20 Ideas for Teaching Coins

Teaching coins

This post is all about learning about coins! The pictures and lesson ideas in this post come from the guided math units K-2, but I have 3rd and 4th grade units on money and personal financial literacy, so be sure to scroll down for those links, too!

20 Lesson Ideas for Teaching Coins

Below, I am sharing 20 lesson ideas for teaching coins. Like any topic, we want students to be as conceptual as possible at first — making those concrete connections over and over until we can move into pictorial understanding and, finally, abstract.

You will notice that when possible, we are taking out the coins and using them through the lessons for both whole-group and small-group sessions. Putting hands on coins as often as possible solidifies ideas with concrete examples.

In the guided math lessons, you will get 20 whole group mini-lessons followed by small group lessons. All of those lesson plans and materials wrap up with a unit assessment. I will also add in related math rotation ideas for you to fill those independent work stations with coin activities for your mathematicians!


Beginning in Kindergarten, we focus on recognizing the coins and discussing their unique features. This unit is also wonderful for first grade as well. It covers each coin and has TONS of hands-on conceptual practice with sorting and naming the coins.

By the end, students should recognize and name each coin at a glance, including its representative value.

Spot the pennies.

Front or back?

Penny pincher

Penny sheet

First Grade

First grade spends 10 lessons learning about coins and 10 lessons on graphing. This is why I recommend the kindergarten version of the unit if you want to go in-depth and spend longer on each coin — especially if a previous class chose to skip counting coins or if students are having any trouble recognizing each coin from the first lesson.

If you are rocking and rolling in the money department, then the first grade unit will fit your needs well! Each coin will have lessons while putting more emphasis and focus on counting each coin with pennies and finally, a little mixed coin practice to wrap things up.

Counting nickels


Count your coins.

Leanring vocabulary

Color-coded coins

Cut count glue.

Second Grade

Second grade jumps in and expands on counting mixed coins by providing lots of practice. A starting lesson might count coins and add in pennies. Followup lessons build on mixed-coin practice, even strengthening concepts with a worksheet for counting mixed coins.

Students in second grade should develop fluency with coins, comfortably adding values and making changes in lessons.

Counting mixed coins

A mixed coin sheet

Comparing coins

Learning coin values and counting.

Coin questions

Balance the scale.

Coin comparison

Coin word problems.

More practice with coins.

Links for Guided Math Lessons on Coins


First Grade

Second Grade

Third Grade

Fourth Grade

Workstations for Teaching Coins

Just like guided math lessons, there are workstations ready to help students review and apply concepts about coins, money, and personal finance! Build a strong foundation early to help students build comfort with money and how it relates to math.

Below, I am sharing second grade, third grade, and fourth grade centers. I have grades K-4 available. Links can be found below the pictures.

Coin workstations

Coins and dollars.


Time to shop.


Unplanned spending


Solve it

Sally's budget.Barbque menu

Fixed and variable

Workstations Links


First Grade

Second Grade

Third Grade

Fourth Grade


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