Thursday, March 17, 2016

The Power of the Penny

Second graders have found a secret power that they have inside of them with a little help from Abraham Lincoln (and Elaina Redmond).  My cousin Elaina Redmond is the author of The Power of the Penny.  This is an incredible book and I just had to share it with our students.

Click the picture to learn more about the book.

Here is some information about the book -

"The first half of the book shares character building, Abraham Lincoln, the vision of the Founding Fathers, liberty, faith, making a difference, and hope by examining a penny. The second half shares the Penny Practice, includes 8 themes and activity boxes. Themes teach making choices, self reliance, financial literacy, civics, philanthropy, kindness, and honesty.
Spiderman/Superman artist Scott Stewart's vibrant illustrations shine with electricity and beauty.
"The Power of The Penny" is a book to grow up with and read year and year again.
Written for ages 5-12 and readers of all ages who love Abraham Lincoln and the United States of America.
                                                                                                                                                                                            - "The Power of the Penny" will ignite a new generation of heroes modeled after Abraham Lincoln. After reading this book, you will never see the penny the same way again!" 

I joined each 2nd grade class and read The Power of the Penny to them.  I gave each student a  penny and had them investigate some of it's features - the words "Liberty" and "E Pluribus Unum" as well as Abraham Lincoln, the Founding Fathers, honesty and being a hero.  

Throughout the book, we learned how the penny doesn't only represent money, but is a symbol for freedom, equality, and strength.  There are several "Penny Practices" that students can participate in. The students were so excited to discuss how they can be a "hero" and what choices they can make today that will build them into their best self.  We created a Padlet (online bulletin board) to share our Penny Practices, ideas, and questions for the author.  Feel free to add to it below.  Just double click on the board to type.

On Thursday we all gathered in the cafeteria and met the author.  Well, she was in Los Angeles, California, but through the technological power of Skype, we spent some time with Elaina.  She was amazing!  She told us about her book, what it was about, why she wrote the book, etc.  She inspired us because she said that when she was 8 years old she had the opportunity to cheat.  Then, she read about Abraham Lincoln and was inspired by him because she learned that his nickname was "Honest Abe" and the reasons he was called that.  Elaina realized that it feels better to be honest than to cheat.  Students had a chance to ask her questions as well.   She gave us a new task to write to the president about a cause that means something to us.  She wants us to feel inspired to use our civic right to have our voices heard.  

We tied this lesson into our "Coin Wars" challenge at our school.  Our PTO works so hard to bring in amazing enrichment opportunities for our students.  This month they are asking students to bring in coins to donate so they can bring in a special program.  The kids are excited to make a difference in our classes and our school.

Click HERE to learn more about our PTO and how you can help.

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