the video that I made of this part of the project, which I hope to show to the classes tomorrow. My thought is that if it’s possible for them to view this on the Smart Boards in the classroom that it will be easier for the students to see. We’ll see how that goes. I’m looking forward to seeing the designs that kids come up with, and wondering how hard this will be for them.

Addendum –

Here’s the links to the posts of the students’ work and

addendum , April 2019

AFter teaching this many times, one of the biggest changes I’ve made to this project is to hand out only $1.50 in coins at first, from which the students pick and choose and count to make their $1.00 designs. They each get 10 pennies, 6 dimes, 6 nickels and two quarters. Then I give out the appropriate number of coins in arrays for the second page.

BIG TIP: Before teaching this class I encourage the teachers to get the kids practice  doing their skip counting starting at a place other than zero. Also, I think it would be helpful for kids to skip count by 25’s before starting their money unit.

4 thoughts on “100 Cent Design: a project for Second Grade

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