Home Works Elementary Education Distance Learning Curriculum

Developed by Courtney K.

Edited by Maggie M. and Miranda C.

Photo of Courtney K

Essential Question

How does counting money help us in our everyday life?

Background Knowledge

Students should know how to add coins (cents). 

Students should be able to identify coins.


  • Handful of Coins 
  • Paper 
  • Colored pencils or crayons 

Safety Protocol

If you have younger siblings or pets, be careful not to drop any of your coins, so they are not eaten. Coins are a choking hazard. 

Activity Procedures

You are at the pet store with a $3.00. You come across a section of critters that are made of money! However, the critters cost the amount they are made out of. Let’s find out if you have enough money to buy one.  

Step 1: Gather all materials. 

What kind of critter do you want to buy? 

Step 2: Line up your coins in the shape of your critter (I made a caterpillar). The head will be made of pennies, the body of quarters and nickels, and the legs of dimes. You can make any critter you want, but make sure it isn’t bigger than the size of a piece of paper. Place your paper over them.  

Step 3: Grab a colored pencil or crayon and shade the paper over the coin. It should leave an impression on the paper. Be careful to hold the coins in place, while you place the sheet over the coins and shade!

Step 4: Continue to shade over your coins until you have made your critter. You can color them in whatever color you would like. Finish up your critter by drawing eyes, antennae, legs, or any other parts. 

Step 5: Now, it is time to see how much the critter is worth! Lift up your paper and add up the coins or cents at the bottom of your paper.  

Do you have enough money to buy this critter? 

Step 6: Record how many cents your critter is on a sheet of paper. Your critter is made up of _____ cents.  

If you have $3.00, and your critter is worth _____ cents, how much more would you need to buy the critter OR how much money do you have left? 

Step 7: Try to create another critter with the amount you have left, or create another critter that would be less than $3.00. 

Would you have enough money left for food for your critter if food cost 20 cents? 

If you wanted $1.00 left of spending money for two weeks, how could you divide your money so that you would spend an equal amount each week? 

Would you want any money left to save? Could you make another critter that you could afford? 

Step 8: With parent/guardian permission, share the results of your activity on social media using #AUHomeWorks!

Last modified: January 13, 2021