Making Sense of the 2010 Census

Who is America? This bundle of lesson plans and activities will help your students understand the basics of the every-decade census and why they should care about what’s at stake.
U.S. Census Comic

Image courtesy of U.S. Census Bureau.

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.

U.S. Census Bureau lesson plans

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.”

U.S. Census - It's About Us

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

NY Times Learning Network classroom activities

Making Sense of the Census: Ideas for Classes Across the Curriculum

NYTimes Upfront Census Graph

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

    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