Lesson 9.9: Social Studies Connection

Learn More

Not Making Cents

A penny for your thoughts: Should the U.S. government get rid of the penny? A U.S. congressman said that it was about time to do so.

Jim Kolbe, a Republican from Arizona, wanted the U.S. House of Representatives to pass a bill that would all but abolish the 1-cent coin.

Kolbe's plan would not have started out by doing away with the penny. Instead, his bill would have required merchants to round the price of their goods on cash purchases to the nearest nickel. For example, if items to be bought totaled $4.22, the price would be rounded to $4.20. If the items totaled $4.23, the price would be rounded to $4.25.

Kolbe said by rounding all cash purchases to the nearest nickel, pennies would eventually become extinct.

Word Wise

A person elected to represent a state in the U.S. Congress: A congressman from Texas gave a speech in the House of Representatives.

Eliminate: Pete uses a special toothpaste that abolishes germs from the mouth.

Owner of a business that sells goods: The merchants on Park Street sell fresh fruit and vegetables.

No longer existing: The passenger pigeon is an extinct bird species.

Back to Article


Synonyms are words that have the same meanings, such as dull and boring. Antonyms are words with opposite meanings, such as entrance and exit.

Two phrases that appear in the article—“do away with” and “get rid of”—are synonyms of abolish.

Work with a partner. Use a print thesaurus or an on-line thesaurus. Find and list words that are antonyms of abolish. Use a dictionary to check the meaning of any antonym whose definition you do not know.

Data Hunt

At the same time that some people have lost interest in pennies, many people have become very interested in quarters. This is due to the U.S. Mint's State Quarters Program, which began in 1999 and will last through 2008. Every year, new quarters are being issued for five states in the order in which those states joined the Union.

The table below shows the five state quarters that were introduced in 2000.

Release Date State Statehood Date Number of Coins Released
January 03, 2000 Massachusetts February 06, 1788 1,163,784,000
March 13, 2000 Maryland April 28, 1788 1,234,732,000
May 22, 2000 South Carolina May 23, 1788 1,308,784,000
August 07, 2000 New Hampshire June 21, 1788 1,169,016,000
October 16, 2000 Virginia June 25, 1788 1,594,616,000

In 2000, a total of six billion, four hundred seventy million, nine hundred thirty-two thousand quarters were minted for the five states shown in the table.

  1. Look at the word number that appears above in bold print. Write this number in standard form.
  2. If the total number of quarters issued in 2000 had been minted equally for all five states, how many quarters would have been minted for each state?
  3. For which states was the number of quarters minted greater than one-fifth of the total for the year?