The penny is a US coin worth one cent. One hundred pennies make a dollar. One cent can be written 1¢ or $0.01.

The US penny was named after the British penny. Pennies are copper plated zinc and have a smooth edge. The penny is 19.05 mm in diameter and is 1.55 mm thick.

The first US penny was minted in 1787; it was pure copper and was designed by Benjamin Franklin. The first Lincoln penny was issued in 1909, the 100th anniversary of Lincoln’s birth. This was the first US coin to picture a President; it replaced the “Indian Head” penny. In 1943, the Lincoln penny was made of steel (with a zinc coating) because copper was needed for military use in World War II.

There are about 150 billion US pennies in circulation today.

## Pennies in Circulation

The front (obverse) of the penny pictures a right-facing profile of Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States of America. It was designed by V. D. Brenner .

The front reads, “IN GOD WE TRUST,” “LIBERTY,” and the year the coin was minted. The initial under the date is the mint mark, denoting the location of the US mint that produced the coin (D means Denver, Colorado, S means San Francisco, and California).

The back (reverse) of the penny pictures the Lincoln Memorial, a monument to Abraham Lincoln located in Washington, D.C. If you look closely at a real penny, you can see a tiny picture of Lincoln sitting inside the Lincoln Memorial.

The back reads, “UNITED STATES oF AMERICA,” “ONE CENT,” and “E PLURIBUS UNUM” (which means, “Out of many, one”). This design was adopted in 1959, replacing one that pictured two stalks of wheat; it was designed by Frank Gasparro.

## Activities Involving Pennies

Color the front and back of a penny in this printout.

Color the front and back of a penny and a nickel in this printout.

Color four US coins, front and back.

Make a patriotic US necklace to wear.

Print out “A penny for your thoughts…” letterhead that makes great stationery.

Label the US coins and what they are worth.

**Answers**

Cut out the four cards and arrange them so they show the coins (penny, nickel dime, and quarter) in order of their value.

Tally the number of pennies and write the number (for the numbers 1 to 6).

**Answers**

Tally the number of pennies and write the number (for the numbers 7 to 12).

**Answers**

Add up the pennies in these printouts:

Adding Pennies: Printout #1

Adding Pennies: Printout #2

Adding Pennies: Printout #3

Adding Pennies: Printout #4

Adding Pennies: Printout #5

Adding Pennies: Printout #6

Subtract the pennies in these printouts:

Subtracting Pennies: Printout #1

Subtracting Pennies: Printout #2

Subtracting Pennies: Printout #3

Figure out how many pennies are in each group.

Figure out how much money is in each group of nickels and pennies:

How Much? (Pennies and Nickels): Printout #1

How Much? (Pennies and Nickels): Printout #2

How Much? (Pennies and Nickels): Printout #3

Subtract pennies from a dollar.

Figure out how much money is in each group of dimes and pennies in these printouts:

How Much? (Dimes and Pennies): Printout #1

How Much? (Dimes and Pennies): Printout #2

How Much? (Dimes and Pennies): Printout #3

Figure out how much money is in each group of quarters and pennies in these printouts:

How Much? (Pennies and Quarters): Printout #1

How Much? (Pennies and Quarters): Printout #2

How Much? (Pennies and Quarters): Printout #3

Figure out how much money is in each group of mixed coins:

How Much?: Printout #1

How Much?: Printout #2

How Much?: Printout #3

How Much?: Printout #4

How Much?: Printout #5

How Much?: Printout #6

How Much?: Printout #7

How Much?: Printout #8

How Much?: Printout #9

How Much?: Printout #10

Match each group of coins to what it’s worth in these printouts:

Match Groups to Values Printout #1

Match Groups to Values Printout #2

Match Groups to Values Printout #3

Match Groups to Values Printout #4

Match the coins to the amounts written in two different ways in these printouts:

Matching Printout #1

Matching Printout #2

Matching Printout #3

Match the groups of coins of equal amounts in these printouts:

Matching Groups Printout #1

Matching Groups Printout #2

Matching Groups Printout #3