Kieren's coin

Supports ASIC's MoneySmart Teaching Year 2 unit of work

Something was odd when Kieren entered the kitchen.

Dad had left out a box of cereal for Kieren's breakfast. This was normal.

The cat was snarling at a ball of string. This was normal.

Kieren's little brother had left a big mess. This was very normal.

There was a small, brown coin on the kitchen counter. This was not normal. A silver coin would be normal, because Kieren's pocket money was fifty cents each week. But Kieren had never seen a brown coin before.

He examined the coin. It had strange writing and a fraction on it.

Dad had scribbled a note on the fridge. Enjoy your pocket money. See you tonight.

'Thanks, Dad ... I think!' thought Kieren. He pocketed the strange coin, not quite sure what he was going to do with it.

Kieren forgot about the coin soon after arriving at school. For the last three weeks, there had been only one thing his classmates would talk about. But today, everyone seemed worried.

'Haven't you heard?' Janette asked Kieren. 'Our camping trip might be cancelled.'

'Cancelled?' he asked.

'Yep,' said Max. 'We have some money for the trip, but it's not quite enough.'

That was not good news. Kieren was especially looking forward to the bonfire they had planned for the first night.

Miss Pax was teaching the class about fractions. Kieren was quietly wondering how they could find the extra money they needed.

Having something in his hand usually helped him think, so he pulled out the coin and started to fiddle with it.

'Kieren, put that down, please.' Miss Pax wandered over and inspected the coin. 'Where did you get this?' she asked.

'It's my pocket money,' Kieren answered. 'I think it's my dad's idea of a joke.'

'It's not a joke, Kieren. This is a very rare coin,' said Miss Pax.

The class gathered around Kieren's desk to see the coin. 'Can everybody see the fraction on the coin?' Miss Pax asked, passing the coin around. 'What do you think it means?'

No-one answered, but the class seemed quite intrigued by the coin. 'Does anybody else have an interesting coin that they could bring in?' asked Miss Pax.

'My mum collects coins,' said Janette. 'I could bring some in.'

'My uncle went to Egypt last year,' said Max. 'He gave me some coins from his trip.'

'We could have a money museum,' joked Kieren. The class laughed.

'That's no joke either, Kieren,' said Miss Pax. 'We could learn a lot about coins and we might even be able to raise some extra money so that we can go on our camping trip.'

The class became excited. 'Remember, it takes a lot of work to raise money,' the teacher said.

'Did you enjoy your pocket money, Kieren?' Dad asked later with a grin. 'It came from Lin.'

'Ah! That explains it!' thought Kieren. Lin was Kieren's friend. She lived in Taiwan. Kieren wanted to find out more about the coin, so he Skyped Lin that night.

'A money museum sounds fun,' said Lin. 'I might ask my teacher if we can do the same thing here, in Taiwan. We need to raise money, because there was a fire in one of our classrooms, and Year 1 need new desks and books.'

Dad offered to help out with the money museum. He sat at the kitchen table doing sums.

'We will need to advertise the money museum so that people will come to see it.'

'We can write an article for the school newsletter and I can make some posters,' offered Kieren.

'That's a great idea, Kieren,' said Dad. 'We will need materials for the posters. You will have to make sure that you charge your visitors enough money, so your class can pay for those materials – and for the camping trip.'

The next day, Kieren told the class about the conversation with his dad.

'Would anyone like to help Kieren make some posters and write the article?' asked Miss Pax. Kieren was pleased when Max and Janette volunteered.

'We still have a lot of planning and preparing to do for the money museum,' said Miss Pax.

Kieren braced himself for some very hard work.

The day of the money museum finally arrived. Kieren and Lin set up a Skype connection, so that their classes could see each other's money museums.

Kieren spent the morning collecting money from each visitor. He often needed to figure out how much change to give. In the afternoon, he showed each visitor his coin and explained Taiwanese money.

At the end of the day, Miss Pax and the class started to count the money they had raised.

'That's enough to cover the materials for the posters,' said Miss Pax, setting aside some money.

There was a small amount left and when they counted it they found that they had the extra money they needed for the camping trip, with a little left over.

'What shall we do with the left-over money?' asked Miss Pax.

'I think I know what we can do,' said Kieren, thinking of new books for the Year 1 students at Lin's school.

The end

Restart this book More teaching resources