Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Dynamite Dimes

Jennifer Slichter
Santa Rosa District Schools


This is a fun and entertaining lesson on dimes called Dynamite Dimes. Students have the opportunity to explore dimes in a game format. Students learn through teacher instruction, hands-on experiences, group activities and games. (This is the second lesson in the unit, Common Cents).


The student creates and acts out number stories using objects.

The student knows and compares the values of a penny (1 cent), nickel (5 cents), and dime (10 cents).

The student uses concrete objects to create a pattern.


-Bowl of dimes
-Plastic bag containing dimes and pennies
-4 egg cartons and four coffee cans each containing 60 toy pennies and 6 dimes
-Chalkboard/Dry erase board
-Dynamite Dimes worksheet (one copy per student)
-Large bulletin board coins dimes and pennies
-Sticky notes
-Cover sheet
-Paper dimes


1. Make copies of the worksheet (see associated file).

2. Have a paraprofessional or parent volunteer put together different cans, bags, etc. containing coins.

3. Purchase or borrow large bulletin board dimes and pennies.

4. Make paper dimes to give out to students for use in the toy store.


Note: This lesson only evaluates the penny and dime. This is the second lesson in the unit, Common Cents.

1. Show a small glass bowl full of dimes. Tell the class that they are going to study dimes today and play games using the dimes in this bowl.

2. Hold up a large bulletin board paper dime. Pin or place it right beside the penny in the front of the room.

4. Tell the class that they learned yesterday that the penny is worth one cent. This coin is called a dime and is worth 10 cents. It takes ten pennies to make a dime. For higher-level students demonstrate that 1 dime and 1 penny would be 11 cents because 10 plus 1 = 11.

5. Ask the class which coin has a smaller value? When they respond penny, ask class which would they like a bag of, or which is worth more? Get responses. Stress that the larger-sized penny is worth less than the smaller-sized dime.

6. Make a chart listing similarities and differences. Divide the chart into two sides and label LIKE and DIFFERENT. Under LIKE side, generate responses such as both are shaped like circles, are money, are round, etc. Under DIFFERENT, generate responses such as different color, different size, different presidents on front, worth different amounts of money.

7. Take out ten dimes out of the bowl and count together with the class. Model correct way to write 10 cents on the board. Ask the class how many pennies would equal one dime. Model this with students several times.

8. If students have learned how to count by tens, then just review counting by tens. However, if they have not learned how to count by tens, then instruction needs to occur.

9. Play a game called Dynamite Dimes. Write DYNAMITE DIMES two times on the board. Divide the class into two teams. Student volunteers come to the front to answer questions about the dime. If they get the question right they get to erase a letter from the board. The first group to erase all their letters wins the game.

Sample questions could include: How many pennies are in a dime? Which coin am I holding up? Is this a penny or a dime? Ask students to come to the front and take out various amounts of dimes out of the bag and write the correct amount on the board. Ask students to solve the riddle. I am an amount of dimes more than 5 and less than 7. How many dimes am I? I am 20 cents. How many dimes am I?

10. Pass out plastic bags to the class. Each bag contains 10 toy pennies and 10 dimes per each student. Practice adding penny/dime combinations under 20 cents with the class. Practice counting dimes as a group.

11. Demonstrate how to make different pattern combinations using the coins. Students practice making pattern combinations at their seat. Walk around and monitor.

12. Students place coins back in bag.

13. Divide the class into 4 equal groups. Using egg cartons, place sixty pennies and 6 dimes in a can in each group. Instruct students to place 10 pennies in one side of the egg carton and 1 dime in the other side of the egg carton. Students race to see who can get done the quickest.

14. Walk around and monitor students.

15. Write ice cream, cake, and cookies on the board, then ask students to raise their hands if they like dessert.

16. Students return to their seats and draw and color their favorite desserts. They must choose only one (ice cream, cake, or cookies). Ask students to pretend that they are going to sell their desserts to someone in the class and they must write the correct amount beside the dessert using 10 cent, 20 cents, 30 cents, 40 cents, 50 cents, 60 cents, 70 cents, 80 cents, or 90 cents.

17. Allow students 10 minutes to draw their desserts.

18. Students take turns coming to the front to discuss their favorite dessert. They must tell the class how many cents the dessert costs. For example, “My cake costs 20 cents.” They take turns making correct change using the pennies in the glass bowl. Students give the cashier their money. That student becomes cashier and another volunteer is chosen until everyone has had a turn.

19. OPTIONAL: Graphing skills could be reviewed using a quick graph and sticky notes to represent favorite dessert chosen.

20. Pass out worksheet called Dynamite Dimes and a cover sheet.

Students are to complete the Dynamite Dimes worksheet. Read the directions to the class. For question 7, hold up 7 large bulletin board dimes. Ask students to count and write how many cents this set of dimes is worth. For question 8, tape 5 large bulletin board dimes on the board. Ask students to count and write how many cents this set is worth. For question 9, tape 4 large bulletin board dimes on the board. Ask students to count and write how many cents this set is worth. For question 10, tape 2 dimes on the board and ask students to count and write how many cents this set is worth.

21. Collect worksheets after students have completed. Review correct answers with class. Model correct answers and use student volunteers to demonstrate how they solved the problem.


Note: This lesson focuses on dimes and pennies.

This is a formative assessment involving dimes.

[Dynamite Dimes worksheet:] Students demonstrate the ability to make patterns using penny/dime combinations; write the value of a dime; count sets of dimes; identify which set of dimes is worth more or less. The students complete the worksheet with 80 percent accuracy or are given more opportunities to master the skills in the future.

The [oral activity] is assessed with the attached rubric.


1. Complete a class story involving the role-play activity. For example, John loves cake. His cake costs 10 cents. Bill loves ice cream. The ice cream costs 20 cents. Read story together as a group. Student volunteers circle sight words.

2. The Beacon Unit Plan associated with this lesson can be viewed by clicking on the link located at the top of this page. (Or by using the URL Once you select the unit’s link, scroll to the bottom of the unit plan page to find the section, Associated Files. This section contains links to the Unit Plan Overview, Diagnostic and Summative Assessments, and other associated files (if any).

Attached Files

Rubric for Dynamite Dimes Oral Activity     File Extension: pdf

Dynamite Dimes Worksheet     File Extension: pdf

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