Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Valentine Money

Cheryl Carasick
Marion County Schools


During this is a four day activity, students learn how to read, write and identify money written as decimals as they spend and recieve change in a real-life situation.


The student reads, writes, and identifies decimal notation in the context of money.


- Fake money: dollars, dimes, pennies, quarters, nickels, half dollars
- One plastic baggie for each student with two one dollar bills inside.
- Have enough change ready to give students back change after each purchase.
(The following materials can vary)
- Glue
- Scissors
- Glitter
- Colored pens
- Markers
- Crayons
- Tin foil (to cut out)
- Cut out hearts
- Buttons
- Colored Paper


- Have the money separated into baggies.
- Make sure each student has a bag of money.
- Set up materials ahead of time. Have each item marked with a price tag.
- Have change ready to give students back as they make their purchases.

(See attached file of possible items and prices called List of Prices.)


DAY #1
1) Tell students that today we will be learning how to read money. Inform students that it is important to be able to read money so they will be able to buy items that they might need.

2) Use the play coins or overhead money coins and start with the lowest amount showing the students what a penny looks like. Write the worth of a penny on chart paper or an overhead projector. For example: 1 penny =$.01. Go through each coin and demonstrate what it looks like and how it is written, pointing out the dollar sign and the decimal. Allow students to practice making a dollar sign. Circulate and offer feedback as necessary.

3) Inform students that when reading the amount of money, when you get to the decimal you say the word and. Any numbers before the decimal represent dollars, and any numbers after the decimal represent cents. Demonstrate with several examples.

4) Show students examples of already written money. Practice saying the money with the students. For example:
Four dollars and ninety cents
One dollar and sixty six cents
$ .62
No dollars and sixty two cents
Sixty two cents
(Inform the students that they do not have to say dollars if there are not any.)

5) Distribute the Money Match Worksheet in the associated file for a practice sheet reading money. As students work, circulate and offer feedback. Collect the sheets for a quick formative assessment.

DAY #2

1) Review with students how to read money from yesterday. Do several examples together.

2) Inform students that today they will be learning how to write money. Money is written like it is said.

3) Remind students that the decimal says the word "and." Its job is to separate the dollars from the cents.

4) Remind students that when you write money, you always start off with the dollar sign. Write some examples on the board and point out the dollar sign and the decimal. Ask students what the number in front of the decimal represents and what the number after the decimal represents.

5) Practice saying various amounts of money, and have the students write thenm. Write the correct answers on the board as you go and allow students to self-correct! (You may want to use the attached Website titled A+ math located in the Weblinks.)

6) Give each student two coins. (Students should not have the same ones.) Instruct students to write down the value of their coins using correct money notation. Circulate and look over their shoulders. Allow a few to come to the front, identify their coins and then write the values on the overhead or the board. Note those having difficulty and work with them individually.

DAY #3
1) Give students a baggie with two play dollars in it and the record sheet.

2) Tell students that today they will be creating a Valentine Day card to give to someone special. (You may need to review Valentine's Day.)

3) Explain that they will be given several options of materials to decorate their cards with. Each item has a specific price that they must pay in order to use that item. As they use the item, they will pay for it and receive change.

4) Model how to use the record sheet as you choose what to buy. You might want to have an older student give out the change and you might want to allow students to purchase their materials in small groups while the others are independently working. Students will need some way to contain their materials--small shoeboxes, white styrofoam paper plates, etc.

5) As the students pay for items, have them write down their prices on their Record Worksheet. Monitor each student very closely to make sure he can identify, read and write decimal notation concerning money. (Consider limiting each student to three items to put on the card.)

6. Allow students to create their cards.

4) Ask students to turn in a record of how much they spent on each item.

***See attached Record Sheet*****


Assess students based on their ability to identify the coins they have as they read and write down the values. They are also assessed as they write down the amount of money they spend on each item on day 3, and how much change they have left. The Money Match Worksheet and the Record Sheet found in the associated files are used as formative assessment for students. A Rubric is in the associated file to use to formatively assess the entire project.


This lesson can be used for others Holidays as well. For example:
Motherís Day
Fatherís Day

The students can earn "money" and practice writing the amount correctly throughout the year. This activity can be used as a behavior incentive.

Web Links

This Website provides teachers with practice worksheets. It has various worksheets on reading, writing, and calculating money!
AAA Math

This Website has money flash cards!They are easy to print, or the students may use them via the Internet!
A plus math

Attached Files

List of Prices     File Extension: pdf

Valentine Money Rubric     File Extension: pdf

Money Match Worksheet     File Extension: pdf

Record Sheet     File Extension: pdf

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