This lesson explores our historic currency and provides teachers with resources to teach math using these primary sources. Teachers may take advantage of the images on the various attachments to teach a variety of topics, such as comparing and contrasting currency, fractions, and basic math concepts. By showing students how currency has changed over the years, you can discuss history with the students by considering why we have kept or removed certain items from our currency. Also, point out to students the potential issues with counterfeit currency and each bank creating their own currency. The primary sources in this lesson are to be used at the teacher’s discretion based on which currency you want the class to explore.
Students should finish the lesson by creating their own currency either based on symbols from their own life or modeled after what they think the new ten dollar bill should look like since a new face will appear on this currency by 2020. If you wish to dive deeper into the symbolism on the currency and our economic history check out the Economic Timeline and Latin Phrases Decoded.