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Distribution Of Canadian Penny Ends

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The iconic maple leaves have appeared on the penny since 1937. Image: Jerry "Woody"
The iconic maple leaves have appeared on the Canadian penny since 1937. Image: Jerry “Woody”

The penny has been dropped from Canada’s currency.

On Feb. 4, the Royal Canadian Mint stopped sending pennies to banks and businesses.

The government decided that pennies cost too much to make and distribute. They estimate the country will save about $11-million by eliminating the penny.

Without a one-cent coin, many business transactions will change.

The Canadian government told businesses they can “round” cash sales to the nearest five-cent mark.

That means if a person’s bill comes to $3.99 the seller can charge $4, which is the closest number that can be divided by five cents. If the bill comes to $.46 (46 cents) the seller could charge $.45 (45 cents).

Individual items aren’t being rounded. Rounding will be done on the total bill.

People will still be able to spend the pennies they have.

When they are all gone, they’ll be gone–but they won’t be forgotten. Lots of people have special memories of pennies.

Rose Lavine and Tony Atherton say they remember penny candy including “hard hats” (chocolate over toffee) that you could get, two-for-a-penny. Atherton said he remembers shiny pennies that you would slip into slots on the tops of your “penny loafers.” He’s referring to a fashion fad from the 1950s.

For Pat Sanagan from Southhampton, Ont., pennies mean luck. When Sanagan was a little girl, her grandmother told her, “Find a penny, pick it up. All the day you’ll have good luck.”

As a child, Paul Costello of Toronto was rich–in his eyes.

“In grade eight, my allowance was three cents a day,” he said. “If I saved up all week I could by a 15-cent cone of French fries.”

Joyce Grant, one of the founders of TeachingKidsNews.com, remembers bringing pennies to her elementary school to support Terry Fox’s run across Canada. Thousands of pennies were brought together and all of the money went to Fox’s cancer research charity.

CURRICULUM CONNECTIONS
By Jonathan Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
The government of Canada has explained how stores and companies will be asked to round their cash sales. Do you think this is a good way to phase out the penny? Do you think that there is a better solution? If so, what is it and why is it better? If not, why not?

Reading Prompt: Extending Understanding
Today’s story ends with the recolections (memories) of many people who grew up saving and spending their pennies. What memories do you have of saving or spending your pennies or coins?

Primary
Extend understanding of texts by connecting the ideas in them to their own knowledge and experience, to other familiar texts, and to the world around them (OME, Reading: 1.6).

Junior
Extend understanding of texts by connecting the ideas in them to their own knowledge, experience, and insights, to other familiar texts, and to the world around them (OME, Reading: 1.6).

Intermediate
Extend understanding of texts, including increasingly complex or difficult texts, by connecting the ideas in them to their own knowledge, experience, and insights, to other familiar texts, and to the world around them (OME, Reading: 1.6).

Grammar Feature: Pluralization
When a word is plural, it has a quantity greater than one. Often times, a word is made plural (pluralized) by simply adding an “s” to its end. For example the word, “light” becomes “lights” when it is made plural. However, some words change their endings differently when pluralized. For example, the word “penny” becomes “pennies.”

Make a list of words that have irregular endings when pluralized. Compare your list to a friend. Add words that you didn’t include on your list. Continue sharing your list with classmates until you have 15 words in total on your list.