Curriculum & Resources: Making Sense of the 2010 Census
Great Resources for Teaching
from the May 2010 YES! Education Connection Newsletter
Read the newsletter: Teaching About Race With Zinn Education Project
Who is America? In March, the 10-question 2010 Census was mailed to every U.S. household. With this bundle of lesson plans and activities, your students not only will understand the history and fundamentals of the census, but why they should care about this every-decade survey.
2010 Census in Schools: It’s About Us
The U.S. Census is required by the Constitution every 10 years and counts every resident to get a snapshot of America. New York Times correspondent Patricia Smith points out that while a national head count may sound pretty dull, the census actually has a huge impact on the way we live. It influences the gamut, from “how many Congressional representatives your state gets to whether a new Gap opens near your house and which channels cable companies offer in your area.”
The U.S. Census Bureau offers learning resources for understanding why we need a census, and how census data can be used to make specific decisions for communities. Curricula with stand alone lessons and classroom tools are available for K-4, 5-8, and 9-12 grades. Lessons cover a range of topics, including the importance of the census, using data to predict the future, and how to read and use cartograms. For quick access, under Lessons and Maps, click on the pdf for the desired grade level.
VISIT: U.S. Census lesson plans
- Where Are Latinos in a Future Multiracial Society? :: The Census fails to recognize a Latino race.
- Progress Towards a Multiracial Nation :: Our political, social, and cultural milestones marking the way.
Making Sense of the Census: Ideas for Classes Across the Curriculum
While the U.S. Census Bureau give students a basic understanding on the census, NY Times Learning Network classroom activities get to the heart of the issues and debates surrounding the 2010 census. Projects and readings will help make the census relevant to your students’ experiences, perspectives and learning. And, they include digging into the meaning of maps, analyzing 2010 Census media commercials, and creating your own census to paint a portrait of your own classroom or community.
LEARN: Make sense of the census
- In America: Getting Beyond the Hate :: A post-racial society in the making.
- EVENT: Race, Ethnicity & Place Conference :: Dialogue on racial and ethnic transformation of places.
Project RACE: 2010 Census Multiracial Tips
Multiracial persons are the fastest growing demographic group in the country. Since its founding in 1990, Project RACE has advocated for the right to check more than one race box on the census. Ideally, the group would like an umbrella category “multiracial” with boxes under the larger classification. Have your students read more about why this is so important (and controversial), and explore the public policy implications of checking more than one box (Census Updates).
EXPLORE: Multiracial classification
- Blended Nation: A Portrait of Mixed-Race America :: The complex relationship between race & identity.
- Race: Are We So Different? :: Line up a dozen skin types against your own. Can you tell where black ends and white begins?
The above resources accompany the May 2010 YES! Education Connection Newsletter
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