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Number Sense and Computation: Money Counts

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Number Sense and Computation: Money Counts

In this math lesson, learners count and compare amounts of money less than or equal to one dollar. Learners begin by finding all of the possible combinations of coins that can be used to equal a specified amount of money. They then compare two amounts of money and use number sense skills and problem solving strategies to move coins from one group to another so that both groups are equal in value. Learners play the Money Exchange Game as they roll a die with money amounts and try to be the first person to obtain exactly $1.00. Learners must make monetary exchanges in the game such as trading ten pennies for a dime. Finally, learners shop in a puppet supply store where they are given one dollar to buy items to make a paper bag puppet.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
30 to 45 minutes

Learning Time:
1 to 2 hours

Estimated Materials Cost:
$5 - $10 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 6 - 8

Resource Types:
Activity, Game, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per group of students)


  • Mathematics
    • Algebra
      • Equations and Inequalities
    • Number and Operations
    • Problem Solving
    • Representation

Informal Categories

  • Arts and Crafts
  • Financial Literacy
  • Games
  • Toys


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Links STEM to other topics of interest such as arts and humanities
  • Uses STEM to solve real-world problems
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All Rights Reserved, PBS, ©2012

Funding Source:

  • US Department of Education


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