The Same Change

Primary (Age 6 – 9)

Curriculum Goal

Primary: Number Sense

  • Identify different ways of representing the same amount of money up to Canadian 200¢ using various combinations of coins, and up to $200 using various combinations of $1 and $2 coins and $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100 bills


  • Students can work individually, in pairs or in small groups (2-4)
  • Students should have prior experience identifying Canadian coins and the values of various coins.
  • Students should have previous experience writing addition sentences.


In-person version

  • “8 Ways to Make a Dollar” worksheet (Appendix A)
  • “The Same Change” Slides (Appendix B)
  • Fake coins, if needed
  • Pencils

Online Version

  • Jamboard or Google Slides


  • Explain to students that they are going to be counting a variety of coins (pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, Loonies and Toonies), to make specific amounts of money. They will also examine different ways to add coins together to total the same amount of money (ex. 10 nickels make 50 cents, or 10 dimes make 50 cents)
  • Show students the “8 Ways to Make a Dollar” (Appendix A) worksheet. Explain that they will need to use their knowledge on the value of the coins to show eight different ways to make $1.00. Do one together as a class. For example, 10 dimes, one Loonie, etc.
  • Students must draw or write down what coins they are using and how many of each coin. For example, they could write an addition sentence ($0.25+ $0.25+ $0.25+ $0.25 = $1.00) or they can draw the coins in the appropriate box.
  • If possible, provide students with fake coins to help them make different coin combinations.
  • When students have completed this show the “Total Value” Slides.
    • Provide students with a piece of paper, whiteboard etc., to demonstrate how they got their answer.
    • Work through a few of the slides. End with the last slide which is an extended challenge and not a necessary component to this activity.
    • When students have completed, have students share their findings. Guide discussions through these questions:
      • How did you add the coins together? What strategies did you use?
      • How could skip counting help us add the coins? What about our multiplication knowledge?
    • End the discussion with an understanding that skip counting can help us count coins in a more efficient manner.

Look Fors

  • Do students comprehend the magnitude of the various Canadian coins?
  • Can students identify and add together various Canadian coins?
  • What strategies do students implement to count various coins?


  • Challenge students to write out the multiplication sentence ($0.25 x 4 = $1.00)
  • Ask students if there are other combinations to make $1.00

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