International Currency Exchange

International Currency Exchange lesson plan

Yen, Euro, Dollar, Peso, Pound, Rupee, Ruble, Baht, and Yuan - Explore the world of international exchange rates with bas relief coins.

  • 1.

    Look at coins from your own country with a magnifying glass. What do you see? List everything you find with Crayola® Washable Markers on paper.

  • 2.

    Examine coins from two more countries in the same way. Are there enough different currencies in the world that each of your classmates can choose different coins?

  • 3.

    Notice that each country uses symbols, images, letters, and numbers that are familiar to that culture and language. Locate all three of your coin's countries on a world map.

  • 4.

    Run your finger over the surface of the coins. Are they really flat? You probably can feel small changes in the surface of the coin. These changes are called bas relief sculpture (low relief). Compare the surface you feel to the surface of a relief map. A relief map shows the hills and valleys of a land mass. Your coins have miniature hills and valleys of their own.

  • 5.

    As you have found, each country has its own coins and paper money. The relationship of one country's currency (money) to another's changes every day, based on the country's economy. If a country has a strong economy, the money it makes is worth more in re

  • 6.

    The comparative value of any two currencies is rarely one to one. Look up "currency exchange" on the Internet. Research the coins of the three different countries for which you have coins, including your own.

  • 7.

    Compare your findings with other students. You'll discover that some countries call their money by the same name, but they have different values. Canada, Australia, the United States, the Bahamas, New Zealand, and Hong Kong, for example, all have dollars.

  • 8.

    On posterboard, make a chart showing the day's exchange rate for each currency relative to your country's money.

  • 9.

    Use Crayola Metallic FX Crayons to draw the coins you researched. Draw both sides. Cut out the coins with Crayola Scissors.

  • 10.

    With your classmates, draw a large Peters Projection world map on posterboard (these maps show countries' correct proportions and sizes). Place the coins all of you made on their correct countries.


  • Children distinguish between three different types of national currencies and locate the countries using each on a world map.
  • Children gather information about currency exchange rates using the Internet and chart their comparative values.
  • Children recreate the sculptural qualities (bas relief) of the three different coins in drawings.


  • Younger students use Crayola Model Magic to make bas-relief sculptures of coins. Or create a new currency.
  • Older students write a paper that discusses the exchange rate between two countries. Compare the economic strengths and weaknesses of each country. Which rates favor tourism? Which encourage trade? What are the historic influences?
  • Draw replicas of various countries' paper currency, trying to match colors and designs. What can you learn about each country's architecture, leaders, history, values, and language from its money?
  • Track the daily exchange rates for two or more currencies for several weeks. What factors cause the rise and fall of their values?