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Mr_Norris_LKNS's Blog

04 Apr 2018

Youth Club Curriculum and Activities

Young Numismatists Exchange | Mr_Norris_LKNS

Youth Club Curriculum Ideas and Activities

The first year of the Legacy Knights Numismatic Society has been highly successful.  We increased our membership from 13 last year to 18 this year.  All but one returned and six new students joined.  One of our members has completed the ANA's Dollar Project, a handful have become Coin Identification Experts, and 15 members have joined the ANA.  One of our members even made it out to the Money Museum in Colorado Springs over spring break (a long way from us).  LKNS has joined, as a club, both the ANA and the Central States Numismatic Society.  You can find our club in the club listings of both organizations.

Part of the fun we have is because we mix up the agenda between guest speakers and activities.  For 3rd through 6th graders, listening to presentations for long periods of time can be a challenge.  We have had interesting speakers present to us some very cool topics and we've really enjoyed what we saw and heard.  But to keep a variety we don't do that every month.  So we break things up by interspersing speakers with activities.  We're developing a curriculum that involves projects from outside sources, as well as projects we've developed in-house.  We try to use these activities to support an agenda of developing some good basic numismatic skills that every young numismatist should have.

One of our first activities is the Coin Identity Challenge, where a member is given a coin and has to identify its specific type and variety.  This gets them familiar with the Krause catalogs we have on the library reference shelf in school, and learn how to use them.

Another activity is the ANA Dollar Project.  This one is not hard to do, but it takes some effort to complete.  All the instructions are on the ANA website.  This project gets them familiar with the connection between history and numismatics.  It also connects them to the ANA as they send in their projects and receive back their rewards.  It also earns them about $50 worth (market value) of nice dollar coins!

A third activity is the Coin Grading Project.  We have selected specific types of US coins for them to find in their change or collections, then have them use the ANA's US coin grading standards to determine the grade they think it is.  Then they compare notes with a local grading expert; if he would grade it differently, they find out why.  When they are done, they are familiar with the process and standards of grading, and they are well on their way to a nice US coin type set!

Through the ANA's Coins For A's program, we have gotten 15 LKNS members to join the ANA, which has reduced our club membership dues to $0!

We also have club parties throughout the year:  Christmas, the Society's Birthday in February, and our Annual Awards Party in May.  Sometimes we play "Numismatic Jeopardy".  Then there's the very popular Members Only Auction at the end of the year.  We have gone on field trips to the local coin shop, the local area coin club, and the local annual coin show.

One thing I'd like to also make part of our regular curriculum is an activity that works on care and safekeeping of one's collection.  We have had a presentation on this in the past, but I'd like to develop a regular activity that reinforces the do's and don'ts of caring for numismatic items.

We are looking to expand our program in the next year or two, to gradually offer inclusion of higher grade levels at the school.  Some of the members now are already worried that they won't be able to attend once they're past 6th grade!  That's a good problem, because you know they are enjoying themselves now.  Once we expand into older grades, I'd like to try to develop some activities that explore the minting process, not only so we can identify the factors that affect how coins look, but to make some of our own coins ourselves... wouldn't that be cool!

These are our ideas that have worked or are our dreams, and by sharing them I hope we inspire others.  If you have some cool youth club ideas that have worked for your club in the past, please share them with us!

Comments

Kepi

Level 6

Great ideas! The YN's will love it! Thanks for an informative blog! Enjoyed it.

Mr_Norris_LKNS

Level 4

Thank you!

CoinLady

Level 6

This is great, that so much is going on for young collectors. Keep it up.

Mr_Norris_LKNS

Level 4

We're wrapping up this school year and making plans for the next! Thanks!

"SUN"

Level 5

Nice write-up and photo in The Numismatist.

Mr_Norris_LKNS

Level 4

Thank you for telling me!! My copy arrived and someone else borrowed it to read before I even noticed the write-up! Thanks to you now I've seen it and let the students and school know!

"SUN"

Level 5

Wishing you more success in the future. Sounds like a nice club for the young collectors.

Mr_Norris_LKNS

Level 4

Thank you!

Mike

Level 7

Well congratulations you sound well organized. Sounds like a very good club with some ideas for the present and the future. I'm glad you realise that the yn's are our future. Keep doing the good work and I don't think you will have any problems. Thanks. Mike.

Mr_Norris_LKNS

Level 4

Thank you Mike! It's a lot of work up front but hopefully once we get some of the curriculum down pat some of it will become automatic and we can concentrate on new and even bigger fun things to build into the program.

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