Currency Expert


Materials needed: One dollar bill, data retrieval charts (see Appendix), resources for students (library access, Internet--here is a great web site:, encyclopedias, etc.).



1. Show students a one dollar bill (U.S. Currency). Tell students you have chosen to be the expert on U.S. Currency. Begin discussing the dollar bill. Tell students that it is a U.S. dollar. Give a description of what it looks like--tell it's color, describe George Washington's picture, and any other detail you would like, also tell what a dollar can buy. This will help students see the exchange rate a little easier.

2. Data Retrieval Chart. Give each student a copy of the data retrieval chart. If they are not familiar with data retrieval charts, an explanation is needed. Data retrieval charts are an effective way of recording information. By recording information in the appropriate place on the chart, information can be easily found and compared. First have students record the information about the U.S. dollar on their charts. Do this as a class so students can see what type of information they need to include. Students will be able to see how information on the currency of their chosen country compares to information on U.S. Currency.

3. Have each student select a country other than the United States and research that country's currency. Students will need to find information on paper currency used in the country, but information using coins may also be helpful and interesting. (Each country should be represented only once.) As resources, students can use reference books, the Internet, newspapers, people who have visited or lived in the country, etc. Allow students the option to work independently or in pairs, but each student will be required to fill out their own data retrieval chart.

4. Students will need to know some basic information about the currency. Students will identify the correct name, describe what it looks like (pictures or actual currency would also be helpful), and the exchange rate compared with the United States. (See the web site listed above, it is also in the Appendix.) This information can be listed on the data retrieval chart. Students need to include at least one fact about the currency other than the information listed on the data retrieval chart. This will be very open ended. Allow students the opportunity to learn as much as they can about the currency of this country. They will be given a few days to complete this assignment.

5. Students will orally present information about the currency they researched to the class. A large class chart will be made so students can add their information and compare the countries.



1. Observe the students oral presentation of the currency project. Make sure they include the required information as well as the one additional fact.

2. Check each students data retrieval chart to see that the necessary information is included and recorded in the appropriate location.