Counting Money Lesson Plan

Instructor: Sharon Linde

Sharon has a Masters of Science in Mathematics

Help your students learn and apply skills related to counting money with this lesson plan. Break this complicated concept into bite-sized sections that students will easily understand. Follow up with an engaging activity.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • identify pennies, dimes, nickels, and quarters
  • tell the value of coins
  • count coins in same and mixed situations


  • 30-45 minutes


  • Practice coins (or real ones), enough for each student or partner pairing
  • Muffin liners
  • Craft sticks
  • Tape
  • Large coin replicas

Preparation Before Class

  • Assemble craft sticks and coin replicas to help students visualize. Glue or tape the penny replica to one craft stick, the nickel replica to five, the dime replica to ten, and the quarter replica to twenty five. Use tape or rubber bands to adhere craft sticks together. If desired, make multiple sets.
  • Write different amounts of money on the bottom of each muffin liner. For example, '3¢,' '47¢,' etc.

Key Vocabulary

  • Penny
  • Nickel
  • Dime
  • Quarter

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.Math.Content.2.MD.C.8

Solve word problems involving dollar bills, quarters, dimes, nickels, and pennies, using '$' and '¢' symbols appropriately. Example: If you have 2 dimes and 3 pennies, how many cents do you have?


  • Connect students to learning and activate prior knowledge by having them solve this problem in their math notebooks: 'Would you rather have twenty pennies or one quarter? Why?' Share answers and discuss.
  • Tell students they will be working on counting money and have them create four sections in their journals labeled 'Penny,' 'Nickel,' 'Dime,' and 'Quarter.'
  • Use an electronic device to share our lesson Counting Money: Lesson for Kids.
  • Read 'The Importance of Knowing How to Count Money' section. Discuss reasons money-counting skills are important and share experiences of counting money.
  • Read the 'Coin Values' section and have students record information under each coin heading. Show and share the models you created with craft sticks and ask students to draw a replica under each section. Check for understanding.
  • Read the 'How to Count' section, pausing after each coin to allow students to practice counting. Allow students to use manipulatives or model and practice as a whole group.
  • Ask students to create another section in their journals titled 'Mixed Change.' Read the section together and show the students how to count the practice model. Then give a practice problem for them to solve. Instruct them to draw pictures in their notebooks to help.
  • Share strategies and answers.
  • Ask:
    • What are some ways we can make 30 cents?
    • What's the easiest way to make 30 cents?
    • How can I make 30 cents with two coins? Three? Twelve?


  • Allow students to work individually or in partner pairings, depending on your students' needs.
  • Give each group a set of muffin liners and coins. Have them count the money for each liner and place inside.
  • Circulate the room to check for understanding.
  • Once all groups are finished, have students leave the liners and coins on their desks/tables and switch seats. Instruct students to check the work at their new seats.
  • Bring students back together as a group and share strategies and successes. Ask students to choose one coin and hold it in their hand.
  • As an exit slip, tell students to write a final journal entry giving two clues about the coin in their hand. For example, a student with a dime could write 'I'm silver' and 'I'm worth ten pennies.' Collect.


  • The next day, use the coin clues students created as a warm-up exercise.
  • Create a pretend ice cream shop using coins and paper. Give each student 50 cents. Cut out different items found in an ice cream shop, like scoops of ice cream, sprinkles, cherries, whip cream, etc., and make a price chart. Allow students to 'buy' and make a treat.
  • Read Lemonade in Winter by Emily Jenkins to your class.

Related Lessons

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.