Thursday, September 11, 2008

Teaching Idea—Penny


My sister, Lynn, sent this object lesson idea. I like it and have used it a couple of times the past few weeks.

1. Let students guess how many pennies they have seen in their lifetime.
2. Tell them the US Treasury says that on the average we see 1,000 pennies every year of our lives!
3. Give students a few minutes to draw the front and the back of a penny. (The vast majority of us cannot accurately draw a penny.)
4. Hand students a penny to compare to their drawings.

One application is that even though we have seen thousands and thousands of pennies we still can’t draw it accurately. So even if we have “heard all this information before” chances are we only retained a small portion of the information and can still learn at least one thing today.



What other applications to do you see for this object lesson? I'd love to hear what you'd do with it.
How close was your guess on the number of pennies you've seen?

8 comments:

michelle said...

That's pretty cool. It reminds me of a primary lesson I taught once where I asked the kids to approximate how many times they had heard the sacrament prayers. We tried to write them down from memory and then opened the scriptures to see how well we did. It's surprising how little most of them could remember something they've heard so many times. (it was even hard for me!)

Hannah said...

This reminds me of a conversation I had yesterday with another mom. We both take our kids to story time at the library and so we have "seen" each other for a couple years now, but never talked. Yesterday during the first gymnastics class we had to stick around and she happened to be sitting next to me and we got to talking. By the end of it, she made a comment that she wished she we would have gotten to know each other sooner and she was pleasantly surprised at how much we have in common. So in reference to this- just made me think how we can see people and make assumptions and think we "know" them but it isn't until you sit and really talk to them that you realize how inaccurate you might have been.

Jill said...

This is a cool lesson.

Lucy said...

I love it! Thanks. I'm going to be using this in primary.

Leigh said...

Hi Jane!

I don't think I've ever commented here before, but I've been reading for quite some time now. I just wanted to thank you for sharing a few weeks ago how Ande adds the cornstarch to her pie filling. I did it tonight with my homemade potpie and it made all the difference! Yea!

It also totally erased any doubts I had about signing up for your newsletter. If it has any more gems like that, I NEED it!

Thanks again. (And thanks, Ande!)

tina said...

That's a good lesson - love it! I love Michelle's comment too. How true it is!

Amy said...

I really like that idea, Jane.

Mindy said...

I love that lesson. I have used one in the past with the penny also. I mount one on a piece of cardstock with the words, "In God We Trust" facing out and write on it, "This is a knowledge penny. Whenever you have any questions look at this penny and remember, In God We Trust."