Lesson Plan

Harriet Tubman on the $20 Bill: The Power of Symbols

This Harriet Tubman on the $20 Bill: The Power of Symbols lesson plan also includes:

How important are symbols and symbolic gestures in society? Middle schoolers have an opportunity to analyze the importance of symbols on American currency with a lesson that investigates the controversies surrounding redesigning the $5, $10, and $20 bills. After watching a short video and reading articles about the proposed changes, pupils craft an essay in which they argue whether or not symbols are important.

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CCSS: Designed
Instructional Ideas
  • Have groups investigate the timeline for the Harriet Tubman $20 bill and the controversies surrounding the proposals
Classroom Considerations
  • The focus of the lesson is on the importance of symbols, however, the information on the drive to have Harriet Tubman featured on the $20 bill is dated (2016)
  • Includes a vocabulary list and an argumentative essay graphic organizer
  • No rubric for the essay is included