International Currency Exchange

International Currency Exchange lesson plan

Yen, Euro, Dollar, Peso, Pound, Rupee, Ruble, Baht, and Yuan - Explore the world of international exchange rates with bas relief coins.

  • 1.

    Look at coins from your own country with a magnifying glass. What do you see? List everything you find with Crayola® Washable Markers on paper.

  • 2.

    Examine coins from two more countries in the same way. Are there enough different currencies in the world that each of your classmates can choose different coins?

  • 3.

    Notice that each country uses symbols, images, letters, and numbers that are familiar to that culture and language. Locate all three of your coin's countries on a world map.

  • 4.

    Run your finger over the surface of the coins. Are they really flat? You probably can feel small changes in the surface of the coin. These changes are called bas relief sculpture (low relief). Compare the surface you feel to the surface of a relief map. A relief map shows the hills and valleys of a land mass. Your coins have miniature hills and valleys of their own.

  • 5.

    As you have found, each country has its own coins and paper money. The relationship of one country's currency (money) to another's changes every day, based on the country's economy. If a country has a strong economy, the money it makes is worth more in relation to the currency of a country with a weak economy.

  • 6.

    The comparative value of any two currencies is rarely one to one. Look up "currency exchange" on the Internet. Research the coins of the three different countries for which you have coins, including your own.

  • 7.

    Compare your findings with other students. You'll discover that some countries call their money by the same name, but they have different values. Canada, Australia, the United States, the Bahamas, New Zealand, and Hong Kong, for example, all have dollars.

  • 8.

    Using poster board, students create a chart illustrating the exchange rate for each currency relative to your country's money over a period of one week, or even one month.

  • 9.

    Use Crayola Metallic FX Crayons to draw the coins you researched. Draw both sides. Cut out the coins with Crayola Scissors.

  • 10.

    With your classmates, draw a large Peters Projection world map on posterboard (these maps show countries' correct proportions and sizes). Place the coins all of you made on their correct countries.

Standards

  • LA: Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.
  • LA: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.
  • LA: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
  • LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions with diverse partners on grade level topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.
  • LA: Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience in an organized manner, using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace.
  • SS: Give examples of conflict, cooperation, and interdependence among individuals, groups, and nations.
  • SS: Identify and describe factors that contribute to cooperation and cause disputes within and among groups and nations.
  • SS: Use appropriate resources, data sources, and geographic tools to generate, manipulate, and interpret information.
  • VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of experiences and ideas.
  • VA: Select and use the qualities of structures and functions of art to improve communication of ideas.
  • VA: Integrate visual, spatial, and temporal concepts with content to communicate intended meaning in artworks.
  • VA: Analyze, describe, and demonstrate how factors of time and place influence visual characteristics that give meaning and value to a work of art.

Adaptations

  • Students investigate the history of money. Consider what humans used prior to having paper or coin money. Other than paper currency and metal coins that are used today, what has been used in exchange for goods and services? What is electronic money? How and where is it used today?
  • Students can use Crayola Monday Magic to create bas-relief sculptures of coins. If time permits, allow students to create a new coin and create a 3-D representation using Model Magic. What symbols will be used on this new coin? What will be its value? What countries will accept this coin?
  • Working in small groups, students track the daily exchange rates for two or more currencies for several weeks. What factors cause the rise and fall of monetary values? Can any patterns be uncovered?
  • Students compare and contrast the exchange rate between two countries. Compare the economic strengths and weaknesses of each country. Which rates favor tourism? Which encourage trade? What are the historic influences?