Activities & Lesson Plans - 5th & 6th Grade Newsletter 12/28/09 - Giving Gold To Charity

Grade: 5th-6th

December 28, 2009 | Grades 5 & 6
Happy New Year!

In This Issue: Salvation Army Gets Gold; Dissecting the Last Decade

Salvation Army Red Kettle Holiday Giving: Gold Coins

The Salvation Army's Red Kettle charity collections are as much a part of the holidays as candy canes and family gatherings. Volunteers ring bells outside of stores throughout the country, urging shoppers to toss in spare change. Every once and a while, someone drops in a gold coin worth hundreds or thousands of dollars. So far this year, gold coins have popped up in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Chicago, among other places.

Tell your child that the value, or worth, of gold can change from day to day. The price of gold determines a gold coin's worth. 

Activity Ideas - A Coin's Value

  • On December 9, someone dropped a gold coin into a red kettle in Alton, Illinois. At that time, the price of gold was $1,150 an ounce. The coin is 1/10th of an ounce. What is 1/10th of $1,150? ($115) That is what the coin was worth that day.
  • On December 22, the price of gold was $1,100 per ounce. What is 1/10th of that? ($110) That is what the same coin was worth two weeks later.
  • In Akron, Ohio, someone donated a gold coin on December 22. Remember, gold was worth $1,100 per ounce on that day. The coin weighed one ounce; how much was it worth that day? ($1,100)
  • The same coin has a face value of $50. What is the difference between its face value and its worth as a gold coin? ($1,050) . This is _____ (21) times its face value.
  • The Alton Salvation Army aims to earn $110,000 through its Red Kettle campaign. So far, it has collected $48,159. How much more money will it have to raise to make its goal? ($68,141)
Learn More: U.S. Mint
Learning Tips:
Determining Rates
Game: Make Your Own (Imaginary) Dollar Bill

Newsweek 2010 CoverageA 10-Year Review
How do you sum up 10 years? Bloggers, magazines and other members of the media are taking a shot at it, with a flurry of Top 10 Lists, photo essays, videos and stories. While we as adults remember life before Blackberrys, iTunes, wireless Internet and other tech toys, our kids have likely never had to use dial-up, never made a mix tape and never had a VCR eat a videotape. Now's the time to share how hard life used to be; it's our generation's equivalent of our grandparents' claims: "I walked 40 miles to school in 5 feet of snow, all uphill..."

Decade In Review: Newsweek 20/10

Naming the Decade: Time came up with a name 10 years ago. Throughout the U.S., various media outlets ask audiences to vote on possible names
The Digital Decade - 20 Things that Changed Childhood Forever
List Mania: Best Children's CDs of 2009Most Annoying WordsBest of the Decade: Kids' Literature 

Tell your child that this decade has been difficult to name. Suggestions have ranged from the "Ohs," referring to the double zeroes at the end of 2000, and the Noughties, a play on the word "nought," which means zero in several English-speaking countries. 

Activity Ideas - 
Language Arts

  • What would you name the last several years? Challenge yourself to combine two words to make a new, descriptive word to sum up the last several years. It can be specific to your life and not necessarily world events. 
  • Imagine that there is a contest to determine the most useful and creative invention of the decade. Have your child WRITE an ESSAY making a case for his or her choice, backing it up with specific details and persuasive arguments.
  • Write a letter to yourself, as if you are writing from the year 2020. How has life changed in 10 years? What does the earth look like; what do people look like? What new inventions have made our lives easier? Be creative!
Learning Tips: Writing Persuasive Letters


  •  How many years make up a decade? (10)
  • There are 365 days in a year. How many days are there in a decade? (3,650)
  • A century is made up of 100 years. How many decades are there in a century? (10)
  • When people talk about one-quarter of a century, how many years is that? (25)

Game of the week:

Join us on
Facebook and Twitter.

Copyright ©2009 Big Purple Hippos, LLC