The Hundred Penny Box Lesson Plan

Instructor: Bryan Cowing

Bryan is a freelance writer who specializes in literature. He has worked as an English instructor, editor and writer for the past 10 years.

If your students have just finished reading 'The Hundred Penny Box', you may be wondering how to reinforce the main ideas and story line. In this lesson, we will take an in-depth look at a lesson plan to help encourage students to recall the details of 'The Hundred Penny Box'.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Use specific examples to support their inference about The Hundred Penny Box
  • Examine characters and events from the story in detail
  • Create a timeline of events


1-1.5 hours

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.1

Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.3

Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., a character's thoughts, words, or actions).

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.2

Determine the main idea of a text and explain how it is supported by key details; summarize the text.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.5

Describe the overall structure (e.g., chronology, comparison, cause/effect, problem/solution) of events, ideas, concepts, or information in a text or part of a text.


  • Copies of The Hundred Penny Box by Sharon Bell Mathis (one for each group)
  • Printed out pictures of pennies with one blank side and one side illustrated with a penny. Leave a blank space for the date. For an example, see the image included with this lesson.
  • Large picture of a wooden box or treasure chest pasted onto poster board.
  • Glue sticks


Lesson Instructions

Note: This lesson is designed for students that have read the book The Hundred Penny Box by Sharon Bell Mathis

  • As a warm up and review read The Hundred Penny Box: Summary & Characters.
  • Since the main activity for this lesson requires in-depth recall of the story, let your students know that you are going to work as a group to create a timeline on the whiteboard.
  • To get students comfortable with talking about the story, give them an easy question such as 'Who is Michael'?
  • Once students are able to answer this question, ask your learners 'what happens in the story'?
  • On the board, write down each event that students can recall.
  • Keep the list in chronological order and allow students to add any details they can remember to help fill out the timeline.
  • Consider using one color of marker for main events (such as 'Michael's mother tries to take the hundred penny box') and another color for supporting details (such as 'Michael threatened to tell his father')

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