In Finance, Number and Algebra

The focus of this activity is to discover what students know about coins and money. Some students will be familiar with coins and will have no trouble adding the amounts – this is a Year 2 skill, but many Year 1 student will be able to cope with adding the coin, so five $1 coins is $5 or five 5c pieces is 25c. Other students will have a very limited understanding of coins so the focus will simply be on naming, describing features, ordering and recording with symbols.


  • Identify the Australian coins
  • Recognise and describe features of the Australian coins
  • Order coins (according to amount)
  • Recognise that coins can be combined to make new totals
  • Use knowledge of counting to find totals of small amounts of coins
  • Use pictures or symbols to represent different amounts of money, e.g. 50c, $1, $2.50


Curriculum Connections:  Year 1 – Number and Algebra
  • Recognise, describe and order Australian coins according to their value (VCMNA092)
  • Elaborations: Show that coins are different in other countries by comparing Asian coins to Australian coins; Understand that the value of Australian coins is not related to size; Describe the features of coins that make it possible to identify them
  • Develop confidence with number sequences to and from 100 by ones from any starting point. Skip count by twos, fives and tens starting from zero(VCMNA086)
  • Elaborations: develop fluency with forwards and backwards counting in meaningful contexts such as circle games
  • Represent and solve simple addition and subtraction problems using a range of strategies including counting on, partitioning and rearranging parts(VCMNA089)
  • Elaborations: develop a range of mental strategies for addition and subtraction problems


Curriculum Connections:  Year 2 – Number and Algebra
  • Count and order small collections of Australian coins and notes according to their value (VCMNA111)
  • Elaborations: Identify equivalent values in collections of coins or notes, such as two five-cent coins having the same value as one 10-cent coin; Count collections of coins or notes to make up a particular value, such as that shown on a price tag


At the end of this lesson students should be able to answer the following questions
  • What are the names of the Australian coins?
  • What other features do you notice about the coins?
  • Who is the person on the coins?
  • What animals are on the coins?
  • Why do some coins have different images?
  • What is the difference between the gold and silver coins?
  • Can you order the coins by amount?
  • Can you make different totals with the coins?
  • What strategy can you use to work out how much money you have?
  • Can you use counting to help you find the total?
  • Can you record amounts using pictures or symbols?


For more information, please download the attached lesson plan.

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